5 questions facing the Eagles after Super Bowl LVII defeat

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Jason Kelce eagles 49ers vs eagles
Philadelphia Eagles’ Brandon Graham, Lane Johnson, Howie Roseman, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce celebrate after the NFC Championship NFL football game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers, Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023, in Philadelphia. Roseman, the once-exiled executive who was cast aside for Chip Kelly for a year, returned to lead the Eagles to the franchise’s only Super Bowl title is back again after hitting rock bottom in 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia Eagles were unable to put the cherry on the cake in Super Bowl LVII, but what became very clear was that this team won’t be disappearing anytime soon. There is an extremely strong foundation to be built upon, but there are some key questions facing Howie Roseman and company first.

Can the Eagles retain stability in the coaching staff?

With Shane Steichen likely headed to Indianapolis and Jonathan Gannon potentially becoming the new Head Coach of the Arizona Cardinals, the Eagles front office once again has an almighty task when it comes to replenishing what feels like an ever-depleting front office/coaching staff. The difference this time is that the stability they’ve built has become an integral building block in the foundation of this team. 

Jalen Hurts had the same coach for two years in a row for the first time since High School in 2022. With Gannon and Steichen on the way out, Howie Roseman has to ensure that the boat doesn’t rock too much. 

The good news is that the offense should remain pretty potent. Nick Sirianni writes the formula, Shane Steichen used to punch in the codes. Brian Johnson, Jalen’s quarterback coach and someone who has been in the life of Hurts for a long time, will be the obvious in-house candidate to replace Steichen, but things could get murky on the defensive side of the ball. 

We know the Eagles clearly have an affinity for Vic Fangio, but the man who signed a two-week deal with the team prior to the Super Bowl is now destined for Miami. It’s down to the Eagles to find someone who can coach the same principles and utilize what is still going to be a defense filled with firepower, regardless of any free agent losses. This brings me onto my next point.

Which free agents come back?

The Eagles have a long list of pending free agents and this question was always going to be a tricky one to answer. Howie Roseman saw a light schedule in 2022 and went all in on one-year contractors who could play at an elite level. Guys like James Bradberry and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson epitomize this philosophy. But not everyone can be brought back.

On top of that, guys like Javon Hargrave, Isaac Seumalo, and Miles Sanders will also be dipping their toes into the open market. Jason Kelce could be retiring and the Eagles also have to keep a fair chunk of change available to pay superstar QB Jalen Hurts.

The Eagles are clearly intent on loading through the draft, but that doesn’t make this offseason any less daunting from a talent retention perspective.

How much does Jalen Hurts get paid?

At this point, I’d tell Jalen Hurts to write whatever number he feels like on a piece of paper, and I’ll sign on the dotted line. That’s why I’m not an NFL GM. Howie Roseman is, and happens to be one of the most cap-savvy of all GM’s in the league. With estimates coming in at around $50M per year, and the likes of Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson also set to sign monster deals, it will be very interesting to see how aggressive Roseman is in penning Hurts to a long-term extension – One that he’s most definitely earned.

Will Roseman jump the gun and let the market catch up, or wait for a few dominos to fall in order to avoid over-committing as he did just a few years ago.

How important will that 10th overall pick be?

The Eagles pulled off daylight robbery a few months ago when they snatched the 2023 1st round Draft Selection of New Orleans in what might just be the most one-sided draft trade of all time. Because of this, they not only have their own #31 selection in the first round of this years’ draft, but also a top-10 pick to do whatever they want with.

This could be spent on a future replacement for Lane Johnson, or perhaps a stud at defensive tackle to partner with Jordan Davis if Javon Hargrave becomes a cap casualty. It could also be used in another trade to move back and pick up more draft ammo, or for a player on a short-term contract like we saw this year.

Howie Roseman’s drafting has been a rollercoaster ride over the past few years, but the past two have been home-run worthy. Sure, the Eagles are battling some tough free agency & cap-related decisions, but a few savvy moves with these draft picks and the stress could all be for nothing.

Can Howie Roseman keep moving forward when it comes to defense?

On paper, Jonathan Gannon’s defense was excellent and the numbers and records speak for themselves. However, as the Chiefs proved on Sunday, it’s not unbeatable. In fact, it’s very beatable.

The bottom line is that this unit was brimming with top-tier talent and there is naturally going to be some drop-off moving forward. If the team does lose Gannon as well, then they have to find a coordinator who can instil the same philosophies as well as show an ability to adapt and play fearless, just like the Eagles offense does week in and week out.

This team was too good to let that Super Bowl slip out of their hands and while you win and lose as a team, defense wins championships. In this case, the Eagles defense played a poor game for the most part while the offense punched in the performance of a lifetime.

Regardless of Jonathan Gannon’s status, there has to be some serious conversations about how to maximize the out-of-this-world potential held by this group.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum