Could this be the Eagles best offseason of the Doug Pederson-Howie Roseman era so far? Two years ago, the Eagles added key pieces to their team that not only led to a Super Bowl run but led into developing a championship culture within the organization. A culture that still stands strong today even after all the chaotic ‘Nick Foles Or Carson Wentz’ debates.
Two years removed from their first-ever Super Bowl victory, the Eagles seem to be picking up steam. The team’s approach this offseason has been defined by one word, Depth. Last season the team went on a run while hobbling all the way to New Orleans. Even though they were missing very key pieces all throughout the roster, they still were one play away from a repeat trip to the NFC championship game.
You can see the immediate impact this past season made on not only the team but the organization as a whole. The expectation was that the “new norm” would lead to back-to-back Super Bowl trips. It didn’t, while it was no fault of anyone in particular, the team still took the season as a missed opportunity.
Wentz, at times, looked like he wasn’t ready to come back yet. Can you blame him for being eager though? His hunger was at a level that couldn’t be contained. The running backs collapsed one by one. Sproles was never fully healthy, Ajayi and Clement both had their seasons end early due to injury as well.
The Eagles secondary was depleted to the point where practice squad players were being thrown into the fire before they were ready. It’s remarkable that even through that chaotic period, Malcolm Jenkins was still able to maintain a strong secondary group with his inspiring leadership. This also helped Schwartz find some true diamonds in the rough with Avonte Maddox and Cre’von Leblanc. Still though, the team was not prepared for all of these blows to leave them limping when it mattered most.
Which brings me back to the present day. There are only 113 days left until the beginning of the season. Howie Roseman, alongside Joe Douglas, has definitely outdone himself this time around. It all started with Malik Jackson, who was cut by Jacksonville, and it hasn’t stopped since.
The front office has taken a clear approach when it comes to depth. They’ve made sure that almost every position has more than enough quality players. As it stands right now, the Birds seem more than just prepared to make a run this season, but to possibly make multiple runs throughout Carson’s time here.
They’ve answered the call at running back by adding proven 24-year-old bulldozer, Jordan Howard. They even used the 53rd pick on who could be the most complete back of the draft, Miles Sanders. Sprinkle in a healthy Corey Clement and you have a committee that may give defenses nightmares.
Trading up from 25th overall to select Andre Dillard at 22 was as bold as it got this offseason. The Washington State product was a top-10 talent who slipped through the cracks due to a wild first 30 minutes and the Eagles wasted no time in drafting the eventual heir to the throne of Jason Peters.
At wide receiver, DeSean Jackson and JJ Arcega-Whiteside are injected into an already lethal group that is still carrying Nelson Agholor in spite of his $9.3M cap hit. The red zone packages will cause nightmares for defensive coordinators and the Eagles finally invested in a WR2 they can rely on.
As for the defense, they added several safeties to the mix in Blake Countess and Andrew Sendejo. Blake Countess was cut by the Rams after not agreeing to take a pay cut, in which he took with the Eagles instead. The team even re-signed Timmy Jernigan to a team friendly after cutting him due to his cap hit.
The front office has made countless moves this offseason and have still managed to keep $21 million dollars in cap space, possibly preparing for Wentz’ extension?
All in all, the Eagles brass has assured themselves that this team, barring any significant injuries, are set up to run the NFC East for years to come. They’ve figured out a formula that’s been instilled into this organization since 2017. The team had only used 5 drafts picks this year, but they were used for players who will start out as depth pieces then turn into future starters moving forward.
With Joe Douglas being rumored to possibly leave for the Jets GM position, the front office is leading by example with the “next man up” mentality. They’ve lost key pieces to their coaching staff and scouting department that past two seasons and have not missed a beat when it came to building this roster. That mindset alone should assure fans that the 2018 season should never happen again.
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