The blame game is a fickle one. One day, you could be leading a parade down Broad Street. The next? You’re sitting in a corner office in the basement. Literally.
That was the sad-but-true story of what happened to Eagles GM Howie Roseman during the failed Chip Kelly experiment. After delivering the franchise’s first-ever Super Bowl, the highly praised front office executive was deemed a folk hero. Everything he touched seemed to turn to gold. Following a disappointing 1-2 start in 2019, there is a bit of revisionist history going on. It’s not without legitimacy.
As one Eagles blogger pointed out, the Eagles have drafted 39 players since 2014 and those guys have combined to make one Pro Bowl appearance. The one being Carson Wentz in 2017. All these picks were made under Roseman’s watch. All of a sudden, Roseman doesn’t look like the genius he once was.
Let’s take a look at a few of the questionable moves made (and not made) by Roseman.
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Choosing Vinny Curry over Michael Bennett
The Situation: One of the Eagles’ biggest perceived problems heading into 2019 was their limited rotation of edge rushers. It was an issue exacerbated when Roseman decided to trade Michael Bennett to the Patriots in the offseason. Bennett was a force on the Eagles’ defensive line in 2018 and led them with nine sacks. His reward? The Eagles asked him to take a pay cut. Bennett left town. Roseman tried to band-aid the weakened defensive line by bringing back Vinny Curry, a personal favorite player he had drafted back in 2012.
The Result: It’s still a small sample size, only three weeks into the season. However, Bennett has recorded two sacks and two QB hits for New England while Curry has zero sacks and two QB hits. Making matters worse, Bennett has seen less snaps than Curry. Either way, it’s looking more and more like Philadelphia should have written Bennett a bigger check.
Refusing to Trade for Jadeveon Clowney
The Situation: Everyone thought the Eagles were going to pull the trigger on a blockbuster deal for Clowney. The generational talent even came out and lobbied for the Texans to send him to Philadelphia. Roseman balked at the asking price which turned out to be cheap: Seattle only gave up a third-round pick, plus a middling linebacker and defensive end. Clowney was there for the taking, with 30 career sacks, and Roseman said no. Instead, he decided to start the season with a combination of Josh Sweat and Daeshon Hall as the team’s fourth edge rusher.
The Result: It’s way too early to grade this one and Clowney isn’t setting the world on fire in Seattle. He does have one sack, though. Meanwhile, the Eagles have only made Hall active for one game and employed Sweat primarily as a run-stopper more than a pass-rusher. The pair has four tackles total, all of them from Sweat.
Nelson Agholor Not a First-Rounder
The Situation: Agholor’s struggles reached comedic level earlier this week when a local fire hero mocked the receiver in a viral video. It was hilarious and credit the receiver for having fun with it. But the reality is that Agholor has struggled mightily this season, specifically with drops. It seems like no big deal at first until you consider he was the 20th overall pick in 2015. Looking over the guys drafted after him and there are a few that could have helped the Eagles, including defensive end Bud Dupree and cornerback Byron Jones.
The Result: Agholor has been a solid contributor overall as evidenced by his 203 catches for 2,320 yards. He’s been a somewhat reliable option in the slot. Was he worthy of a first-round selection? Probably not. It’s a case made more evident by the Eagles not offering Agholor an extension and drafting a receiver (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) in the second round in 2019.
Bring Jalen Ramsey to Philadelphia Already
The Situation: The disgruntled cornerback is sitting in Jacksonville fighting the flu, whether it’s a real flu or trade flu remains to be seen. Either way, Ramsey wants to be dealt and has gone on record stating his love for Carson Wentz. The Jaguars reportedly want two first-round picks for him. Roseman should have been on the horn closing this deal the minute Ramsey started a fight on the sideline. Draft picks aren’t as valuable as they used to be and the Eagles have shown their scouting abilities are suspect. The Eagles have injuries galore in their secondary; even when healthy, the cornerbacks are pedestrian.
The Result: This situation is fluid and the Eagles are still in the mix to land Ramsey. In fact, there was a report floating out there that the team offered Zach Ertz in a potential package. There is also the grim reality that the Jaguars may decide to keep Ramsey in Jacksonville.
Second-Oldest Roster in the League
The Situation: You just don’t wake up one day and have the second-oldest roster in the NFL. That takes hard work and dedication. The average age has been charted around 26.6, a number that ranks only older than the New England Patriots. Think about their captains and leaders, guys like Malcolm Jenkins (31), Jason Kelce (31), Jason Peters (37), DeSean Jackson (32), Darren Sproles (36) are no spring chickens. It’s paramount to keep injecting the lineup with youth and that means hitting home runs on draft picks. Which Roseman has not done.
The Result: It’s only been two years since Kelce delivered that epic speech on the Rocky steps, yet it feels like an eternity. The core of that team has gotten old really quick and that’s after shedding veterans Torrey Smith, Chris Long and LaGarrette Blount. The franchise is in “win-now mode” and there’s no turning back.