Looking Back: The Eagles Two Year Plan to Home Field Advantage
When Howie Roseman got demoted (with a raise from Jeffrey Lurie) to a glorified equipment manager and salary cap chief under Chip Kelley, very few would have predicted him being an executive of the year candidate a few years later. News broke this morning that the Eagles had signed Alshon Jeffrey to a four-year, $52 million dollar contract with $27 million in guarantees. Subsequent to Kelly’s ouster, Roseman was placed back in his former position as Executive Vice President of Football Operations and de facto General Manager for the franchise. He then went on a “lessons learned”, good to great tour, meeting with executives across both sports and private sector industries, knowing that the old way of doing things would only lead to perpetual mediocrity. Fast forward to the present, the Eagles are 10-1 and currently hold the number one seed in the NFC. They are heading into a big matchup with the Seattle Seahawks in Sunday Night Football this weekend and boast a nine game winning streak. Roseman has made moves to put the Eagles in this position today, albeit probably ahead of the schedule he, Lurie and Don Smolenski (President) envisioned as they embarked on their plan after Kelley’s ouster. Think about what the Eagles front office has done in just two short years:
Hired Doug Pederson as Head Coach (2016)
Brilliantly maneuvered from the 13th to the 2nd pick to select Carson Wentz in the 2016 draft
Signed Brandon Brooks and Rodney Mcleod during the 2016 offseason
Signed Torrey Smith, Alshon Jeffrey, Patrick Robinson, Corey Graham, Chris Long and traded for Tim Jernigan in the 2017 free agency period
Traded Jordan Matthews and a third round pick for corner Ronald Darby before the start of the 2017 regular season
Drafted Derrick Barnett, Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and Mack Hollins in the 2017 NFL Draft
Signed UDFA Corey Clement from Wisconsin
Traded a fourth round pick to Miami for Jay Ajayi on October 31st
Resigned both Jernigan and Jeffrey’s to mulit-year extensions
The moves have resulted in the Eagles bolstering an impressive front seven on defense, an ever improving secondary, a top five offense and a three-headed running attack with Ajayi, LeGarrette Blount and Clement. They are considered the favorite to come out of the NFC and considered one of the most complete teams in football. The Eagles have some test over the next couple of weeks in games with the Seahawks and then the Los Angeles Rams the following week that represents a matchup of the number one (Jared Goff) and number two (Wentz) picks in the 2016 draft.
This Eagles team seems mature beyond its years, but is nowhere near a finished product. The next several weeks (including playoffs) will tell us a lot about how good this team really is, but the work that Roseman has done cannot be overlooked. The Eagles are poised to be a perennial contender for years to come as a result of a young nucleus balanced with some savvy veterans. The sky appears to be the limit.