Now that we’ve concluded the player and coach sections of our Eagles outlook series, we’re shifting our attention to Philadelphia’s front office. Executive vice president/general manager Howie Roseman is up for his turn under the microscope. Previously: Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | Offensive tackle | Offensive guard | Center | Defensive end | Defensive tackle | Linebacker | Cornerback | Safety | Specialists | Special teams coverage and return units | Head coach | Defensive coordinator.
Roseman’s 2017 offseason was pretty strong; it earned him NFL Executive of the Year honors in addition to a Super Bowl ring. Roseman’s 2018 offseason was more of a mixed bag, at best. His 2019 offseason? Closer to 2018 than 2017.
For the second year in a row, the Eagles failed to get great production out of their March acquisitions. Malik Jackson and DeSean Jackson were supposed to be important contributors but they both only lasted one game. Injuries are bad luck to some extent, of course, but age is also a factor and Malik was 29 and DeSean was 32. The Eagles cut L.J. Fort after just four games despite giving him nearly $2 million guaranteed. Andrew Sendejo, whose most memorable contribution involved concussing Avonte Maddox, lasted nine games before being waived. Both of these veterans were ultimately released in part due to compensatory pick considerations. Trading for Jordan Howard was one of Roseman’s better offseason moves. For the mere cost of a 2020 sixth-round pick, the Eagles acquired a 24-year-old running back who was leading the team in rushing prior to suffering a season-ending injury in Week 9.
The 2019 NFL Draft saw the Eagles only made five selections for the second year in a row. Trading up for Andre Dillard was important since it gives the Eagles a legitimate succession plan for Jason Peters. Dillard flashed starting potential as a rookie but also allowed the highest pressure rate in the NFL. Miles Sanders was a home run pick as he had a legitimate case for Offensive Rookie of the Year. The book on JJ Arcega-Whiteside’s career isn’t closed but it’s certainly not off to a great start, especially considering how many other wide receivers produced as rookies. Walking away from a loaded defensive line class with Shareef Miller — who isn’t nearly a lock to make the roster in 2020 — wasn’t great. The Clayton Thorson pick was just a total waste of a selection and it was never easy to understand what about his profile led the Eagles to believe he was going to be worthwhile. T.J. Edwards was a solid find in undrafted free agency.
The Eagles’ internal evaluations were also up and down. They were smart to extend Carson Wentz’s contract early as opposed to waiting for the quarterback price tag to go up. Keeping Brandon Graham and preventing Jason Kelce from retiring by extending his deal were smart moves. Re-signing Ronald Darby wasn’t so great. Neither was holding on to Nelson Agholor as the 26th highest paid wide receiver in terms of annual value ($9.4 million). Guaranteeing Alshon Jeffery’s contract for the 2020 season was a huge unforced error that’ll never be easy to comprehend. Re-signing Jordan Matthews and Jay Ajayi during the season ended up being wastes of time as the Eagles only delayed younger, more deserving players (see: Greg Ward and Boston Scott) from emerging.
Overall, I don’t think Roseman made the right moves to adequately help the Eagles in 2019. I know there was a time where we thought he assembled the most talented roster in the NFL but that perception clearly didn’t turn out to be reality. The Eagles ending up with arguably the league’s worst wide receiving corps for the second time in three years was a big issue. It was frustrating to see cornerback still be a big issue as 2017 draft picks Sidney Jones and Rasul Douglas failed to be solutions.
The belief here is that the Eagles making the playoffs had a lot more to do with Doug Pederson coaching his butt off and Wentz elevating his teammates than it did with Roseman setting the team up for success. I’d give Roseman’s 2019 performance a C-.
Roseman obviously isn’t going anywhere; the Eagles signed him to a contract extension through the 2022 season during the summer following the Super Bowl LII win.
While Roseman’s contributions to Philadelphia’s championship victory should always be appreciated, it’s fair to be disappointed with how the team hasn’t been able to maintain their elite status. The Eagles are merely 19-16 (including three postseason games) since hoisting their first Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Looking back even further, the Eagles are 87-73 in the regular season and 4-4 in the playoffs since Roseman was first promoted to general manager in 2010. If you remove 2017, the Eagles are 74-70 in the regular season and 1-4 in the playoffs.
Obviously, one can’t just take out the Super Bowl year when evaluating Roseman. He absolutely deserves credit for that. The question is: to what extent was that season the outlier? Can Roseman get the Eagles back to being one of the best teams in the league?
There’s reason to be skeptical. The Eagles have big needs at wide receiver and cornerback this offseason and Roseman’s track record at those positions is ... not good.
Then again, I do think Roseman’s postmortem press conference following the 2019 season was encouraging. He was honest about how he hasn’t been good enough and he talked about how the team needs to get younger.
The Eagles should avoid being a bad team since Roseman has done well to identify the right head coach and quarterback, two crucial elements to lasting success. He’s also built a strong foundation through the trenches.
But now the pressure is on Roseman to help the Eagles improve. He needs to give Wentz and the coaching staff more help than he has the past two years.
Howie Roseman: Stay or go?
This poll is closed