There has been no shortage of opinion about the current state of the Philadelphia Eagles. General manager Howie Roseman has constructed an aging roster devoid of much young talent. Worse yet, the Pro Bowl players they do employ — Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, Zach Ertz, Darius Slay — may need to be traded to free up money.
It’s a sad situation as the Eagles are projected to be around $71 million in salary cap debt, per Over The Cap, and the average age on the roster was 26 coming out of training camp. The blame should go on Roseman’s shoulders but team owner Jeffrey Lurie has been very clear that it’s not his fault. He believes the cap numbers can be manipulated and better drafts lie ahead.
It’s not an opinion many share with Lurie, though. Former Eagles and Raiders fullback Jon Ritchie was a guest on The Herd with Colin Cowherd and blasted Roseman for his personnel decisions. He sees a long rebuild on the horizon as the Eagles attempt to turn over a “bottom five” roster in the NFL.
“This roster is bottom five in the NFL, if you ask me,” said Ritchie, a Philly sports talker on SportsRadio 94WIP. “We’re in the second-worst cap predicament in the NFL so some of the guys that are good are going to have to go because the Eagles aren’t going to be able to pay ’em.”
Ritchie went on to say that no one knows who is calling the shots in the front office. There are reports that Lurie himself has been making draft picks (for example, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside) and sometimes overriding his general manager and scouting department. It’s a mess, according to Ritchie.
“This is a bad roster and the parts that are good are old,” Ritchie said. “It’s a sad state of affairs because, again, we are being run into the ground by the mathlete Howie Roseman.”
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Lurie Putting Full Trust in Roseman on Rebuild
There is so much goodwill built up in the organization for Roseman that not only will the embattled general manager help oversee the coaching search, he’ll lead the entire rebuild. The Eagles haven’t drafted a Pro Bowl player since 2013 under his watch. Let that sink in.
The Eagles own the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft — everyone wants Alabama receiver Devonta Smith, but might have to settle for LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase — and cannot miss on it. This is the most important draft pick since they took Wentz second overall in 2016.
“That’s something we have to hit on, the 6th pick in the draft, in a huge, huge way, and I think that we have the right people to do that,” Roseman told reporters on Jan. 4. “I know that we’re going to be incredibly focused on not only that pick, but the other picks we’ll have in this draft and hopefully we’ll have a bunch of picks and we’ll go from there.”
Lurie, for better or worse and by his own admission, has promised to stay out the football operations and let Roseman run the show.
“You never want to micromanage, and I’m very, very sensitive to that,” Lurie said. “You’ve got to trust the people around you, and first bring in the right people around you, and then trust them.”
Smith’s Performance Raised Draft Stock Too High
Eagles Twitter turned into an Alabama booster club meeting on Monday night every time Smith made a spectacular play. He earned Offensive MVP honors in the national championship game after recording 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns — in the first half alone.
The Heisman Trophy winner was expected to be available when the Eagles selected at No. 6, but the performance all but guaranteed he’ll go to the Miami Dolphins at No. 3. That didn’t stop the Philly faithful from hyping him up and creating graphics of Smith wearing midnight green. Maybe he’ll slip down to the Eagles. Then again, they might decide to pass even if he did.