Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles Keep Their Birds In Nest


The Philadelphia Eagles are in this for the long haul. Head Coach Chip Kelly and General Manager Howie Roseman are trying to rebuild a franchise that is still licking its wounds from the 2011 free agency splash, where they signed superstars like cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and quarterback Vince Young. That season ended in disaster, as players struggled to settle in Philadelphia and only guard Evan Mathis stands out as a success.

Those moves still act as a cautionary tale for many general managers across the NFL.

If you look at the Philadelphia Eagles this season, Roseman and Kelly are sticking to the plan. They are keeping hold of their own players, signing wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper to new deals and locking up their star left tackle Jason Peters. Waiting until the start of free agency also allowed the Eagles to sign punter Donnie Jones to a long term deal, as he committed to three more years with the Birds.

I strongly believe this is the best approach to free agency. Building through the draft is key to the future of any franchise and free agency should be used to add depth and experience. Look at the Superbowl Champions Seattle Seahawks. Their biggest free agency signings last year were Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett, who added strength and depth to their roster but weren’t huge name deals. The Seahawks built their team over several years through the draft, with solid free agency signings and one or two trades. That is definitely the way to do it.

I’m not saying that the Eagles shouldn’t make a big name signing, providing the benefits definitely outweigh the risk. Howie Roseman got his fingers burnt badly in 2011 and I can’t see him doing it again in a hurry.

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