by John Kincade
I had a listener this morning send me an email informing me that I was being premature in my critique of the recent events of the Eagles off season. I will quote his critique exactly. “You can’t criticize Howie Roseman for his moves so far in the free agency period because we don’t know how this is all going to work out! You need to just relax!” I informed Steven that though I completely agree with him that it’s too early to judge the final product, you can’t wait to offer an opinion on what happens in the process. The only reason you would be completely supportive of every decision is if you were on the team payroll. My opinion clearly was stated. I would give this off season no better than a rating of good. I disagree with a few of the choices. That doesn’t mean that I won’t give the overall off season plan a far better review. I’m hoping that will be the case. Here are my current issues;
THE SUNSHINE BOYS WERE ALL RETAINED
I’m never going to embrace as a good thing giving out contracts to players towards the end of their careers. The Eagles have fallen prey to nostalgia tours in the past. They are dangerously close to doing that once again. The choices of some of who were retained seems to have a fondness towards celebrating past accomplishments.
BRANDON GRAHAM – at $6M he may end up being a huge bargain. Having him end his career as the all time games played leader for the Eagles is worth the investment. He’s a fantastic leader and team community ambassador. That said, he had his career year last year. To say that was the anomaly is not an exaggeration. What are the odds he repeats it?
Verdict: I would have made that investment.
JASON KELCE – at $14M retaining the best center in football was certainly a market value signing. He was at the top of his game last year and various analysts believed he had his best season last year. Like with Graham, what are the odds he repeats that? An incredible force of nature, he may be the most beloved Eagle ever.
Verdict: I would have loved to have seen him lower his asking price as it’s his last season, but he offered no hometown discount. The Eagles could have used one. I still would have made that investment.
FLETCHER COX – at $10M this was the most shocking signing of them all. I don’t believe the Jets had a blank check offer waiting for him. The Eagles believed it was necessary to bring him back at a big number.
Verdict: I would never have made this investment.
CORNERBACKS – The decision to retain both Darius Slay and James Bradberry gives the Eagles one of the best but oldest starting cornerback duos in the NFL. Though that was an effective plan this season, both players will not be ascending as they head deeper into their 30’s.
Verdict: I would have decided to move on from one of the cornerbacks and drafted a replacement for the other.
I’ll give a final judgment on this off season once the roster is finalized. Right now, I would have gone in a younger direction. Here is hoping that age won’t become the factor that holds the Eagles back from a return visit to the Super Bowl in the 2023 season!