Let’s keep it simple: the Eagles have been horrible to start the season. They have definitely been playing well these last few weeks, but haven’t been able to get over the hump. Recently, I went into depth on why the Eagles got off to a poor start, but I didn’t go into detail about another cause to our bad start, and that is Howie Roseman.
Howie Roseman is what some might call overrated amongst Eagles fans because of our 2017 Super Bowl run. The truth is, he hasn’t been anything special in Philadelphia, especially when it comes to drafting. Let’s look back at the 2017 NFL Draft: Sidney Jones over Joe Mixon, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Alvin Kamara, Cooper Kupp, and Chris Godwin. Mack Hollins was also taken before George Kittle. Then there’s also 2019: JJ Arcega-Whiteside over DK Metcalf, and Terry McLaurin. Howie’s had his highs and lows when it comes to drafting (he drafted Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Miles Sanders, etc.) but when it comes to his lows, it’s a really tough pill to swallow.
Howie hasn’t dished out the best contracts either, and Alshon Jeffrey is a prime example of that. After winning the Super Bowl, Howie gave Jeffrey a 4 year, $52,000,000 contract. Don’t get me wrong, Jeffrey definitely played well and should’ve been resigned, but he got a massive payday considering his age. It felt like a panic move by Howie. You can also look at DeSean Jackson. Jackson got a 3 year, $27,000,000 contract. This was another large contract considering Jackson was 32 at the time, and he isn’t going to get any younger. Jackson wouldn’t have gotten that same offer elsewhere. These were more of the recent ones. You can dig deep and find names such as Byron Maxwell (6 years, $63M) and DeMarco Murray (4 years, $40M).
Howie has also made controversial moves when it comes to letting players walk into free agency. The first example that hits me is Jordan Hicks. Hicks was a quality linebacker for the Eagles when he was healthy, and Howie didn’t even try to bring him back. Shortly afterward, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals and has been playing very well there.
As of late, it seems like Howie hasn’t had the best relationship with players and personnel. There have been videos revealing arguments between Howie and HC Doug Pederson, star tight end Zach Ertz, and second year receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside.
So how can Howie turn this around?
Well, it starts with trading Alshon Jeffrey, or aggressively pursuing a trade at the least. The Eagles want that contract off their hands ASAP. He can also find Carson Wentz some help. Like last season, there have been dropped balls that Wentz couldn’t have placed better. This leads to my next point:
TRADE ZACH ERTZ. This one is much more controversial but hear me out. Ertz is 29 and doesn’t fit the narrative of ‘getting younger’. He and Wentz have also not been on the same page this season; their chemistry from last season seems lost. Ertz is also nearing the end of his contract, and is going to ask for Kittle/Kelce money when he simply isn’t playing as well as them.
And lastly, get some capable linebackers. The obvious flaw on this defense is the linebacker core. They’ve been a liability and have cost the Eagles games. This could be the best defense in the league but the current crop of linebackers is holding them back.
Although he’s made several impactful moves, Howie has had his fair share of questionable and ‘bad’ ones as well. The credit he earned with the 2017 Super Bowl can only be cashed for so long.