For many of you Philadelphia Eagles fans out there, it’s blasphemous to even put the name ‘Howie Roseman’ and the word ‘credit’ in the same sentence, but before you scroll down to the comments and tell us how little we know about football, let’s take a clear and unbiased look at what Roseman has been able to accomplish this offseason.
Following the firing of Doug Pederson, many were hoping that Roseman would follow him out the door. After the drama-filled 2020 season, fans were clamoring for a fresh start at quarterback, head coach, and general manager. Two of these three wishes were granted, but owner Jeffrey Lurie refused to let go of Roseman.
Howie was challenged with spearheading the rebuild of an organization that looked utterly hopeless in the 2020 season. To his credit, he’s taken the challenge and has put this team in a winning position, not only for this year but for years to come.
The Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz saga and undeniable cap issues.
The Eagles were put in an unwinnable situation with Wentz this offseason. In 2020, he was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL and his four-year/$128 million contract made it tough for the Eagles to find a trade partner.
Roseman had virtually zero leverage due to these two factors but was still able to ship Wentz to Indianapolis for what has the potential to be a first-round pick. Philadelphia may have taken on a record amount of dead cap money, but there was no other way to facilitate a trade. Howie Roseman later manipulated the cap space to get the Eagles back under the cap threshold.
Usually, the cap space for NFL teams increases every year. This is the reason that teams like the Eagles push money down the line and backload contracts. In 2020, however, the pandemic forced the 2021 salary-cap figure to $182.5 million, down more than $15 million from the year before.
Philadelphia was already in a bit of financial trouble and the lowered salary-cap number put them at almost $50 million over the limit.
Through the restructuring of some contracts, Howie Roseman was able to free up enough cap space not only to reach the $182.5 million mark but also to allow the team to sign a few free agents (we’ll get to them in a bit).
Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles nailed the 2021 NFL draft.
The Eagles held the sixth pick in the 2021 draft originally, but traded it to the Dolphins in exchange for a future first-round pick. At the time, it was thought to be a good move for a rebuilding team like the Eagles, and the way that the draft unfolded reinforced this belief.
The main issue that critics had with the trade was that the Eagles would miss out on Kyle Pitts and Ja’Marr Chase. Turns out, the team wouldn’t have been able to draft them with the sixth pick anyway. Atlanta scooped up Pitts at pick four and Chase was selected with the fifth pick.
Prior to the draft, it was reported that the Eagles traded down because they knew that Cincinnati would select Ja’Marr Chase. With Pitts and Chase off the board at pick-six, the Eagles undoubtedly won the trade and essentially stole a future first-round pick.
Then came the selection of DeVonta Smith. Roseman nabbed a draft target from the rival New York Giants and got a Heisman Trophy winner in the process. Not to mention he struck a deal with the Cowboys to do so. Howie Roseman has had some drafting struggles in the past, but give him credit for how he handled this one.
The Philadelphia Eagles have some fresh, high-impact free agents in town.
With limited cap space, Roseman made the most out of his free-agent signings. They’re cheap, one-year deals that bring talent to Philadephia without mortgaging the future of the organization.
Former Vikings Anthony Harris and Eric Wilson will fill positions of need and are familiar with Eagles defensive coordinator Johnathan Gannon. Ryan Kerrigan will provide quality veteran depth to the defensive line, and Joe Flacco will be a great mentor for the young Jalen Hurts.
Going into training camp, the Eagles had one glaring hole: CB2. Darius Slay is a stable CB1, but it was a mystery as to who would play on the opposite side of him. Enter Steven Nelson. Roseman put the cherry on top of an incredible offseason by signing Nelson to a one-year deal with $2.5 million guaranteed.
After a 2020 season that featured turnover at both the franchise quarterback and head coach position, the Eagles are in a serious position to win the division in 2021. They also have potentially three first-round picks in next year’s draft.
Say what you will about Howie Roseman, but he made drastic steps towards getting the Eagles out of the rebuilding phase this offseason. We love to bash him, but it’s time to give him his props.