Bold predictions for Eagles offseason after Jason Kelce announces return

Jason Kelce #62, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Jason Kelce #62, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Shortly after the clock struck noon EST on the East Coast and teams were allowed to legally tamper, we were given the best news that we have heard all week. Jason Kelce will return to the Philadelphia Eagles for his 13th NFL season.

Let that sink in for a moment. Yes, Fat Batman is back!

Three members of the core four are present and accounted for now. We knew that Lane Johnson was signed through the 2025 season and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2026. It was announced that Brandon Graham would sign a one-year deal that would pay him up to $6 million. Immediately, our inquisitive minds asked questions.

What happens with the core’s fourth member, Fletcher Cox? What might we see happen next? Let’s try and make sense of everything, shall we?

Here are a few dominoes that we believe will fall after Jason Kelce announces he’ll return for a 13th season with the Eagles.

It’s official! Shortly after much of the East Coast took lunch on Monday, Jason Kelce announced his return like a conquering hero, as only he can. The only thing missing was the beer keg.

"I have put much thought into whether it makes sense to play another season. After talking it over with my wife and many other friends and family, I have decided to return for another year. Thank you to all my supporters and detractors for fueling me, I ain’t (expletive) done yet!"

We entered the offseason not knowing what to expect but with a handful of thoughts that were on everyone’s mind. Here’s an attempt to answer a handful with some bold predictions.

Fletcher Cox returns with a discounted price tag… we think.

In 2022, Fletcher Cox enjoyed his best season statistically since 2018, but he’s on the downside of what’s been a great career. It feels like we’ve seen the last of him in an Eagles jersey, but forgive us if we play both sides of the argument here.

What if he stays?

Javon Hargrave is gone now. While we were writing this, Javon Hargrave signed with the San Francisco 49ers. Once Fletch tests the market and learns he doesn’t have as many suitors as he would like (and everyone expects him to take less money), there’s a possibility he’ll determine he wants to remain in Philly.

And, if he agrees to return at a discounted rate, you can best believe the Birds might pounce on that option.

Here’s one more thing to mull over. We thought Fletch was out of here last year. Remember that? The Eagles decided to keep him. At this point, we refuse to believe he’s leaving until we actually see him in another jersey. He’s kind of reached that Jason Peters realm, guys who just hang around too long after Philly got sentimental.

In truth, and to be fair, we wouldn’t mind having him back in a reduced role so long as he isn’t making $14 million. There we go again, huh? This one has us all over the place emotionally.

The Eagles finally take a cornerback in Round 1 of an NFL Draft. They draft linemen with their next two picks at the end of Round 1 and Round 2.

The Eagles have taken three defensive backs in the first round in their history. They never did so before 1980 (Roynell Young). They haven’t done so since 2002 (Lito Sheppard). This time, regardless of what happens with James Bradberry and Darius Slay, they break the jinx.

Howie Roseman values other positions higher than he values defensive backs, but the time is now. There are no young players who are ready to step in and start at cornerback.

Lane Johnson is restructured.

We have mentioned Darius Slay’s contract so often that we have neglected to acknowledge that Lane Johnson’s cap number next season is also hefty. He represents a $15.9 million cap hit in 2025. Let’s hope a restructuring comes and that gives the Eagles more flexibility.

Maybe some of the money is converted into a bonus and that frees up some cash.

Darius Slay is traded, but it doesn’t happen until after the NFL Draft.

It feels like Darius Slay will be traded. Things could change, and we could be wrong. Right now, that’s how it feels though. Here’s the issue.

He’s due so much money this season that it seemingly makes more sense for interested teams to let the first few waves of free agency and the coming NFL Draft play out before they make their move.
Slay will leave, but it won’t be for a while.

Cam Jurgens moves to right guard next season.

Jason Kelce’s announcement comes at the right time. By announcing his return early, the Eagles are better able to create a roadmap for the offseason. Case in point, they can allow Isaac Seumalo to walk in free agency, draft a young interior defensive lineman, and slide Cam Jurgens in at right guard as a starter next season.

Things are getting interesting. Here’s what’s crazy. The new league year hasn’t even started yet.