The Eagles have quite the offseason ahead. But before we can even think of draft targets, positions of need, trade ideas, and all of the fun stuff, we have to first examine the current state of the team and allow for some housekeeping. With that in mind, here’s what that may consist of.
First thing’s first, get rid of every single player who isn’t bought into any of the following:
The Philadelphia Eagles
Winning a Super Bowl.
The one thing the Eagles cannot afford to do is let more noise spring up and cause monumental distractions next year. Carson Wentz did an amazing job of silencing the doubters and really instilling confidence in everyone around him this year, but if there is any remote chance that a player inside that locker room is ‘the anonymous source’ or is going to contribute to an offseason article ripping his character, get rid. Cut. Trade. Do whatever it takes to sustain the culture both Head Coach and quarterback have worked so hard to build.
Rebuild the secondary
Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are free agents and it’s highly unlikely both return. There is a chance Mills has earned a cheaper deal as a rotational corner, but even then, that will leave:
Rasul Douglas (who struggles to win over the coaching staff)
Sidney Jones (‘the closer’ who battled inconsistency and injury this year)
Avonte Maddox (second season wasn’t as good as his first)
Cre’Von LeBlanc (The Captain…)
All of the above are young corners who have their flaws. Whether the Eagles trade for one or simply decide to sign a ‘Patrick Robinson’ level free agent, I think we’re past the point of drafting talent. All corners left on the roster excluding LeBlanc were drafted between rounds 2-4. It’s time to add some veteran savvy to the group and let that experience help nurture the younger guys who are nearing the biggest years of their careers so far.
There is doubt that any one of these are ready to propel into a full-time starting role, so a full rebuild may be on the cards.
This is without mentioning the fact Malcolm Jenkins wants (and thoroughly deserves) a new deal, and Rodney McLeod is also out of contract. This year will be monumental for the future of the secondary.
It’s time to value linebackers again
The Eagles have three of the worst tackling linebackers in the league (per PFF they rank inside the bottom 10) and the team are now in a spot where Nigel Bradham is in an option year and KGH is a pending free agent. Regardless of how the team handles this, watching Jordan Hicks go and thrive in Arizona stung massively. This has to be the year that they begin to value linebacker again. Whether it’s through the draft or other means, the Eagles have to build a unit of starters as opposed to expecting role players and special teams aces to magically grow into them overnight.
Insurance is a wonderful thing
If there’s one thing that hurt the Eagles this year, it was a lack of depth. There was no insurance plan behind DeSean Jackson, and the one behind Alshon Jeffery was so useful that the team cross-trained him at three positions and essentially forced a mini-redshirt year.
That cannot happen again.
At defensive tackle, the Eagles looked stacked in week one but by week eight, it was back to square one, which was Fletcher Cox vs the world.
The Eagles now also have a tough decision at QB to make. Is Nate Sudfeld finally ready to step up as a QB2? If so, why did McCown retain the role after signing during preseason? If Sudfeld still isn’t there, it may be time to sign another veteran arm and draft further developmental talent.
Investigate the medical staff…again
This needs no explanation. The Eagles cannot go on with whatever shambles is going on behind the scenes. There’s a breakdown in communication somewhere along the lines, and the front office have to do everything in their power to ensure that’s fixed before the start of next season.
A big day out
The Eagles 2019 draft was filled with mixed results. A franchise left tackle and running back were sourced, but JJ Arcega-Whiteside was bitterly underwhelming…and the best thing Clayton Thorson provided was a song.
This year, they have seven picks in the first four rounds. They have to make them count. No exceptions. No risks on players falling due to injury or leaving star talent on the board to fill a smaller hole. The Eagles have a strong foundation and there’s already criticism about Roseman’s ability to draft. Silence them and knock this, one of the most important offseasons of the Pederson era, out of the park.
Rolling in dough
Believe it or not, the Eagles are somehow inundated with cap space. Use it.
$33M is a lot to be working with. There’s no excuse not to sign Jenkins to a new deal, or sign a strong free agent to fill a position of need. We know contracts snowball quickly under Roseman and names like Zach Ertz will undoubtedly be looking for new ones, but the Birds have a nice bankroll to start the offseason with, and ensuring that it’s invested wisely to strengthen the team (IE not guaranteeing Alshon’s salary), is crucial to a successful offseason.
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