The 2018 season is right around the corner but for this post we’ll be looking beyond this year entirely. NFL insider Jason La Canfora dropped some interesting notes about Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas in a recent column.
Eagles personnel executive Joe Douglas has become a very hot name in NFL circles and Roseman made a very shrewd move in landing the former Bears and Ravens evaluator. Douglas has reached back with great success in helping steer the team to several Ravens players he knew from his time there (Timmy Jernigan, Torrey Smith, and now, Mike Wallace, Haloti Ngagta and Kamar Aiken) and he has been a strong sounding board for the general manager. Expect him to be a hot name come January and the inevitable GM openings elsewhere and at the top of many lists. He has been a part of three Super Bowl teams and his time is now (or, in January/February, more to the point).
The fact that Douglas is a hot commodity is not a shocker. He already drew some attention as a GM candidate earlier this year. That buzz will only intensify if the Eagles continue to do well.
With the Eagles extending Howie Roseman’s contract through 2022, Douglas’ ceiling in Philadelphia is capped. Roseman isn’t about to lose or give up final say when it comes to player personnel decisions.
When the Eagles first hired Douglas, there was a lot of talk about how he was such a key addition to the organization. Lately, however, it seems like the public praising of him has cooled off. Look at this exchange during Jeffrey Lurie’s press conference on Sunday evening.
Q. Speaking of everyone, Vice President of Player Personnel Joe Douglas, he’s not part of these extensions?
JEFFREY LURIE: Joe is an important member of our player personnel staff. I won’t talk about anyone else’s contract today, but Joe is a valued member of our staff and contributes as do many, many people that never get written about.
Instead of taking the time to really talk up Douglas, Lurie merely lumped him in with a big group of unspecified people. That’s interesting.
Perhaps the Eagles don’t want to publicly heap praise on Douglas because they feel like doing so would only increase the chances of losing him. Or maybe there’s another reason.
The Eagles can always try to offer Douglas a lot of money to stay in his current role. There’s no salary cap when it comes to paying front office executives. But Douglas might ultimately want to be the one calling the shots.
Losing Douglas certainly wouldn’t be ideal. While it’s impossible for us to fully parse credit (and blame), he’s had noticeable influence in personnel decisions. He seems like the perfect “Football Guy” with extensive scouting experience to pair with Roseman’s shrewd ability to manage the cap situation and get good value in trades. With Douglas around, the Eagles are considered to have one of the best personnel departments in the league.
Here's the exciting news for Eagles fans-- They've built the best scouting department in the NFL. They are going to keep adding to this talent base.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) January 22, 2018
If/when Douglas does leave, it sounds like there’s a possibility he might take Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz with him. From La Canfora:
Some around the league were surprised Schwartz did not generate more head coaching buzz and interviews last year. The Lions former head coach will get another shot at some point and – with his roots going deep back into the Ravens organization as Douglas’ do – you wonder if they may be an intriguing package deal to some owner looking to reshape his franchise in 2019. Regardless, another strong season from this Eagles defense and I can’t imagine Schwartz not being in a strong position to be a head coach again. Alas, with winning comes the inevitable departure of key components, and not just off the playing roster.
From everything I’ve heard, Schwartz definitely still has head coaching aspirations. Offensive coaches are way more trendy in today’s NFL but it’s always possible some team out there gives Schwartz a second chance.
Losing Douglas and/or Schwartz isn’t something the Eagles will have to worry about until 2019 rolls around. In the meantime, the possibility of losing them serves as a reminder that it’s important for the Eagles to capitalize on the window they have in front of them.