When Chip Kelly was fired and Philadelphia Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie made it clear Howie Roseman was in control of the roster, most fans were terrified. He’s too hands on, he can’t nail a draft, he’s not, dare I say, a football guy.
Doug Pederson was hired, fans continued to flip out. Then Jim Schwartz was hired as the defensive doordinator and fans flipped out aga.. Wait, almost every single Eagles fan was thrilled. Jim Schwartz is known for his attacking 4-3 defense. Flecther Cox, Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry in a wide-9? We like this move. Then Browns QB coach John Defilippo was hired as QB coach, and Chargers ex-offensive coordinator Frank Reich was hired as offensive coordinator. A strong staff around a rookie head coach is what you want. It started to make sense. Fans felt better. Okay let’s roll.
After the staff was in place, Howie then focused on the roster, and he’s done nothing short of a superb job. He started off by re-signing from within, Zach Ertz got a deal, Lane Johnson got a deal, Vinny Curry got a deal. All players that are entering their prime, all under 27 years old, and all at bargain prices because they didn’t hit free agency. Extending Brent Celek and Malcolm Jenkins were just cherries on top of the cake. The moves made fans feel better about the situation. The Eagles seemed to have a plan and they were executing it.
Free agency comes around and Howie Roseman somehow, some freaking way pulls off a trade to send Byron Maxwell and his contract along with Kiko Alonso to the Miami Dolphins. I can’t explain how ridiculous this trade was. There wasn’t a single beat writer or fan that thought the Eagles would get any type of compensation back for Maxwell and his contract. This isn’t the NBA, players with large contracts aren’t just traded away. It’s a rarity in the NFL. Oh, and the fact that the Eagles moved up 5 spots in the 1st round of this year’s draft while getting rid of Maxwell’s contract is absolute robbery. Thanks, Dolphins.
Howie wasn’t done, though. He then somehow, some freaking way (x2) found a trading partner to take on DeMarco Murray and his large contract. The Tennessee Titans decided to flop 4th round picks with the Eagles. The true compensation for Philadelphia wasn’t moving up in the 4th round, it was getting rid of Murray’s contract. Thanks, Titans.
To put things into perspective, the Eagles getting rid of DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell relieved $84.25 million off the contract books. Factor in the Eagles moved up in the 1st and 4th rounds while doing that. Unreal. Credit Howie Roseman. He deserves your vote in this year’s presidential election. Thanks again, Dolphins and Titans.
Heading into the offseason, everyone knew the Eagles’ biggest need was their offensive line. When free agency opened up, the Eagles made a few splashes. Brandon Brooks, the right guard from the Houston Texans was the top guard in free agency, says head coach Doug Pederson. Eagles landed him.
Other than Brooks, the Eagles have focused on defense and I absolutely love it. Rodney McLeod will be the free safety for the Eagles and Malcolm Jenkins will stay at strong safety. This move is my favorite. Malcolm Jenkins was the NFL’s best safety last year, and it was because he found his niche in playing close to the line of scrimmage. Signing McLeod keeps Jenkins in that similar role. Another thing I loved about the McLeod signing is that Eric Rowe will stay put at cornerback. There was talk he may move to safety, that won’t be the case. Rowe showed a ton of promise in his 1st year at cornerback and I can’t wait to see him in year 2.
Nigel Bradham, Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks, all former Buffalo Bills were signed. Nigel Bradham was the biggest signing of the three. The Eagles needed depth and a potential starting OLB for their new 4-3 scheme. Bradham is just that and played at his highest level when Jim Schwartz was the defensive coordinator of Buffalo. Expect Brooks and McKelvin to compete for starting DB jobs, whether it’s on the outside or at nickel, the depth and having players familiar with the scheme is most important.
Of all the great moves Howie Roseman has made this offseason. The re-signings, the free agent signings, his biggest test is in April. The NFL draft. To Howie’s credit, he has set the Eagles up nicely in the sense that there is not a pressing need the Eagles have to fill. Yes they need a starting guard, yes they need a starting cornerback, but sitting at #8 overall, and also having 9 total picks in the draft, Howie Roseman can enter the draft with a balanced approach, and take the best player available, something he hasn’t been able to do in the past.
The draft is less than two months away and all eyes are on Howie Roseman. He’s passed his mid-terms, but the question is will he pass his final exam? Time will tell.