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8 Eagles takeaways from Howie Roseman’s NFL Combine press conference

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Hear from Eagles’ de facto GM.

NFL: Super LII Champions-Philadelphia Eagles Celebration Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman spoke at the 2018 NFL Combine on Wednesday. Here are the biggest takeaways from what he had to say.

Carson Wentz timetable currently doesn’t exist

Right now, a timetable is not where we’re at. Those guys, as a whole — our team doesn’t come back until April 16th. We’ve got a long way until we start training camp. So we’re kinda not going to get into the day-by-day, incremental. There’s no more harder worker, no more determined person than Carson Wentz. We’re just goign to make sure we take care of him and do the right things by him.

Reports indicate Wentz could be ready by Week 1 but the team isn’t willing to put a timetable on the franchise quarterback’s ACL recovery just yet.

A Nick Foles trade was not ruled out

You know, we’re trying to keep as many good players as possible and you’re talking about a Super Bowl MVP. He’s been unbelievably successful for us. He’s got great character, great leadership.

That [quarterback] room is exactly what we’re looking for. We have a franchise quarterback. We have a Super Bowl MVP. We have a young quarterback that we’re excited about as well. That’s kind of how we’re looking at it as we get started in the offseason.

We’ve got a lot of areas that we have to address. We’re getting started a little bit behind all these other teams. We know in this league if we don’t get to work and get serious about this, we’re going to get our butt kicked.

When specifically asked a second time if the Eagles are willing to trade Foles, Roseman once again said: “Our intention is to keep all of our good players.”

I don’t doubt that the Eagles really like their quarterback room as currently constructed. But I didn’t exactly hear Roseman shut down any speculation the Eagles could trade Foles.

Given the way Roseman operates, I think he would really love to get value for Foles considering it would save cap space and land the Eagles some more draft pick(s).

The Eagles really like Nate Sudfeld

Yeah, I put this in a Nate Sudfeld category that doesn’t have to do with Carson or Nick. I don’t want it taken out of context.

Nate Sudfeld has got a tremendous skill set. Not only to potentially be a No. 2 in this league, but we think he’s got upside to develop into a starter. Incredibly smart, athletic. Good frame. Can make all the throws. All you have to do is ask some of our defensive players [facing him when he was playing] on the scout team.

We’re excited about him. Even more excited to see him with a full offseason, with our coaching staff, in our offseason program and then through training camp.

Some assume the Eagles automatically won’t trade Foles because it’s unclear if Wentz will be ready for Week 1. The mistake in doing that is treating Nate Sudfeld like a non-factor. He’s not just some camp arm. He’s clearly a guy the Eagles like.

Think back to how the Eagles promoted him to their 53-man roster when the Colts tried to poach him from their practice squad.

Think back to what former Eagles quarterback coach John DeFilippo said about Sudfeld after he took the Vikings’ offensive coordinator job.

“Carson and Nick are excellent, but I’m telling you there is a reason why the Eagles held on to Nate, and that’s because he’s going to be a really, really good football player. Why do you think other teams wanted him? Against the Dallas [starters], Nate played fantastic. That kid is going to be a really, really good football player. He’s a really good football player right now. But I am telling you, that kid has a chance to be a really good football player.

Think back to this nugget that former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah dropped on Twitter.

Roseman said the Eagles feel like Sudfeld has starting potential. If they are truly confident in him, Foles is expendable.

Jason Peters isn’t going anywhere

Jason Peters is a Hall of Fame player. I think the most amazing thing about Jason is that every year people ask about his age, ask about him. And he continues to defy the odds. And when you go back and look at our season and you look at his reps, he was dominant. He wasn’t just good, he was dominant.

One of the unsung stories of our season was that group of six guys [on injured reserve] who were in the training room every day. And instead of sulking about their role on the team, they were out there encouraging their position groups, working as hard as possible. Even the week of the Super Bowl, those guys were all working their ass off to get back. They have a chip on their shoulder and we can’t wait to see what they have in store for them.

[...]

When we’re talking about Jason Peters, we’re not just talking about any guy. We’re talking about a Hall of Fame, transcendent talent who can continue to play at a tremendously high level.

JP isn’t going anywhere. I’ve said it time and time again: he’s on a similar tier as Brian Dawkins in terms of how much he’s respected in this organization.

