The Philadelphia Eagles are not in a good spot, at all. It’s scary to think that this time three years ago, I was writing articles applauding the roster-building talents of Howie Roseman while reflecting on the team’s first-ever Lombardi Trophy win. A lot has changed since then, but the way Roseman approaches things has not…and the winds of change are coming. The question is, will they sweep up the polarizing general manager or a carousel of coaches?
Today’s report from ‘The Athletic’ citing that the front office belittled Doug Pederson does not come as a surprise. The quotes stating that Roseman’s management style is a reflection of his ego do not shock me. After all, our writer, Chris Infante, posted eerily similar story months beforehand and was shot down due to the sheer outrageousness of the claims made. As time has gone on, that shock has turned into acceptance. Acceptance that Howie Roseman and Jeffrey Lurie may have more than a few toxic traits that are chaining this team to the ground.
No matter how you slice it though, there’s one thing we can’t deny – Howie Roseman’s strategy worked at one point. The prove-it deals, the backloaded contracts, the analytically charged mindset, and trading tenacity all did help build a championship-winning roster…but they also helped break it. More than most league’s in the world, the NFL demands adaptation at a rapid rate. Whether it’s an emphasis on a style of play or talent evaluation, it truly is the pinnacle of evolving minds. As the article by Jeff McLane pointed out, Roseman has been blinded by his accomplishments, fooled that his old ways will still work and prolong the Super Bowl window.
Evidently, that turned out not to be the case. For the last two offseasons, Roseman has scrambled to get under the Salary Cap, and even with Carson Wentz no longer on the books, 2022 will present a challenge just as tricky. The problem is that Roseman’s way out is the exact same as his way in. It consists of going to older players who have already been given big paydays and shifting the money around so that there’s less to pay upfront and a huge chunk in the future.
Let’s take Lane Johnson for example. The franchise right tackle gracefully restructured his deal not too long ago. As things stand, there is a bucket full of bonuses and options worked into the contract that aims to nullify paying an elite right tackle up-front. Johnson is technically on the books for a $21M cap hit in 2028. He would be 38-years-old. It’s all well and good adding more of these ‘dummy years’ to the contract, but Johnson will want that money eventually as he no doubt would have earned it.
Forget everything else about Howie Roseman. Forget the reports of meddling with the Head Coach when it comes to who suits up on gameday. Forget the involvement of Jeffrey Lurie. If the Eagles are going to be so persistent in demanding accountability and turning over the roster and staff so often in an effort to mask the deficiencies presented by the front office, then maybe it’s time Roseman is put in the firing line.
At the core of everything that has been said about the Eagles GM is ego. If today’s media whirlwind doesn’t act as an alarm bell for Roseman to change his ways and begin building trust in his scouts and a new structure, then this will be a never-ending river of despair. What has every potential to be a strong roster within the next 3-5 years due to the eyebrow-raising number of first-round picks they’ve recently acquired, also has the potential to be absolutely nuked just like every other draft class since the beginning of the Pederson era. Some players were let go too early, some never efficiently developed, and others should never have been drafted at all.
The past is the past and the Eagles can’t go into the NFL Draft looking back over their shoulder. This has to be the time to hit reset and accept that the run is over and it’s time to start a new era, not just sustain the old one with some new smiley faces.
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