Last year Howie Roseman loaded up at QB. That is the most important position in football and he was tired of seeing the Eagles not having enough talent or quality depth at that position. Roseman spent big to re-sign Sam Bradford. He then spent big to add Chase Daniel in free agency. Roseman worked his way up from pick 13 to number 2 overall so the Eagles could add a true franchise QB in Carson Wentz.
Some people were critical of the moves. That was a lot of money and resources to pour into one spot, even QB. Roseman felt different. He looked around the league and saw that it was the haves and the have nots. You either have a QB or you don’t. That sounds obvious, but look at a team like the Jets that keeps trying to find a QB, but won’t aggressively solve the problem. They’re stuck with a bunch of question marks or wasted picks.
Roseman’s aggressive moves ended up paying off for the Eagles. He traded Bradford for 1st and 4th round picks when the Vikings were desperate due to injury. Daniel helped teach his new team coach Doug Pederson’s offense. Daniel also helped develop Wentz. It’s hard to quantify the value of that.
One thing that hurt Wentz last year was inconsistent OL play. The original starting line was fine, but things changed when Lane Johnson left for his suspension. His replacement, Big V, got hurt and missed time. LG Allen Barbre missed 4 starts. RG Brandon Brooks missed a couple of starts. The Eagles used 5 different players at RT. I’ve never heard of something like that.
The inconsistent line play hurt Wentz and the Eagles. With Wentz being such a valuable commodity, Roseman decided to spend a lot of resources on the OL. The Eagles flirted with trading Allen Barbre, but decided against that. They considered cutting Jason Kelce, but now have decided against that. They signed Chance Warmack and re-signed Wiz to improve the depth of the interior of the OL.
Part of the thinking has to do with money. The Eagles have loaded up on O-linemen, but the deals are reasonable. Look at some of the deals given out this year.
OG Kevin Zeitler – 5 years, $60M
RT Riley Reiff – 5 years, $58.75M
LT Matt Kalil – 5 years, $55M
OG Ron Leary – 4 years, $36M
LT Andrew Whitworth – 3 years, $34M
C J.C. Tretter – 3 years, $16.75M
That is crazy money. And not all of those guys are good players. Kalil has been a mess at times.
Brandon Brooks seems cheap at $7.2M this year. Barbre is making $1.95M. That’s peanuts. Kelce at $6.2M is reasonable in context. Warmack is slated to cost $1.51M, which is cheap. Wiz can make up to $3M per year.
The Eagles are prepared to keep their deep OL together. If the right offer comes along, Roseman has the flexibility to make a deal, just like he did last year with Bradford. I’m not saying that some team will give up anything serious for someone like Barbre or Kelce, but the right offer might pry them away. The Eagles won’t be cutting Kelce or Barbre. After looking at the draft class and the free agent market, they decided to keep their guys and build up the OL. The Eagles are in a position of strength in an area where many NFL teams struggle.
Roseman now has a good situation. He can go into the season with the deepest OL in the league or he can entertain trade offers. But he’s not going out and shopping his guys. Teams are going to have to come to him.
The Eagles have flexibility up front. Not many teams are that lucky. We’ll see how this plays out over the next few months.
— michael crawford (@abukari) December 21, 2016
The report about the Eagles offering Malcolm Jenkins for Brandin Cooks seems like total BS https://t.co/m3VdvERVBD
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) March 12, 2017
The Saints leaked a report that the Eagles offered Malcolm Jenkins, a 3rd and a 4th for WR Brandin Cooks. I cannot see the Eagles making this as a serious offer. I guess it is possible they threw various scenarios at the Saints to get an idea what the trade would really take, but even then it is hard to imagine the Eagles would mention Jenkins. The defense struggled last year when he went from S to the slot and Jaylen Watkins took his place. I don’t think that’s a guy you want to move, even for a really talented young receiver.
Plus, Jenkins is a team leader and a high character guy. The Eagles just had to cut Connor Barwin. I don’t know that they would want to get rid of Jenkins at the same time. Losing MJ would hurt them on and off the field.
This offseason, I’m not trusting anything we’re hearing out of New Orleans.
Quick draft update.
Per source, UW CB Sidney Jones tore his Achilles tendon at UW pro day today. Recovery time 6 months.
— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) March 12, 2017
Jones was a legitimate possibility for the Eagles at pick 14. This hurts, but the good news is that this is a deep group of CBs so there will be others to target. Still, you hate to lose such a talented prospect, and of course you feel terrible for the young man. His future looked incredibly bright until yesterday afternoon. Now there is a lot of mystery about when he’ll be drafted and how he’ll play.
A lot of people are saying the Eagles should draft Jones in the 2nd or 3rd round. Let him recover for a year or half a year. Then you might have a steal on your hands.
That sounds good, but recent “redshirt” picks have not worked out so well. SF took several guys like this and it really hurt that team. RB Marcus Lattimore is done with football. Tank Carradine has one career start and 4 sacks. The Eagles used a mid-round pick on Jack Ikegwuonu, who had torn his ACL. He never got back his pre-injury form. The Eagles used a 5th round pick on Cornelius Ingram, who had a torn ACL. He re-tore it in the NFL and lost his dynamic athleticism.
There are some cases where this works, but I don’t think the Eagles should take Jones unless they feel very strongly that he’ll make a good recovery. If the Eagles were coming of a 3 or 4-win season and had a long way to go, it might be worth the risk. I don’t think the Eagles are that far away from being a good team so they should focus on players who can contribute sooner rather than later.