The Eagles headed back to Philadelphia with their tails between their legs after a beatdown on Sunday, but is the sky really falling? A quick look at the team now the dust has settled hopefully puts things into perspective.
The loss to Tampa Bay only adds to Philadelphia’s tumultuous postseason history against the Bucs. The defending Super Bowl champs made light work of Sirianni’s outfit and took the next step in defending their Super Bowl crown. They have a great chance of doing so and you can keep up to date with this handy guide on how to bet on Super Bowl 56.
As for the Eagles, they’ll head into the offseason with three picks inside the top-20 (15, 16, 19) for the 2022 NFL Draft and about $13M in free cap space. As for their other draft picks, they hold the following selections:
First Round (3)
Pick #15 (Dolphins)
Pick #16 (Colts)
Second Round (1)
Third Round (1)
Fourth Round (1)
Fifth Round (3)
Eagles, WFT, Cardinals
Sixth Round (1)
Seventh Round (0)
Sent to Colts in Matt Pryor trade
This is a night and day contrast compared to what we saw last season and gives Howie Roseman more than enough ammunition to commit to whichever direction he deems best for the team. The big objective this offseason is to simply decide what that direction looks like.
This year’s free agency class is filled with names that will require plenty of thought before making a move:
The big name to note here is obviously
Ryan Kerrigan Rodney McLeod. The veteran Safety has been a pillar of the defensive backfield since his arrival in 2016 but has struggled to stay healthy, and depth at the position is hardly plentiful. Anthony Harris being listed here only makes that problem bigger.
Steven Nelson was hoping to play his way to a bigger contract in 2022 and the Eagles could well decide to bring him back, although they traded for two young corners earlier in the season and someone like Tay Gowan or even each McPhearson could be a cheaper option with a higher upside while the team figures out how to best reinforce the corner position.
Derek Barnett should finally be out of the picture, but the Eagles are going to need some help along the defensive front. Fletcher Cox isn’t getting any younger and has an extortionate cap-hit on the horizon. He was almost dealt at the deadline and could be a prominent name in talks this offseason.
Jason Kelce hitting the open market is a terrifying prospect, but one that fans have been preparing for over the last few years due to a spike in retirement talk. The Eagles do have Landon Dickerson waiting in the wings who could be the heir to his throne, but Kelce’s play is aging like a fine wine and if he feels physically and mentally healthy enough to commit to another season, then the Eagles won’t say no.
But on that note, Nate Herbig should be re-signed. Brandon Brooks has unfortunately struggled with injuries since his big payday and Herbig has proven himself to be more than just a capable backup. If the Eagles decide to move on from Brooks, they could do a lot worse than Herbig.
Jordan Howard and Boston Scott are two names that should also be brought back as dependable backups. The Eagles have refused to pay a RB anything of minor significance since the DeMarco Murray contract and given that they led the league in rushing this year, I doubt that changes here…especially if Miles Sanders has inflated trade value as a result and more assets could be recouped in return.
With two starters potentially leaving, a veteran CB1 and a lot of youth in behind, the Eagles will need to bring in some extra firepower at both safety and corner. Locking up Avonte Maddox was a strong start, but they need help on the boundary and over the top if Anthony Harris walks.
Brandon Graham isn’t getting any younger and Ryan Kerrigan was about as useful as a towel in a flood this year. Josh Swear should be the bonafide EDGE1, but behind him, it’s anyone’s guess. Expect some investments through free agency and the draft to solidify the group.
Move Quez Watkins outside, move on from Jalen Reagor, and find a solid possession receiver over the middle who better complements Dallas Goedert and can be a strong blocking asset. Job done.
The backfield is going to need rebuilding this offseason, it just comes down to whether or not it’s done with the same pieces or some shiny new ones.
Jonathan Gannon’s unit struggled to do much of anything against playoff teams and was heavily outscored in games against more formidable opponents. Did he earn a second year at the wheel? It’s not for us to decide, but Vic Fangio is on the open market…
Depending on how you feel, this is either a significant need or an insignificant one. I think it’s middle of the road. Could the Eagles get by another year with Hurts at the helm and afford him an opportunity to grow in Sirianni’s system? Absolutely. He hasn’t had much sustenance in his football career up to date and it would certainly help…but it depends on how close Howie feels his team is to competing and how much trust he has in Jalen Hurts.