Eagles with much to gain following the retirement of two franchise legends

Some young and veteran Eagles have huge opportunities ahead of them as Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce settle into retirement.

Dallas Goedert, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Goedert, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, A.J. Brown, Jason Kelce, Philadelphia Eagles / Elsa/GettyImages

What's that phrase? Oh yeah... Next man up! Philadelphia Eagles fans have heard that a time or two (or, they have said it themselves). Normally, we have had to do so after someone has sustained an injury. This time, we're settling into the notion that a day we always knew would come has.

TWO franchise legends, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce are no longer members of the Birds' roster. It's hard to believe but true. We knew they wouldn't play forever, even if it sometimes felt like they could. We never considered they'd retire during the same offseason until about two months ago.

Dang! When you say it out loud, it stings. The next time the Eagles run out of the tunnel for a game, Cox and Kelce won't be with them. Oh well... Next man up.

The only constant in the NFL is change, and change is a coming. Several Eagles have a huge opportunity in front of them.

Here are a handful of Eagles with a ton (and probably the most) to gain following the news of Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce's retirement.

We could go on and on about the need for young guys to step up. We could spend hours discussing Cam Jurgens' potential as he takes over for the G.O.A.T. to anchor Philly's line. This isn't their story though.

We know Cam is next in line for greatness, but some Birds, new and old, may have to grind a little harder. This IS their story. Two legends depart, and several Eagles have much to gain. Let's discuss some of them.

Jordan Mailata

Sometimes guys are punished for playing alongside great teammates. It's almost as if the theory is voters don't want to nominate too many guys from the same team onto the Pro Bowl roster. That's why DeVonta Smith and Jordan Mailata keep getting snubbed.

At the end of the past three seasons, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson have all earned Pro Bowl nominations. Jordan has been left out in the cold despite being one of the NFL's top young offensive tackles.

Now that the G.O.A.T. won't be gobbling up votes, chances are high that Mr. Mailata will receive some well-deserved shine now. Our prediction... The man with the angelic voice lands on the Pro Bowl roster for the first time.

Tyler Steen and Matt Hennessy

The theory is, if Cam Jurgens takes over at center for Jason Kelce, Tyler Steen and Matt Hennessy will compete for the starting right guard spot, That is very reasonable to believe.

Steen played well in his lone start of the campaign last season and jumped on a fumble that may have helped prevent an upset. Hennessy is a new guy, but he's good enough to win a starting job. We'll see how things go as we move toward the regular season.

Any defensive tackle not named Jordan Davis or Jalen Carter

Fletch's departure means we may finally see more of Milton Williams now. Marlon Tuipulotu is also part of serious roster discussions again. Both are suddenly in contract seasons.

Moro Ojomo was basically occupying a roster spot to eliminate the danger of Philly losing him by placing him on their practice squad. Still, he was often a healthy scratch on game days. Here's the thing though.

On the current depth chart with seven defensive tackles, he's only ahead of the low men on the totem pole, Thomas Booker and Noah Elliss. This group has a lot of bodies. Let's hope someone is ready to take the mantle.

Stay tuned. All of this will remain a discussion as we move toward another regular season.

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