The start of free agency is quickly creeping up and while all of Philadelphia will have their eyes set on Robby Anderson and their hearts set on Byron Jones, there’s a deeper question that needs to be answered first. Just how much of a retool will this roster really need?
Has Howie neglected actually needs for cheap wants in hope that it would keep the team competitive? Yes. Can you blame him? No, but it’s pretty alarming that the front office was a bit unprepared for this reality.
Two years ago, Howie traded for Golden Tate in hopes that he would be the answer they needed at wideout. Last offseason, he traded for DeSean Jackson but who could’ve predicted that a 32-year old wideout would get injured so quickly?
The Eagles are entering the 2020 offseason with one too many primary needs and more below the surface than the team would like to admit. Currently, the Eagles are suffering at the following positions: wide receiver, cornerback, safety (no depth), linebacker, defensive tackle, and defensive end.
Now, can this be fixed? Yes. Unfortunately, it will almost certainly take more than one season to “retool” this team into one of the better teams in the NFL. Don’t get me wrong though, this team will still be competitive but they’re not close to being a guaranteed Super Bowl team yet.
The Eagles are entering free agency with about $44 million in cap space barring any other sudden changes. They’re said to be in on the top cornerback on the market which is Byron Jones. They’ve even been rumored to be in on Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski which would be a great low risk, high reward acquisition. Outside of those two, I’m sure there’s plenty of other players they’re rumored to be interested in.
Shortly after free-agency will be the draft where the team has ten picks to choose from. That’s double the picks they had last year, five, and double the picks they had the year before, which was also five.
Here something to keep in mind throughout all the chaos of the offseason. Howie specifies something in his last press conference that you wouldn’t really expect him to say in public. He continuously mentioned a three-year plan and a focus to sign core players that will be here in that span.
But why is three the magic number?
Let’s take what the Seattle Seahawks did into questioning. The Seahawks last Super Bowl appearance was in 2014 when they lost to the Patriots. Since then, they’ve dealt with growing pains as the legion of boom continuously fell apart but they’re young prospects continued to grow. Now, six years later, they’re still dealing with an inconsistent offensive line but they’re defense and offensive is at a high contender level.
Could this be the blueprint that Howie is following? If so, Roseman has a head start already at key positions. He has his left tackle of the future waiting in the shadow of Jason Peters. He also has a young franchise QB in Wentz and a stud running back in Miles Sanders. He also has some veterans who are still producing well into their prime like Zach Ertz, Fletcher Cox, Lane Jonson, Brandon Graham, Malcolm Jenkins, Jason Kelce, and Brandon Brooks.
This offseason will be a significant one for many reasons, one being that it’s the beginning of Roseman’s three-year plan to get this team back on track. The goal of infusing youth with veteran leadership shouldn’t be a difficult task at all, as long as the Eagles have the right veterans surround their young guys.
All of this will be heavily dependent on the team having an efficient draft this season. As they enter with the most picks they’ve had in 2 years, it would be hard to imagine that Roseman could possibly mess this up. Howie could be tempted to part with some picks for a high caliber vet but even if he does, the team shouldn’t leave the draft with less than 6 picks made.
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