The NFL is full of talented players that the media showcases in the spotlight. The Eagles aren't lacking in talent or publicity, but on the surface, very few players could really be considered the "Face of the Franchise." NFL.com's Bucky Brooks is taking a look at the "franchise players" for each NFL team this summer and he listed running back LeSean McCoy as that player for the Eagles. He also listed quarterback Nick Foles as the next guy in line for that role.
While those two players are easy to declare "the guys," Eagles fans may look at it in a different way for several reasons. However, is there really anyone else worth considering?
There seems to be a few different attributes that cause players to become "franchise" guys in the NFL. Whether it's playing an important position or being a fan favorite or even having seniority, fans measure importance in different ways.
Below is a list of Eagles that could fit the mold of a "franchise" player:
On The Surface Stars
- LeSean McCoy: He's been to Pro Bowls, has led the league in total touchdowns and rushing yards during his career and has one of the cooler nicknames on the block. McCoy is considered (by most) to be the Eagles best player and it's easy to see why from his body of work. No one would argue against going with McCoy as your "franchise" guy. That said, he does play a position that has constantly been devalued over the last few years and is set to have Darren Sproles lightly cut into his snaps next season.
- Nick Foles: Ideally, your franchise quarterback would also be your franchise player. That said, Foles is still a bit of an enigma wrapped into a statistical trivia question. He had possibly the best year by a quarterback in Eagles history and one of the best in NFL history. However, it has only been one year and there are some that are very skeptical of whether his success can be repeated. Still, Foles is perhaps the most interesting uninteresting quarterback in the NFL and looks to be everything you'd want in a quarterback from an intangibles standpoint. Is he the next Roger Staubach? Business on the field, book club reading off the field...
- Jason Kelce: An offensive lineman as the "franchise" guy? Well, Joe Thomas and Jake Long did it for years with the Browns and Dolphins, respectfully. Kelce is the type of quirky guy that everyone loves and even better, he's a very good player. His beard, speed for his position and overall likable personality make it him a great representative for the franchise.
- Connor Barwin: The former Houston Texan has really made an impression with Eagles fans on-and-off the field. He is a "man of the people" and is really the key to the Eagles defense. A versatile player in his prime, Barwin could fit the mold of a "franchise" guy for the next several years. Also, he pretty much embodies everything that Chip Kelly has talked about since he was hired.
- Brandon Boykin: He was a turnover machine last season and made the defensive play of the year against the Cowboys in the finale. He has made his rounds on NFL Network and other media outlets, while completely being likable on Twitter. He was one of the many talented players from the 2012 NFL Draft.
- Trent Cole: Outside of Todd Herremans (because of draft round), Cole is the longest tenured player on the team. He is one of top pass rushers in Eagles history and may have been the most productive Philadelphia defensive player of the last decade. Fans may have wanted him to move on with the scheme change, but that wasn't necessarily out of disrespect, but because they felt he would be better off elsewhere and make room for another talent. However, he proved that he could play well as an outside linebacker and finished the season strong.
- Brent Celek: It's hard to find a guy on the roster that embodies the spirit of Philadelphia quite like Celek. An underrated pass catcher who has become a top blocker at his position in the league, Celek is tough as nails and is a leader in the locker room. Believe it or not, he has been one of the most productive tight ends in the league since taking over as a starter.
Let's Be Lazy
- Chip Kelly: Is there a guy that represents Kelly's vision more than himself? Kelly, much like Andy Reid, is a coach that really puts his stamp on everything, so it would be an understandable cop out to name him the "Face of the Franchise." Sports science seems fun...
Who do you think is the "Face of the Franchise" for the Eagles?