After attempting another playoff run, Nick Foles seemed to turn back into a pumpkin. Though this Cinderella story may not have had as happy an ending as it did in Super Bowl LII, it was still better than people expected after the second consecutive year of losing starting QB Carson Wentz to an injury late in the season. Though the year may have been over, the work wasn’t done for the front office, and the dog days commenced. A playoff game won, another season done; let’s see how they shaped up this offseason.
Philadelphia shaped up pretty well in FA this offseason, losing very little in the form of star players. The real lowlight for Eagles fans was when they announced they were shipping off DE Michael Bennett to the New England Patriots in order to trade up from the 7th round of this year’s draft to the 5th. Call it what you may, but for them to ship off a player of Bennett’s caliber for pennies on the dollar is telling.
Their WR core may look a little different next year as well, seeing as they allowed Golden Tate and Jordan Matthews to walk (to the Giants and 49ers, respectively). G Stefen Wisniewski announced his release on Twitter and is still a free agent at the time of this article. LB Jordan Hicks also chose to leave for a sunnier (literally) sands as he signed with the Cardinals.
The last significant loss for this Eagles team lies in Jacksonville, where Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles chose to make his mark (a 4-year, $88-million one, at that). Though losing a back-up QB may not seem like a big deal to most NFL fans, Foles’ absence may be felt if Wentz cannot stay healthy for a full season.
The Eagles also released S Chris Maragos and waived CB Elie Bouka.
This team may not have signed many free agents, but they re-signed just about everyone they could. Extensions/new contracts were granted to S Andrew Sendejo DT Malik Jackson, LT Jason Peters, C Jason Kelce, OL Isaac Seumelo, K Jake Elliott, LS Rick Lovato, and DE Brandon Graham, locking down nearly every position of strength for the next 1-3 seasons.
Philly may have lost some depth, but they made up for it quickly, trading for former Eagles WR DeSean Jackson, costing them only a 2019 6th-rounder, and returning them a 2020 7th. This familiar face will be welcomed with open arms, though he isn’t the only trade worth paying attention to. Addressing the need for some RB depth, they acquired RB Jordan Howard from the Chicago Bears for only a 2020 6th-round pick, though it can be optioned into a 5th-rounder.
The Eagles traded up in the 1st round of the draft to snag OT Andre Dillard, a potential anchor for a line that has seen a good deal of consistency anyway, securing what may be the best offensive line in the entire league. 2nd-round WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside looks to give the Eagles a little wiggle space in the receiving room and RB Miles Sanders provides a youthful spark to the run game.
The future replacement for Bennett was brought in with the 138th pick in the form of DE Shareef Miller.
All in all, there’s not much to say, except “Well done, Philadelphia”. It was indeed, bringing back everyone they could, and drafting what they needed. The best o-line in the NFL looks to protect an improved passing game, and the Eagles may well have what it takes to return Carson Wentz to MVP form. The run game has been bolstered and the only place they look slightly worse off is the pass-rush. A masterful offseason executed by GM Howie Roseman, and a season to look forward to.
If the Eagles can keep Wentz healthy, they may well take the whole thing this season. Expect them to compete for an NFC title alongside their best-in-the-East ranking, as they only have to compete with the Cowboys within their division. A round 1 bye is within reach and another playoff win is almost expected at this point. 10-6 seems to be the floor for this Philadelphia team, who can look forward to fighting for the #1 seed in the NFC alongside the Rams, Bears, Saints, and the rest. Fly, Eagles, fly.