Philadelphia Eagles: Three Things They Must Do To Remain Competitive


Being a competitor in the NFL is not easy. It requires constant evaluation, making the right actions and avoiding mistakes. The Philadelphia Eagles have done a good job with personnel selection and cap-space management, but they need to make a big step forward in order to challenge the top teams.

There are many things the Eagles need to do in order to be one of the best teams next season. I tried to find the three most important steps and here is what I came up with:

1. Re-sign Jeremy Maclin

This issue should have been already addressed, but for some reason, Jeremy Maclin and the Philadelphia Eagles cannot agree to a new contract. Outside of Maclin asking for an eight-digit annual salary, I can’t think of a reason why the two sides have not come to terms.

In 2014, Maclin was by far the best offensive weapon of the Eagles. He finished the season with 85 receptions and 1,318 receiving yards – both are career-highs. Maclin also tied his career-best with 10 receiving touchdowns. Most importantly, the 26-year old receiver looked like he wasn’t slowed down a bit from his ACL injury that sidelined him for the 2013 NFL season.

The Eagles’ other wide receivers on the roster are Riley Cooper, Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff. None of them is ready to take on the role of the No.1 receiver. Re-signing Maclin not only brings back the best player, but also offers continuity at the position – something the Eagles lacked in 2014, when Maclin replaced DeSean Jackson.

2. Sign a dependable cornerback

I think the fans were too harsh on Bradley Fletcher this past season. He is a limited player who has played relatively well if you consider the fact he came to Philadelphia as a middle-of-the-pack cornerback. He and Cary Williams replaced the duo of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and have played better than expected.

That said, it’s obvious that Fletcher (and Williams) is not gonna help the defense get to the next level. He was a good option for a unit in transition from a 4-3 scheme to 3-4, but he cannot cover the league’s best wideouts one-on-one and that is something the Eagles are asking their cornerbacks to do quite often.

As of now, Byron Maxwell, Antonio Cromartie, Chris Culliver and Kareem Jackson are going to be available in free agency. All of them would be an upgrade over Fletcher – at least on paper.

3. Restructure Trent Cole‘s contract

I am a big fan of Trent Cole. He has been a Philadelphia Eagles’ player for ten years now and I’d like to see him retire in a midnight green jersey without ever wearing a different one. However, his performance in the 2014 NFL season does not justify his contract,

Cole is schedule to make a total of $11.625 million in 2015. The Eagles are not a cap-strapped team, but they could use some extra cap space for contract renewals (Maclin?) and to able to go after the best free agent player.

Restructuring Cole’s contract should not be difficult, as Cole himself has said he is willing to re-structure in order to remain with the Birds.

Next: Marcus Mariota Moving Towards The Eagles

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