What Is the Next Step for the Philadelphia Eagles?

Jan 3, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (2) takes the field for a game against the Washington Football Team at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After the news broke a few days ago about Carson Wentz being traded, I had a sigh of relief. Over the last 5 years, I have seen Wentz at his highest and lowest. He had a year where he took the league by storm and would have won MVP if it weren’t for a season ending injury. This past year, he had the worst year you could ask for from your starting QB. That is what lead to him being moved. With reports coming out saying he did speak to Doug Pederson for ~10 weeks last season, it was clear there was no way he wanted to be with this franchise moving forward. He also reportedly changed plays at the line frequently in situations they should not have been. A lot of this is speculation. However, I think it is clear Carson Wentz went rogue last season. Now that that era of the Eagles is over, it is time to get into expectations for the future. These expectations are very low with Howie Roseman being GM.

Jalen Hurts

Let this man start util he proves he should not. He is young and exciting. Drafting a QB at 6 in this draft would just set the Eagles up for the same problems this years. I am tired of seeing QB controversies. That is all this team has dealt with since Nick Foles won the Super Bowl in Wentz’s spot. Let a young QB have the helm. Based off of just a few games last season, Hurts looked better than I thought he would. When we drafted him, I was saying I thought he stunk at football. When he is on the field, he felt like a leader. The team was motivated by him. He make the offense much more dynamic. His rookie year he had no mentor. He did not have a veteran who wanted to help him. Wentz refused to help due to the organization drafting him. I would bring in a veteran to back him up. Andy Dalton, Tyrod Taylor, and Jacoby Brissett are all interesting to me. With a new play caller and a full off season working with the team, I could see him surprising a lot of people next year.

Roster Moves

Moving forward, the Eagles need to get younger, and figure out how to get rid of all the bad cap they have. DeSean Jackson was the first player to be cut in a line of dominos I expect to fall. There should be a fair amount of cuts and trades done over the next couple months that should set them up a little better.

Via DraftKings

Trade or Cut Zach Ertz: This has been something that has been in headlines since the last game of the regular season. Ertz also came out publicly talking about how conversations about his contract had gone stale. This had to be expected. He was reportedly looking to get similar money to Travis Kelce (14 mil. APY) and George Kittle (15 mil. APY). This is an insane asking price. He will be 31 in November and is coming off of a terrible season. He looked slow, dropped more than usual, and just was not getting open. It looked as if he gave up. I loved him and have supported him for years, but giving him 13+ million a year when he does not make plays with the ball in his hand is extreme. I would love for him to finish his career here, but now it feels like he is getting greedy. We saw last season that tight ends have become a dying breed. Teams can find a cheap tight end to make a contribution. The Eagles need to get better contracts in the books, not set them back another 3 years. I believe if he is cut or traded after 6/1, it saves the team around 4 million dollars. Teams reportedly interested: Colts, Chargers, Seahawks, Rams.

Cut Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson: This has been heavily expected for a while. Eagles fans have wanted to get rid of Jeffery for years now. It seems like he has been a leak out of the locker room and just a bad teammate. He is old and struggles to get open. Malik Jackson had a great season. I have always really liked him and will be sad to see him go. Both of their contracts are too high to keep. Cox and Hargrave are also on the roster leaving him the odd man out. If his contract was smaller, he would be a great rotational piece. It is hard to keep three great defensive tackles when they are all getting paid over 10 million a season.

Josh Sweat questionable to return vs. Cardinals with wrist injury
Via Eagles Wire

Cut Derek Barnett: This is a move the Eagles have to do. If he was to be cut than the team saves 10 million dollars. He has had a measly 20 sacks in his 4 year career. He has also had trouble staying on the field consistently. It felt like he was on the injury report weekly. Josh Sweat has be incredible and on a small contract. He has had similar production for a quarter of the price. I would love to see Sweat play a starting role on this team. Barnett also feels like a player who has a low football IQ. I have seen him get late hits and jump offsides constantly in his 4 year career. I think it is time to part ways. It is not hard to find a player who can get 4-5 sacks a season for way less money.

Cut Jake Elliot: He has been very inconsistent in his Eagles Career. He has drilled a 60 yard field goal to beat the Giants, but has also missed a ton of chip shots. This move would not be gaining the Eagles money. It would be a negative cap hit of around 2 million dollars. I see this as beneficial. The Eagles need to go out and get someone who can take the free points when they need them. He is a career 82% for field goals and 92% from PAT’s. He is missing around 5 field goals a year and 2-3 PAT’s. I just want to feel confident when a kicker lines up for an easy one.

Cut or restructure Marquise Goodwin: Reports came out this week that the Eagles would like to keep Goodwin if he takes a pay cut. I believe this is what is best for the team. He has a year off so I am hoping this lowers his chance at injury. He is a speed demon even at 30 years old. I see him as a veteran presence who can catch a few deep balls at anytime. He could be a valuable mentor to Reagor.

