The offseason has officially begun, needless to say it did not end the way Eagles fans wanted, but in the words of Jason Kelce “Fuck you, Congratulations.”
The Chiefs beat us on the big stage. A lot of things in that game went wrong, but a lot of things went right. For one thing we found a shining star and our Franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future in Jalen Hurts. Hurts at the age of 24 shined bright on the big stage after a career of constant criticism, that he was unflappable in the face of. Hurt was phenomenal, he was the first quarterback to throw for 300+ yards, with 70+ rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns. He stepped up every time his number was called.
We have a lot to look forward to this offseason, but we also have a lot of holes that we are going to need to fill. Shane Steichen has arrived in Indianapolis to accept the Head Coaching job for the Colts. But who will be his replacement? My guess would be QB coach Brian Johnson. Last week during the Super Bowl activities Jalen Hurts was asked about Brian Johnson saying, “He’s going to be a star.” Last year, Brian Johnson was a highly considered candidate for Offensive Coordinator, but with Steichen leaving for the Colts, Brian Johnson is now the prime candidate to take over the offense.
On the other side of the ball we have to ask – will Defensive coordinator Jonathon Gannon get offered the head coaching job for the Arizona Cardinals? If so, will he leave? After the Eagles huge win against the 49ers in the NFC Championship game Gannon had some words about his future with Philadelphia saying – “Philly is keeping me good, bad, or indifferent, I’m staying here.” Adam Schefter reported right before kickoff of the Super Bowl, stating “Add one more candidate to the Cardinals HC Search: Arizona is requesting permission to interview Eagles DC for their head coaching search.” If Jonathon Gannon were to leave, we will see if the Eagles will promote within or look outside to possibly fill the role.
Now we all know Howie Roseman is a genius when it comes to controlling the cap and making things work, however the Birds could be in a tough position when it comes to resigning players. The Eagles have a lot of core players who are upcoming free agents, and with Jalen Hurts looking to get a hefty pay day, it could rule out potential free agents signings.
The Eagles currently have 20 players that are free agents this offseason including:
- Fletcher Cox
- Brandon Graham
- Jason Kelce
- Miles Sanders
- Javon Hargrave
- T.J Edwards
- Isaac Seumalo
- Chauncy Gardner-Johnson
- James Bradberry
GM Howie Roseman is experienced at figuring out the cap and moving salaries to signing bonuses and or moving the base salaries to the following year which would allow for us to sign key players while extending Hurts. While we look at some of the names that are free agents, we all know that we can’t re-sign everyone even if they are an Eagle great. While Fletcher Cox has been an Eagle for 11 years, his production has declined and with a high price tag he carries I believe the Eagles will move on from #91.
Now Brandon Graham has had an amazing year coming off an Achilles injury that sidelined him the season, the 13 year vet recording 11 sacks this year and looked like he didn’t even lose a step. For Graham he too comes with a high price tag and I believe the Eagles move on from the legend and look to add some young talent to fill the spots. For Jason Kelce, his future is all up to him if he wants to come back another year, or if after 12 seasons he hangs up the cleats and becomes a full-time podcaster. Kelce reported during the Super Bowl media day saying that after the Super Bowl he’s going to “Mull retirement.”
While we can’t re-sign everyone, CJ Gardner-Johnson is an absolute neccessity. Right before the season started Howie traded a 5th round pick and two 4th round picks to the Saints for the standout safety. The 25-year-old did not disappoint in his first year with the Eagles as he finished with a career high in tackles and six interceptions which was tied for the most in football. Chauncy Gardner-Johnson is a priority this offseason where reports are that the Eagles will make a “big-push” to keep the 25-year-old in green. With uncertainty around who will be returning next year, we have a lot to look forward to with the upcoming NFL Draft. The Birds have two 1st round draft picks, one of them in the top 10!
As an Eagles fan – the draft in the past has been very upsetting from missing out on Justin Jefferson, DK Metcalf, and others, but Howie Roseman has redeemed himself by finding stars like Goedert, Hurts, and Devonta Smith. When you look back at this Super Bowl run the Eagles built a whole offense through the draft with 10 out of 11 offensive starters being acquired through the draft, compare that to Kansas City Chiefs who only drafted 5 out of 11 of their offensive starters.
The draft is very important and while we look towards the future with two first rounders coming up and six total picks, the Eagles will look to improve the team to make another Super Bowl run. As for whom the Eagles could potentially draft, we are going to have to wait to see what goes down in free agency. Will we keep all our picks? Will there be a trade? For now Howie is the only one who can answer that. As sad as it is to lose a Superbowl, the Eagles future looks bright with QB1 Jalen Hurts behind center for the foreseeable future. Like Hurts said “You either win or you learn” and I believe they are hungry for this! “Rain, sleet, or snow, the Eagles train to go.”