The Eagles have 20 pending free agents, here are 5 reasons not to worry

PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 14: Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman is pictured prior to the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Philadelphia Eagles on October 14, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of decisions to make in free agency, 20, in fact. But just because there is a large pool of players waiting to dive into the open market, it doesn’t necessarily bring doom and gloom to the City of Brotherly love. Here are 4 reasons not to press the panic button just yet.

Are the Eagles really losing 20 players integral to their future success?

If we break down the list of pending free agents, it’s easy to split them into three tiers – players the Eagles should probably: keep, remain impartial, let go.

Fletcher CoxLet go
Robert QuinnImpartial/Let go
Brandon GrahamKeep/Impartial
Javon HargraveKeep/Impartial
Jason KelceKeep/Impartial
James BradberryKeep/Impartial
Isaac SeumaloKeep
Andre DillardLet go
Kyzir WhiteKeep/Impartial
T.J EdwardsKeep
Ndamukong SuhLet go
Linval JosephLet go
Boston ScottKeep
Zach PascalImpartial
Miles SandersLet go
Rick LovatoImpartial
Chauncey Gardner-JohnsonLet go (heartbreakingly)
Tyree JacksonImpartial
Marcus EppsKeep
Gardner MinshewImpartial

I’m not here to debate this table. If you disagree, and you’re bound to, that’s fine. But if we’re critical and take emotions out, we should at least be able to see that there are valid reasons to let most of these players go, with the lone exceptions being key role players, young players with a high upside, or cheap starters.

Suddenly, this list isn’t that intimidating. Losing a third of your roster sounds scary, but if those players can be replaced through more free agents and an NFL Draft conveyor belt, it’s not that bad.

What’s even more interesting is that the names in bold (7 of 20) were all acquired in 2022. Why does that matter?

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El-Plan was a huge success

Howie Roseman saw an opportunity in 2022. With the easiest schedule in all of football, the esteemed GM sought to not only build around his star in the making at quarterback, but utilize all of his assets to go all in on an opportunity to get to the Super Bowl.

James Bradberry, Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, A.J Brown. These are just three of the names who were aggressively acquired by the Eagles in what felt like a never-ending run of snapping up young talent. The goodbyes were always going to come because it’s impossible to retain that many good, young players. But that wasn’t why they were signed.

The Eagles made the Super Bowl. Linval Joseph, Ndamukong Suh, Robert Quinn were all signed as key depth pieces to stop the bleeding below the starters on the defensive line and create a lethal rotation. The Eagles put up 70 sacks and ran rampant for most of the year.

Howie Roseman’s gameplan was never to stockpile young talent for years to come. That’s El-Plan 1b…

El-Plan 1b

May I present to you the Philadelphia Eagles War Chest:

1st round, pick #10

1st round, pick #30

2nd round, pick #62

3rd round, pick #94

7th round x2 (exact spots TBD)

There is a good chance that at least three of these players, if the picks are spent in that way, will be impact-makers on day one. There is also a chance that the Eagles could mortgage one of their first-rounders to move back and acquire more picks. They already maintain a top-10 selection, there’s no reason they couldn’t drop back into the second-round and pick up some more ammo.

So if we expect the Eagles to allow at least 10 free agents to walk and select 3 players who could make an impact on day one, that leaves 7 spots on the depth chart to be filled by either free agents, through a trade, or simply by those deeper down the depth chart.

The youthful core remains unchanged

Howie Roseman has done a simply brilliant job at building a young core of players who are not already at a starting level, but have numerous years left on their rookie deals, giving them huge upside as far as development cost goes.

Nakobe Dean22
Reed Blankenship22
Jordan Davis23
Kenny Gainwell23
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson (free agent this offseason)23
Cam Jurgens23
Milton Williams23
Landon Dickerson24
Jalen Hurts24
DeVonta Smith24
A.J Brown (Signed extension)25
Jordan Mailata25
Miles Sanders (free agent this offseason)25
Josh Sweat25
Kyzir White (free agent this offseason)25
Avonte Maddox26

The core of the Eagles offense isn’t going to change drastically because the heart and soul of it is under contract for at least three more years and the ceiling is very high. On defense, there is bound to be some turnover, but there are a couple of key stalwarts to build around and a couple of first-round picks that can be used to do exactly that.

Howie Roseman’s decision-making has been cerebral

It feels like only yesterday that fans were worried about Howie Roseman’s emotional attachment to players. The Jason Peters saga was a prime example and it wasn’t an isolated incident. Since then, we’ve seen a more aggressive GM who is able to cast emotions aside.

That trait is probably why Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is likely on the way out. The safety market looks to be crashing and if there is ever a GM who is wary of overpaying, he resides in Philadelphia.

Roseman isn’t going to jeopardize the trajectory of the team just to retain one player he has an affinity for. For better or worse, it’s that kind of ruthlessness that will ensure the Eagles stay in Super Bowl contention.

Photo by John Jones/Icon Sportswire