Saturday Keystone: Howie Roseman. Building A Winner

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Nov 11, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman prior to playing the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field. The Cowboys defeated the Eagles 38-23. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Building a winner.  A week of optimism.    A tide of positives.  The Philadelphia Eagles are building a champion, one player signing at a time.  The signings are not coming in one at a time, but rather in a tidal wave, swelling the sports news beaches with a wave of news about the Philadelphia Eagles .  At the crest of the wave of this week’s signings, the team’s General Manager, Howard “Howie” Roseman pauses to take a breath.   It was a good week by any measure.   A week ago, the Philadelphia Eagles were facing challenges in the off season:   two wide receivers poised to enter free agency had already been reported garnering interest from a number of NFL teams; offensive linemen who were instrumental in making Chip Kelly’s first season a success were on the last year of their contract; and the Eagles had remained quiet, measuring their words and negotiations.  At the center of the storm sat Howie Roseman – the man with stroke.    A week is plenty of time for the lightning pace of this Eagles front office.  Simply stated, the keystone to the front office is Howie.

The first word trickled in – star left tackle Jason Peters had been signed to a multi-year extension.   The timing was calculated.   Peters is the anchor of the Eagles offensive line, and the anchor of the off-season moves.   And soon to follow, the Birds announced the extension of center Jason Kelce and resigning wide receiver Riley Cooper.   Both players were inked to multi-year deals that were neither too high nor too low.   Still another name, a player the fans awaited, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin, was not among them.   Mixed information continued to pour in – they were talking; they were discussing a one-year or a multi-year deal; Maclin wanted to stay.  Some discounted the information, some held fast on the belief.   On Friday, February 28, 2014, the announcement was made.  Jeremy Maclin signed on for one year to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.   Chip Kelly trained the Eagles offense to become a winner, and it was up to Howie to keep the offense together.  On February 28, it a manner that would make even “Mister Phelps” happy, mission impossible became possible.

In the week ending February 28, 2014, Howie ensured that the offense which carried the Philadelphia Eagles into the playoffs would remain intact.   And with the return of Maclin, whose ACL injury forced him to the sidelines for the 2013 season, the team would be even more dangerous than the second ranked offense of the NFL from 2013.  In a week,  Howie  had pulled off nearly the impossible – he made the Eagles better.  A team whose offense had set franchise records, whose quarterback’s jersey was shipped off to the hall of fame, just got better.      This is before the draft.   This is before free agency.     This is just the beginning.

Howie Roseman wants it this way.   A man who has no fear of  “The Deal”, he is a unique combination of splash and substance.   Perhaps its the fact that he is the youngest GM in the NFL, at the mere age of 38.   Perhaps its the lawyer in him, having acquired his JD from Fordham Law School in New York.  Perhaps it was his rapid rise while working alongside Andy Reid, former head coach and rather astute man of NFL personnel decisions.    Perhaps its his willingness to remain content in his role, and surround himself with some of the best scouting and personnel talent in the NFL.   Whatever the cause, the effects are admirable.   The Eagles are routinely one of the teams with a favorable position in regards to the salary cap.    And it is that very positive salary  position which allows the Eagles to sign veterans to extensions and resign key personnel.    This week was no accident, nor a random stroke of luck.   The Birds were able to sign their players because Howie minded the store.

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