NFL Draft

This draft gives the Eagles an opportunity to get a superstar player. With the 6th pick as well as adding an extra 2nd from the Colts, there are plenty of chances to add good players. Here are a few players that I would love to see the Eagles add:

Ja’Maar Chase: This is absolutely my first option. I think this kid could be a problem for a long time. He was a huge weapon to Joe Burrow on the LSU Championship team. He had an amazing year before opting out of his Junior season. His numbers were better than Ceedee Lamb and Justin Jefferson in 2019. He would have easily been the first WR taken in that draft if he could come out. He had 84 catches, 1,780 yards, and 20 touchdowns. He reminds me of Odell Beckham Jr. This is best case scenario. He has a great frame for the NFL. Where ever he goes, he is going to be elite. Here are his highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnsYzlesI6o&t=130s

Via San Diego Union-Tribune

Kyle Pitts: I was not very high on this pick until I looked into it. He is considered to have the best hands in the draft. He could create serious mismatches in the NFL. He is quick and has a massive frame. At 6 foot 6 and 240 pounds, he will be too tall for corners and safeties. He will also be too quick for linebackers. This could be an exciting piece next to Reagor and Goadert. With 43 catches, 770 yards and 12 TDs, he was the best TE in college football. He could have been the reason Kyle Trask could be a first round pick. Here are his highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf0L7tkC5GI

Devonta Smith: His numbers speak for themselves. All of the records Chase broke in 2019, Smith broke in 2020. He is a speed demon who was unguardable week in and week out. He had 117 catches, 1862 yards, and 24 touchdowns leading his team to a National Championship. He is the first non QB to win the Heisman Trophy since 2015. Only 2 non QBs have won it in the last 10 years. He looks special. The one issue people have mentioned is his frame. He is listed 175 pounds. That is lighter than I am. Looking at him, his legs and arms look like they could snap at any second. People have mentioned not a lot of players have succeeded with this body type. I can hope he gains weight and this will not impact his NFL career. Some mocks have him top 5, and some have him falling. We will not know until closer tot he draft. Here are his highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDKGBfThEik

As you can see, there is not a single Quarterback on my list. If the Eagles Draft a QB, I will be very disappointed. I do not love Fields enough to draft him. Drafting one at 6 leads to more controversy and makes last years second round pick a complete waste. They have a ton of holes to fill before Quarterback. If Hurts is not the answer then they can figure it out in the next few years. There should be very few other options at this pick unless we trade back.

Free Agency

I see this being a offseason where the Eagles spend as little money as they can. That is if they even have a positive amount of cap space. There have been a lot of reports of the Eagles getting a lot of old Colts. I would love to see the Eagles add few of the ex-Colts. I expect the team to add more role players.

Malik Hooker / S: This is a huge position of need. The Eagles constantly have a hole at Safety. I see his value being fairly low considering his injury history. He would fit in perfectly for the Eagles. Mills was not great last season. The transition from CB was not that smooth for him. The Eagles need more playmakers on the defensive side. They have a new Coordinator so the defense will be much different.

Tavon Wilson / SS: This is another cheap SS the Eagles could have their eyes on. He is not elite by any stretch, but he has to be better than Mills.

Xavier Rhodes / CB: The chances of this seem pretty low. He had a bounce back year for the Colts. Unless he takes a small contract to stay in a familiar system, he likely will not come here. However, if he plays next to Slay, that could be a very solid secondary for the next few years.

De’Vondre Campbell / OLB: He is a very solid linebacker who has put up very strong tackle numbers over the last few years. His last four years his tackles go 92, 93, 129, and 99. That is consistent. He will not be great in the passing game, but as a run stopper he could be excellent. This may also be a stretch with T.J Edwards and Alex Singleton having strong years. They are both weak in the pass game as well.

Johnathan Hankins / DL: He has been solid in his career. The Eagles love Defensive Lineman so they are going to sign depth again. He is expected to sign for around 3 million annually. He would be great to mix in with Cox and Hargrave.

Romeo Okwara / DE: I do not know much about him, but he had 10 sacks last season for the Lions. He was undrafted in 2016 so he is young. He could be another good fill-in player coming off of a hot season.

NFL free agency: Figuring out Chiefs' Sammy Watkins status - Arrowhead Pride
Via Arrowhead Pride

John Ross / WR: I would like to maybe throw a flyer to see if we can find some wort of positive. He has been a complete bust so far. Maybe a change of scenery could benefit him. I expect his value to be extremely low.

Sammy Watkins or AJ Green / WR: These are two outside wideouts I would want us to consider. Watkins is expected to sign for over 10 million which does not seem realistic with his production. AJ Green has also been so average. We saw Higgins and Boyd thrive while he was horrible. He is older so I am hoping to add a veteran presence.

Marlon Mack / Tevin Coleman / Todd Gurley / Mark Ingram / Carlos Hyde / RB: I would love to see the Eagles bring in an older RB to get 5+ carries a game to take some pressure off of Miles Sanders. They could also be a mentor. It has to be the right price. There is no reason to over pay for a backup.

Andy Dalton / Tyrod Taylor / Jacoby Brissett / QB: Like I mentioned earlier, I would love for the Eagles to bring in a solid backup to Jalen Hurts. He wants to succeed so I think the Eagles need to do whatever they can to allow him to.

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