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Eagles will not use the franchise tag on Nick Foles (and more takeaways from Howie Roseman)

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Philadelphia’s Super Bowl MVP will enter free agency.

Houston Texans v Philadelphia Eagles Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

We’re just a day away from draft prospects undergoing the gauntlet of medical tests, on-field drills and media availability at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine, and Eagles GM Howie Roseman took the podium on Wednesday to discuss the focus for the team this offseason.

Nick Foles will become a free agent

Howie said that they’ve spent a lot of time talking within the organization and with Nick Foles and they’ve decided to let the quarterback become a free agent — opposed to tagging him ahead of the deadline.

He said a lot went into that decision, noting that he’s been incredibly valuable to the organization and have had a lot of success with him when he’s had to step up, but he deserves a team to lead a team — a goal of Foles’ — and they feel like it’s the right decision. Roseman said it was a tough decision but they felt it was the right thing to do.

Howie also said that they have a lot of confidence in Nate Sudfeld, who has had a great opportunity to learn from two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He also noted that this will be a big year and big opportunity for Sudfeld.

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On the Carson Wentz article

Howie opened with a question about the Carson Wentz report from PhillyVoice and he noted that they know who the quarterback is and what kind of leader he is, and that a lot of players during free agency have wanted to come to Philly specifically to play with him.

“None of that is any issues to us. We’re incredibly extremely excited about having him as our quarterback and excited about this season.”

On age of the offensive line

Roseman pointed out that one of the team’s priorities will always be the strength of the offensive line. Regarding the age of certain players like Jason Peters and Jason Kelce and whether they are eyeing retirement, Howie said those are conversations they keep in-house because it’s important for the players to know they can have honest talks without it getting out.

On Peters, Howie said that he’s a freak of nature and a first-ballot hall of famer, so the standard rules for aging lineman don’t necessarily apply to him.

He later talked about some of the young guys they have and are developing, including Matt Pryor, noting it’s important to give those players an opportunity to learn and grow. Howie said the coaches do a great job of getting them ready but it’s their job to keep adding talent at those position because they are so important.

On the emotion of the franchise

Howie talked about how emotion plays a big factor into some of the personnel decisions they make because owner Jeff Lurie and head coach Doug Pederson lead that way, and they’ll be that kind of team while this leadership is in place. He said that it’s tough in the current culture of the league to keep guys for the duration of their careers, but they do a lot of objective and subjective evaluation to help make those tough decisions a little easier.

He later talked about how all the young players on the roster that are still under contract are evaluated in terms of extending and keeping them, and that doing so is a priority. But, at the same time, his goal is to improve the football team.

No news on the future for Darren Sproles...yet

Roseman talked again about how they like to keep those conversations private until a specific player is ready to make or announce their decision, and specifically noted that he had no update on Darren Sproles. He did later say that he doesn’t know what team wouldn’t want Sproles on their roster.

They like Nelly but no updates there

Howie talked about how Nelson Agholor has been extremely productive for the team, and it’s always great when a draft pick works out in that way. He noted that the receiver has a specific skill set and continues to grow.

Howie plans to be aggressive this offseason

He noted that he always expects the team to be aggressive, that’s just who they are, and they know that with that comes some risk. But if there’s an opportunity to improve the team they are going to try and take it, and they will try to avoid using the cap situation as an excuse to limit their options. They have to be smart about.