Doug Pederson already committed to Peters as his left tackle in 2018 earlier this month. He’s the guy.

Brandon Graham’s desires are known

Brandon Graham is an unbelievable player. An unbelievable person. Everyone wants more money. That’s the nature of every business that you’re in. He certainly deserves the opportunity to get more. We love having him here. We hope he’s able to finish his career as an Eagle. We’ve got a great relationship with Brandon and his agent. In terms of specifics, we’re going to keep contract talks in house.

During the season, it was reported that Graham and the Eagles are working on a contract extension. Then it was reported that Graham was “pushing back” on the Eagles’ efforts to re-sign him. After the season, Graham went on NBCS Philly and made his desires for a new contract known.

Graham is set to be a free agent after the 2018 season. Graham, who turns 30 in April, likely wanted to be paid as one of the NFL’s top pass rushers. This could be a tricky situation for the Eagles to navigate but the feeling here is they need to do their best to keep him around. Graham’s strip-sack on Tom Brady was arguably the biggest play in Eagles franchise history since it virtually secured their first Super Bowl win.

Also, if any defensive end is getting moved, it should be Vinny Curry and not BLG.

The Eagles aren’t fretting their cap space situation

Yeah, we’re not on short sale right now. We’re very comfortable with our roster and our flexibility to make moves that we have to make. That doesn’t mean we’re in as good of a situation as a lot of these teams in the league. There’s a lot of cap room out there. There’s teams with a ton of cap room.

But we are not going to make decisions, we are not going to get rid of good players because of our cap situation. And that responsibility starts with me in making sure we’re able to keep guys and sign good players and we’re not just doing things because of the cap situation.

The Eagles are currently $8 million over the cap. That number will shrink once the Top 51 rule goes into effect when NFL free agency starts. Still, the Eagles will have some important decisions to make when it comes to freeing up salary.

Click here to see some move the Eagles could make to gain more cap space.

Eagles want to bring Nigel Bradham back

We’d like to bring them all back. At the same time, we have to figure out whether that fits into our overall scheme and our system. We’d love to bring them all back. We’d love to bring Nigel back. But obviously everything is going to depend on where that is [money wise].

In terms of [Jordan Hicks], we have tremendous confidence in Jordan. He’s going a great job [of rehabbing]. He’s overcome these [serious injuries] before and come back strong and has the skill-set to be able to do that.

Roseman said the Eagles hope to retain all their good free agents, but he specifically said they do want to bring Nigel Bradham back.

He should be Philadelphia’s top priority when it comes to re-signing their own free agents.

The 2018 NFL Draft is strong at some of the Eagles’ positions of need

“Yeah, I think that from our perspective, again, you look at the running backs. Great class of running backs here. Really excited to see those guys work out. Maybe when you look at the tight end class, [it’s] a little deeper. Maybe a little lighter along the defensive line then it’s been in the past couple years. Offensive line took a jump again this year. And then the safety class is really strong. Excited to get to know a lot of these guys more here this week.”

Running back could be a need depending on how the Eagles feel about Jay Ajayi, who will be a free agent after 2018, as a long-term fixture.

Tight end is definitely a need when it comes to depth. Brent Celek could retire or be a cap casualty. Trey Burton is likely going to leave in free agency.

Defensive line isn’t an immediate need for the Eagles, but it would behoove them to better their defensive tackle depth with Beau Allen potentially leaving.

I’m assuming Roseman means offensive line took a jump forward this year compared to a class that was considered weak in 2017. The Eagles could really afford to draft a tackle this year.

Safety is an underrated need for the Eagles considering Corey Graham is a free agent and there’s no sure-fire No. 3 behind starters Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. It would be ideal for the Eagles to get a safety who can begin his career as a backup/role-player and then eventually take over as a starter in the future.

Interesting that there was no mention of linebacker, either way. That’s certainly a position of need for the Eagles whether Bradham is re-signed or not.


Watch Roseman’s entire press conference in the video below via the Bleeding Green Nation Facebook page (click here if you can’t see it).

Howie Roseman - Live from The Combine

Posted by Bleeding Green Nation: For Philadelphia Eagles Fans on Wednesday, February 28, 2018