As we come closer to the free agency period in the NFL, Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman will continue to see more and more of the spotlight. Roseman took a completely different approach to the free agent market in addressing the team’s needs last off-season. After recognizing the faults in the construction of the so-called “dream team” in 2011, the Philadelphia Eagles general manager took his focus off the big named star players. He shifted the evaluations toward elements of team chemistry and found players better suited for their expected roles on the team. The most obvious case was at the cornerback position. They saw pitiful results after the 2011 off-season brought former Eagles cornerbacks Nmandi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (whom they acquired via trade) to Philadelphia. However, last off-season proved to be much more successful with the signings of lesser named Philadelphia Eagles cornerbacks Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher. Both acquisitions worked out in the 2013 season. Fletcher recovered from a slow start to prove himself as a key starter during the Philadelphia Eagles second half hot steak, and Williams brought a tough attitude to a young defense after winning Super Bowl XLVII with the Baltimore Ravens .
The Philadelphia Eagles had a much more successful season in 2013 without any of the 2011 off-season acquisitions. Howie Roseman needs to apply the same approach to the free agent market in March. He figured out a better way to address the need at cornerback, and now he needs to focus on a pass rusher as a priority this off-season. Much of the talk about potential signings will center on Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo or Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, but neither is a particularly good fit for the Eagles. Orakpo will be a top priced free agent, and the Eagles have other needs to address with the money the signing would require. Allen has had great years for the Vikings, but the prime of his career is most likely past him at age 31. A more appropriate target for the Eagles would be Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. Bennett was an undrafted free agent in 2009 who has gradually established himself as a consistent pass rusher in this league. Just as Cary Williams brought the experience of a well-respected Super Bowl winning defense last season, Bennett could do the same after being a key pass rusher for the stingy Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl defense. He could fill the pass rushing void that the Eagles desperately need to fix.