Finally, the Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason can begin.
Let’s jump into it with the Monday Morning Touchdown.
1) Sam Bradford
This was the move that really should have been done first, but I’ll give Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman credit when it’s due, and in this case, it is. The signing of quarterback Sam Bradford was the right move, the necessary move, and it can open the door to all other moves.
A two-year deal is absolutely perfect. It gives the Eagles stability in the short term, knowing who their quarterback will (hopefully) be in 2016 (and even 2017). If Bradford plays well, he and the Eagles will want to continue the relationship and an extension will be easy. Quarterbacks, unlike guys at other positions, don’t like the change teams that often.
If Bradford doesn’t play well, or is injured again, the short deal allows the Eagles to move beyond him quickly.
2) Setting the board
Signing Bradford also allows the Eagles to move forward with other offseason priorities. It’s hard to know how you’re going to approach things like free agency or the draft if there is a huge question mark at the most important position on the field.
This is where I’ll lob more criticism at Roseman. Taking so long to get this deal done had to put the Eagles behind in their offseason planning. There are no guarantees until a guy signs on the line, so even if the Birds believed a deal would eventually get done, they would have had to spend time considering other options. That was a tremendous waste of resources.
3) Pinching pennies
As the great Les Bowen points out in this piece, the Eagles have backed themselves into quite the corner with the salary cap.
I disagree, however, with Bowen’s (and other’s) argument that the Birds’ salary cap hell is thanks to Chip Kelly. Sorry, but while we might look back on the Byron Maxwell deal as lousy now (and, who knows, with a new defensive coordinator that could change), you really couldn’t argue with the signing at the time.
What you can argue with is the intelligence of signing Lane Johnson, Vinny Curry, Zach Ertz, etc., to top-dollar deals. Those moves are Roseman moves, and those moves are what will haunt the Eagles for the next few years.
4) Free agency
The Eagles are going to have to make some small, smart moves to fill holes in the roster. They can and should begin on the offensive line, with guys like Jahri Evans, a guard who has most recently been with the New Orleans Saints. Some would say to stay away from Evans, preferring to get young talent rather than a veteran like Evans.
I couldn’t disagree more. If the Eagles are going to have success, Sam Bradford needs to stay on his feet. Draft and develop some guys, yes, but in the meantime if you can get guys like Evans, grab them.
5) Fletcher Cox
By the way, the one guy the Eagles have who actually deserves a new contract still doesn’t have one.
This is the stuff that makes me scratch my head. Are the Eagles going to let Thurmond, who was probably one of the biggest Chip Kelly-regime successes, walk?
If they do that, the motivation would have to be money. Maybe signing Curry to a massive extension wasn’t such a super smart idea.
- Some coach from Atlanta asked a college prospect if he liked men. In 2016, this is question for draft prospects. Simply amazing.
- If DeMarco Murray had looked like he was giving his best effort at any point last season, I might care whether he wants to be in Philadelphia. But until Murray looks like he cares when he’s on the field, what’s the point?