We all know it’s on the horizon. Jalen Hurts knows it, Howie Roseman knows it, and the entire Eagles fanbase knows it. At some point in the next few months, we are likely to see Jalen Hurts put pen to paper on a monster extension. It’s one that the Oklahoma product is more than deserving of and one that the Birds will be more than happy to pay. For Howie Roseman, it’s the years that follow that will be the most important of his life.
Howie Roseman’s next big move
Howie is one of the most cut-throat GM’s in the league. A wheeling and dealing salary cap savant who could talk his way into making any deal happen. He’s pushed the Eagles to not just one, but two Super Bowls in the last five seasons. That feat is even more incredible when you realize just how much chaos he’s had to undo in order for that to become a reality.
We don’t need to go back over the Carson Wentz saga or the never-ending career of Jason Peters to understand how great Howie Roseman is. But there is a simple fact here and it’s not one many of us have ever really had to acknowledge. For the first time in a long time, the Eagles will be going into uncharted waters with the Jalen Hurts extension…if all goes well.
Howie Roseman’s ability to build a competitive team is second-to-none. But if we’re to go deep down memory lane and look at the work that the Eagles GM has done during his reign, one thing becomes inherently clear – he’s yet to prove he can sustain a competitive team with a franchise quarterback on the books. That’s not to say he can’t but building a winning team without a monstrous QB contract on the books is very different to maintaining one when your QB begins swallowing cap space.
Roseman even mentioned this at the NFL owner’s meetings on Monday, per NBC Sports Philadelphia:
“It’s no secret that sometime relatively soon we want to extend our quarterback,” Roseman said. “Our whole kind of roster building is going to turn a little bit here from a quarterback on a rookie deal towards hopefully a quarterback on a long-term deal. Not that we have anything done or anything but that’s obviously our goal, is to keep Jalen here for a long time.”
The good news is that Howie Roseman is clearly aware that the methods used to build a contender differ from those when looking to keep a Super Bowl window open.
The Michael Vick contract was Howie’s first forray into the world of franchise QB’s. He was handed a six-year deal worth $100M as a 31-year-old QB after he guided the Eagles to an 8-3 record in 11 games as a starter, his first real experience in starting since 2006.
It didn’t take long for the wheels to wobble. Injuries and a coaching change ripped the rug from under the feet of the veteran QB and it didn’t take long for Nick Foles to eventually win the starting role.
The Sam Bradford era was an interesting one. Weirdly, it was one of my favorites and I still couldn’t give a logical reason as to why. But the Eagles bullied their way up the draft order following the 2015 season and eventually drafted Carson Wentz, eventually trading Bradford to the Vikings.
The second big quarterback deal Howie handled out was to Chase Daniel.
The second big quarterback deal Howie handed out was to Carson Wentz, and as we all know, that all went down like a cup of cold sick. Without retreading old ground, this pushed us into rebuild number two. Howie finds his next franchise quarterback, builds the team around him again, and now we’re looking to get past this final boss for a third time.
Third time lucky?
The most amazing thing about Howie Roseman is that he’s somehow able to bail himself out of trouble time and time again. No matter the size of the hole, he can scurry out and be ready to try it all over again within a matter of months. But now it feels like the stakes are raised. The City is unanimously behind Jalen Hurts after watching him put on a Super Bowl show for the ages to put the cherry on a truly delicious cake.
We know that Howie Roseman can maneuver the cap in very few can and that he’s come on leaps and bounds as a GM since 2017. What he has to do now is showcase those same talents when the ceiling is pushing down a little bit harder and the room for error becomes marginal.
If the Eagles end up paying Jalen Hurts $45M+ per year, and he can continue to grow in the way everyone anticipates, then Howie’s next challenge will be to do something he’s not yet had the time to prove he can – to sustain a championship roster.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke