ALMOST a month ago I nearly put out an article saying how much I was looking forward to Howie Roseman returning to the role of General Manager. But it was early and so I didn’t want to jump the gun. I’m glad I waited, because right now, I have some seriously mixed feelings about the job he’s done so far. Before I get into giving the world my two cents, I think it’s important that we go over the facts to make sure we’re all on the same page.
It’s important to get rid of players that are bad apples, players who don’t fit your scheme, or players who are no longer productive. We started off by shedding WR Riley Cooper who’s productivity has always been questionable at best, and who was clearly not worth the weight of his contract. Soon after followed ILB DeMeco Ryans who was not only a bad fit for the 4-3 system we’re implementing, but who would have also been in the way of budding star Jordan Hicks. Ryans contract was simply too heavy to sit him at that price. These moves made sense. If anyone can find the fault in them, I’d be interested to hear it. Logic however says these cuts deserve a top grade. (A)
RETAINED FREE AGENTS:
Before you reward a stranger for things he hasn’t done for you, it’s pretty smart to reward the guys you drafted who have performed well. RT Lane Johnson‘s durability and consistency were worth rewarding. TE Zach Ertz has improved his production every year of his career so far. You reward that. DE Vinny Curry‘s production has consistently out-paced starters on this team. TE Brent Celek has been a good soldier for this city since the day he got here. SS Malcolm Jenkins is a leader on and off the field. You reward those things. QB Sam Bradford had half of a good year. You rew- Wait. Hold on. The guy puts up pedestrian numbers in a high powered offensive system and it makes him worth bring back? Especially now that he’ll be back to running a more traditional system, which he’s been mediocre at over his whole career. 5 out of 6 equals an 83. (B)
We gave away ILB Kiko Alonso and CB Byron Maxwell to move up five spots in the 1st round of this Draft. Yes that move clears cap space, but it also widened our hole at LB without getting much in overall return. The move up is to get what? A QB? There is no franchise QB in this Draft. Granted, some of these guys look better than the other guys, but you wouldn’t put any of them against Andrew Luck the year he came out. You wouldn’t put them against Cam Newton, or Eli Manning the year they came out either. This years QB crop is far from great, so moving up to get one would be stupid. Oh yeah! We also gave away RB DeMarco Murray to swap 4th round picks with the Titans. So instead of a depth and a 1-2 punch at RB, we now have to cross our fingers that when RB Ryan Mathews gets injured again (and he always does), it won’t be for too many games. We got hosed twice. (F)
SIGNED FREE AGENTS:
At the time that this is being written (4:28am 3/10/16) the Eagles have so far added FS Rodney McLeod, CB Ron Brooks, OLB Nigel Bradham, QB Chase Daniels, and G Brandon Brooks. This is largely a shrug inducing list. (Though I’ve been big on Bradham for years now. In fact I was hoping that we’d get to draft him.) Bradham’s experience with the system run by Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz should help the team right from the get-go. From what I hear McLeod is pretty good too. Ron Brooks and Daniels are career back-ups, and finesse blocker Brandon Brooks offers us nothing that Allen Barbre wasn’t already giving us. Which was clearly not enough. Given that by the time you read this, we could have signed two more guys, I won’t put a grade on this section. But let me tell you, it wouldn’t be a high grade if I did put one on it. (-)
On the whole, we’re no stronger than we were the day Chip Kelly came to work and saw Jeff Lurie throwing his shit out of a second story window. I mean just look at the talent we added or lost, position by position.
QB – We’re no better
RB – We’re less talented
WR – No better
TE – No better
OT – No better
G – No better
C – No better
(Defensive grades are not adjusted for the new system. This is just about player talent.)
DE – No better
DT – No better
OLB – Clearly better
MLB – No better (We had Hicks last year)
SS – No better
FS – Questionable (Thurmond was very good for us last year)
CB – Less talented
So far our 7-9 team has gone backwards in terms of talent. For that we can (SO FAR) only blame Roseman. That being said, this is a highly fluid situation and a couple of moves one way or the other could stand the whole thing on it’s ear. Still, I’m glad I waited on that article.