January 11, 2017
Over the last three weeks, we've taken a look at the Eagles' players and staff, determining if we think they should stay or go in 2017. In our final installment, we'll take a look at the man who will actually make those decisions, Howie Roseman.
In case you missed our previous player and coaching staff previews:
Quarterbacks | Running backs | Wide receivers | Tight ends
Offensive tackles | Guards | Centers | Defensive ends | Defensive tackles
Outside linebackers | Inside linebackers | Cornerbacks | Safeties | Specialists
Doug Pederson | Jim Schwartz
Roseman is very clearly not going anywhere in 2017, obviously, but there are a number of different ways you can look at whether or not he should. If you look at his body of work as a whole since he became general manager in 2010, it's not pretty. There is certainly a good argument to be made that Roseman should not have been re-hired to the position after the demise of Chip Kelly (or even kept around after Kelly temporarily won a power struggle between the two).
However, if you look what Roseman has done over the last year, there has been more good than bad. Let's recap his eventful first season back in charge:
• Signed Zach Ertz to five-year deal worth $42.5 million: Numbers-wise, Ertz turned it on down the stretch, offering hope for "next season," as he did in 2014 and 2015, but he has not yet put together a good, complete season from Week 1 to Week 17 in the pros. He is the sixth-highest paid tight end in the NFL, mainly on potential. In my view, this was paying for potential. I don't like those deals.
• Signed Brent Celek to a three-year deal worth $13 million: This was more of a pay cut than a contract extension that freed up money last offseason.
• Signed Lane Johnson to a five-year deal worth $56.25 million: Johnson is the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL, by a mile. He's probably also the best right tackle in the NFL. At some point, Johnson will take over for Jason Peters at left tackle, which is really what he was paid to be. However, the Eagles will likely pay Johnson "left tackle money" to play right tackle for at least two years.
• Signed Vinny Curry to a five-year deal worth $46.2 million: Like the Ertz deal, the Eagles paid Curry on potential, in this case, to a far worse degree. This contract is looking like a massive mistake.
• Signed Malcolm Jenkins to a four-year deal worth $35 million: The Eagles locked up one of the cornerstones of their defense.
• Signed Sam Bradford to a two-year deal worth $36 million: This was a "bridge quarterback" deal that made sense for a team that wanted to stay reasonably competitive while it clearly had its sights set on some other (at the time unknown) long-term option at quarterback.
• Signed Leodis McKelvin to a two-year deal worth $6.2 million: McKelvin was surely one of the "band-aids" Roseman spoke about in his postseason press conference.
• Traded DeMarco Murray and a fourth-round pick to the Titans for their fourth-round pick: Murray was third in the NFL with 1287 rushing yards for Tennessee, which has led some to wonder what he would have been in Doug Pederson's offense. Don't bother. Murray dogged it in 2015 as he clearly did not want to be in Philadelphia, and was a locker room cancer. He had to go.
• Eagles trade Byron Maxwell, Kiko Alonso, and the 13th-overall pick for the 8th-overall pick: While Maxwell and Alonso played well for Miami this year, they were both busts in Philly. Roseman was able to dump Maxwell's bad contract and a player Jim Schwartz didn't want for the right to move up from 13 to 8 in the 2016 NFL Draft.
• Signed Rodney McLeod to a five-year deal worth $35 million: McLeod had some bad moments down the stretch, but he is a good starting safety in a league that lacks quality safety play.
• Signed Brandon Brooks to a five-year deal worth $40 million: Brooks will be remembered this season for missing two games due to anxiety, however, he had a very good season and significantly upgraded the RG spot.
• Signed Nigel Bradham to a two-year deal worth $7 million: Bradham turned out to be a bargain, playing well alongside Jordan Hicks, although he did have two "dumbass" arrests.
• Signed Ron Brooks to a three-year deal worth $5.5 million: Again, "band-aid."
• Signed Chase Daniel to a three-year deal worth $21 million: There's value in what Daniel's "second set of eyes" did for Carson Wentz in his rookie season, but he was wildly overpaid.
• Signed Nolan Carroll to a one-year deal worth $2.36 million: Aaaaand cornerback band-aid No. 3.
• Signed Rueben Randle, Chris Givens, and T.J. Graham: Roseman took a "half-measure" approach to the wide receiver position in free agency, when he signed this trio, hoping that one of the three could shake off previous disappointing seasons with their original teams and begin to live up to their potential in a new environment. Nope.
• Signed Stefen Wisniewski to a one-year deal worth $1.51 million: Another band-aid, although one who provided decent enough backup play after the Eagles suffered some injuries along their OL.
• Acquired a first-round pick (No. 2 overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2017 from the Cleveland Browns in exchange for a 2016 first-round pick (No. 8 overall), a 2016 third-round pick, a 2016 fourth-round pick, a 2017 first-round pick and a 2018 second-round pick: This, along with the move from 13th overall to eighth overall, is what Roseman can rightfully hang his hat on, as his wheeling and dealing netted Carson Wentz.
• Drafted Wentz, Isaac Seumalo, Wendell Smallwood, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Blake Countess, Jalen Mills, Alex McAlister, and Joe Walker: If we're projecting forward, the Eagles found their starting quarterback, starting (eventual) center, a complementary back, a potentially good reserve swing tackle, a slot corner, and a backup linebacker / special teams contributor. That's a pretty nice haul, especially with no second-round pick.
• Signed Fletcher Cox to a six-year deal worth $102.6 million: That's a lot of money, but this is a deal that had to get done.
• Traded Dennis Kelly for Dorial Green-Beckham: They didn't give up much, and they didn't get much in return.
• Signed Stephen Tulloch to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million: This was a waste of $2.5 million.
• Traded QB Sam Bradford to Minnesota for a first-round pick in 2017 and a fourth-round pick in 2018: Amazing trade. No other way to put it.
• Traded Eric Rowe for a fourth round pick in 2018: This pick can become a third-round pick if Rowe plays at least 50 percent of the Patriots' defensive snaps in 2017. Yes, Rowe is better than Carroll, McKelvin, or Mills. However, Jim Schwartz didn't want Rowe, and his value would have only plummeted further if he rode the bench or played poorly in the Eagles' scheme.
• Signed Jon Dorenbos, Chris Maragos, and Donnie Jones to contract extensions: No. 1 special teams unit in the NFL keeps three major contributors.
On the whole, Roseman was hit and miss on his signings. However, his draft class appears to be good so far, and the deals to land Wentz, while recouping a first-round pick for Bradford were some combination of lucky and masterful.
Green = Stay
Orange = No need to release before training camp, but ideally the Eagles will have found an upgrade
Red = Go