Then there’s the realization that many contracts will be needing long-term extensions, highlighted unquestionably (pending performance) by quarterback Nick Foles. Many others, including Reuben Frank, have said it, but if Foles can duplicate or even come within the ballpark of what he did last year, he’ll be one of the higher (if not highest) paid quarterbacks in the league…should the Eagles be able to afford him. Other contracts to keep an eye on after next season are nickel cornerback Brandon Boykin, inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks (who needs to show more for an extension to be warranted, in my opinion), and defensive end Fletcher Cox. Linebacker Brandon Graham (five-year rookie contract) and safety Nate Allen (re-signed to a one-year deal), the Eagles’ first and second round picks in 2010, are also due to hit the free-agent market at that time and have questionable chance at being retained as of now.
It’s clear that the Eagles have a lot on their plate, so at least they have a wealth of draft choices to offset the amount of fan-favorites they’ll have to chase out of town, right? Not so. The team only has six draft choices this year, a pick in every round except for the sixth. With the Eagles needing every bit of help they can get on the defensive side of the ball, it’s difficult to get excited when it feels like the team is apparently looking to create offensive deficiencies as well. It’s necessary, though. There’s no way to sustain the roster in its current form long-term, and it could very well mean that guard Todd Herremans, tight end Brent Celek, inside linebacker DeMeco Ryans and Trent Cole could all be entering the twilight of their Eagles careers (not including the possible Jackson move, and the Mathis situation) even if it does mean a lot of jerseys are relegated to basement storage.
It makes sense why the Eagles didn’t attack Jairus Byrd in free-agency. Despite the plethora of special team-oriented signings(who do add value, no question), the Philadelphia Eagles are setting up for the inevitable point where the roster will need a complete makeover. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, as masterful as he has been with keeping the Eagles away from the dreaded red area of the cap, is about to face his biggest challenge yet. Can he steer the Eagles through a roster overhaul and build a team catered to head coach Chip Kelly’s specifications without denting the car? Buckle up, because we’re about to find out.
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