The Eagles are currently tied for first place in the NFC East, which is great, its what you want to hear after seeing this team struggle since week 1. It shows that this team is capable of turning it all around and forcing their way into the playoffs. But! Yes, there’s is a but! Are the Eagles really built to win this season or was the offseason exceptions all based on hopes and wishes?
Howie Roseman made some key moves this offseason that had Eagles fans celebrating and claiming victory before the team even got on the field. Let’s go over the list:
• Andrew Sendejo
• Zach Brown(Cut)
• Jonathan Cyprien(Traded)
• Darren Sproles(injured)
• Desean Jackson(injured)
• Malik Jackson(Hurt)
• Ronald Darby(Hurt)
• Richard Rodgers(Released on IR Settlement)
• Stefen Wisniewski(Cut)
• LJ Fort(Cut)
• Tim Jernigan(Hurt)
It was an offseason that was celebrated due to the Eagles prodigal son returning in DeSean Jackson but other than Jackson, it seemed as if all of the other signings were odd fits for the team. Did Howie really fix the issues of the offense and defense? The Eagles finished the 2018 season with three glaring needs: Runningback, Wide Receiver and Cornerback. Along the way the traded away Michael Bennett and pretty much forced Chris Long out. Howie was doing what he felt was best for the team and the development of his younger players, which is great and all, but it left the roster in a vulnerable place.
Already six weeks in, the Eagles are back to where they were in 2018, with the exception of Carson Wentz. They’re in desperate need of a young playmaker at wide receiver and a true shutdown corner for the defense. Of their young corners, only one has shown up this season and that’s the continually neglected Rasul Douglas.
Maddox is injured but hasn’t yet shown the same potential he did last year, Sidney Jones is proving to be a shell of his college self and Jalen Mills is still injured. Sure, they re-signed Darby in hopes he would be there number one but even he looks lost out there.
Now, I’m not here to debate whether the corners fit the scheme that Schwartz wants. That’s not why I have your attention. I’m here to figure out if Howie failed the Eagles this offseason. With ten games left to go and only two weeks left until the trade deadline, Roseman has to figure out how to save this team without putting them in a tough position in the future.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Eagles were “calling the Jags about Jalen Ramsey every week” which was terrific news, but they ended up losing Ramsey to the LA Rams for two first round picks and a fourth round pick, which makes you question why Howie did not make this move?
The NFL is overpowered in offensive play right now and rightfully so. Fans love to see their teams put up numbers that are almost Madden like but the fact of the matter is that the Eagles are being the 8-ball in this offensive wave. They have the stud QB, the young running back who can do it all but other than that there’s no explosiveness. There’s no young wideout that scares defenses which is unfair to DeSean Jackson. The team is heavily relying on the return of a player who won’t be 100% for the rest of the season.
How much longer will Howie stay silent on the current state of this roster? It’s time for Roseman to have his statement moves. The Eagles need help that won’t be a temporary fix but instead a long term solution. With the NFC East in their grasp, they can’t afford to let it slip into the hands of the Cowboys due to a lack of talent. The Cowboys invested a first-round pick to acquire Amari Cooper and their looking pretty good with him now. Imagine if the Eagles do the same. The draft hasn’t been in Howie favor for quite some time, why not use the picks to go and get the help you need?
The Eagles GM has two options right now, both with separate declarations. He either goes all in on the current team and tries to make a few splashes to help this team now which would be his way of saying: “We’re all in.” Or you stay put with the draft picks you have, the roster you’ve built and you admit that this team is going to start getting younger by building the draft with the expectation of truly competing for a Super Bowl in the coming years. Doing this would work within the idea of building around Wentz’ contract but it will set the franchise back a couple of years in terms of being a Super Bowl contender.
I truly don’t know how much phone time Howie is using right now, unfortunately, I don’t have access to those records but I do know this team needs some saving and Howie is the only one who can do it now. You can’t continue to put your QB at risk without a true playmaker at WR. You can’t let your coach fail at the risk of having no real talent outside of maybe 7 players. The next few weeks will really tell us how Howie feels about the potential of this team.
Roseman is officially on the clock and it’s time to decide the fate of this Eagles season.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports