Chris Burke and Doug Farrar of Sports Illustrated released a rankings of all 32 NFL teams based on their offseason outlook. Burke and Farrar used a five-point scale across four different categories to come up with a total score. Categories include: pending free agents, cap space, amount of draft picks, track record of the GM/front office. The Eagles finished tied for the highest most positive outlook.
8. (tie) Philadelphia Eagles
Breakdown: FAs: 3.5 | Cap: 3.5 | Draft: 3 | GM: 2 | TOTAL: 12
Free agency could sting but not debilitate the Eagles, should they lose the likes of Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Nate Allen and that Michael Vick guy. Fortunately, they look to have $20 million-plus in cap space at their disposal. Howie Roseman did some nice work on the fly last offseason, helping move the roster from Andy Reid to Chip Kelly. But Reid wielded the power during Roseman’s first three years (2010-12), so Philly’s GM still has something to prove. - CB
Pending free agents: The Eagles only have a total of 10 pending free agents. Deciding what to do with wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper is the biggest decision the Eagles have to make. Will they bring both back, only one, or none? Safety Nate Allen could be back with the Eagles, but will likely test the free agent market. DE Cedric Thornton is a lock to be back on a cheap deal since he's an exclusive-rights restricted free agent. Punter Donnie Jones will likely be retained and could be franchise tagged if necessary. Michael Vick has stated he wants to be a starter in the NFL and that won't be in Philadelphia.
Cap Space: The Eagles have the 10th most cap space entering the offseason with about $20M to spend. They are one of four 2013 NFL playoff teams with the most room to spend. The cap situation is in good shape.
Draft: Fairly straightforward: the Eagles have seven draft picks. They own their own picks in every round except the sixth. The Eagles traded their sixth away along with Isaac Sopoaga to New England in exchange for their fifth round selection. In essence, the Eagles jumped up 20+ spots at the cost of getting rid of a player who wasn't in the long term plans anyway. Not a bad deal. The Eagles are not projected to receive a compensation pick this year.
GM: Howie Roseman has been far from perfect in his tenure as Eagles' GM, but the 2013 offseason marked the first time Roseman operated without Andy Reid in the building. The results were a relatively successful offseason: the Eagles free agent class was solid and the draft provided some young talents with potential. Burke's grade of Roseman here seems a little too low. For what it's worth, Roseman earned a 87% approval rating in a January poll run here on BGN.
The Eagles' NFC East opponents didn't rank so highly. The Redskins (16th) lack their first round draft pick at No. 2 overall due to the Robert Griffin III trade. The Giants (T-24th) have a whopping 22 players set to hit free agency. Not to mention they're paying Eli Manning, who's coming off an absolutely abysmal year, $20.4 million. Almost last, and certainly least, were the Dallas Cowboys (31). The Cowboys currently have the least amount of cap space in the league at -$24 million. Long live Jerry Jones.
Another strong offseason for the Eagles will go a long way in helping build off the success of the 2013 season.
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