Now that we’ve finished our Eagles position review and coaching staff performance series, let’s turn our attention to Philadelphia’s front office. Today we’ll be evaluating EVP of football operations and de facto general manager Howie Roseman.
REVIEW: Roseman’s strong 2017 offseason earned him NFL Executive of the Year and the Eagles’ first Super Bowl title. That performance was always going to be a tough act to follow and, sure enough, it was.
Whereas Roseman pushed all the right buttons on 2017 free agent signings (Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount, Patrick Robinson, etc.), that wasn’t the case in 2018. Corey Nelson received guaranteed money and didn’t even make the team. Mike Wallace didn’t even record a single catch. Haloti Ngata didn’t offer any real impact. Re-signing Nigel Bradham to a team-friendly deal was the right call but it’s not like he stood out much last season, either.
One thing Roseman did do well in free agency was to let guys like Beau Allen, Patrick Robinson, and Trey Burton walk. They probably couldn’t afford to keep them anyway but still, overpaying them wasn’t the right call. Now the Eagles will reap the benefits of compensatory picks for letting them sign elsewhere.
Roseman’s best offseason acquisition was Michael Bennett. For the mere cost of Marcus Johnson and a 2018 fifth-round pick, the Eagles received Bennett AND a 2018 seventh-round selection from Seattle. That proved to be straight up robbery as Bennett finished the season with nine sacks and 30 quarterback hits.
Some would argue Roseman’s best overall “move” was to not trade Nick Foles. The Eagles decided to hold on to their Super Bowl MVP and it proved to be the right call in terms of maximizing the 2018 season. Foles came in for an injured Carson Wentz and helped the Eagles almost advance to the NFC Championship Game for the second year in a row. One can question if keeping Foles was the best move for the long-term, as now the Eagles could potentially see him walk in free agency without receiving compensation in return. But the short-term value of keeping Foles certainly wasn’t insignificant.
The Eagles only ended up making five picks in the 2018 NFL Draft after having limited ammo to work with. Roseman did a good job of trading down from No. 32 overall to gain Baltimore’s second-round selection in 2019. The Eagles then took Dallas Goedert and Avonte Maddox with their first two picks. As rookies, both of those players showed promise that’s worth getting excited about moving forward. Josh Sweat, Matt Pryor, and Jordan Mailata offer long-term upside. Josh Adams, who led the team in rushing, was a solid pickup as an undrafted rookie free agent.
Roseman and his pro scouting staff deserve credit for some quality in-season signings that took place in 2018. Adding Treyvon Hester to the roster helped shore up the Eagles’ defensive tackle depth and, much more importantly, actually win a playoff game thanks to his fingertips. Claiming Cre’Von LeBlanc on waivers turned out to be very smart as he settled in nicely to the Eagles’ nickel corner spot. LeBlanc could easily be the starter there again in 2019. Bringing Jordan Matthews back as a role-player also proved helpful.
The in-season personnel moves were not all good. The biggest failure was the Golden Tate trade. He had a big impact in the Eagles’ Wild Card win, yeah, but adding him to the team hurt the offense for a significant stretch of the season. Adding Tate prompted the Eagles to get away from their 12 personnel package, which was more effective than their 11 personnel looks.
Some other Roseman criticisms, which are admittedly minor, involve keeping Chance Warmack on the roster to play seven snaps when they could’ve traded him for a conditional seventh-round pick to save $1.65 million. Guaranteeing Markus Wheaton’s contract for the entire season just so he could play a few snaps in Week 1 was also a weird move. Giving up a 2019 seventh-round pick for Deiondre’ Hall probably wasn’t the best use of resources. It’s clear that these missteps aren’t catastrophic but ideally you want an executive who works the margins better than this.
Overall, Roseman’s 2018 performance was a mixed bag. I think I’d give him a C+ or a B-. The Eagles could really benefit from his having a stronger offseason this year. The pressure is on as he has a lot of tough decisions to make.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles signed Roseman (and Doug Pederson) to contract extensions that run through the 2022 season. Howie isn’t going anywhere. The more interesting question is: how much longer will Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas remain in Philly? Douglas got some GM candidate buzz last year but really didn’t receive any this year. Teams could look to hire Douglas away should the Eagles have success again in 2019.
Howie Roseman: Stay or go?
This poll is closed