After previously ranking NFL head coaches, Rotoworld’s Pat Daughtery is back with his annual general manager rankings. This activity is typically pretty fair and insightful so definitely go read the entire article.
4. Howie Roseman, Eagles
A roster that had won playoff games with its backup quarterback in back-to-back years finally reached January with its starter. Then he got hurt again. It was that kind of year — again — in Philadelphia, but even “those kinds of years” have produced postseason appearances under Howie Roseman. Only one other team the entire decade, the 2011 Texans, won a playoff game with its backup quarterback. Roseman has accumulated depth even as it has been lacking in a few critical areas. Try as he might, Roseman can never seem to find enough cornerbacks or wide receivers. He aggressively addressed both this offseason, taking Darius Slay off of Matt Patricia’s hands before spending a first-round pick on Jalen Reagor. Roseman added three other wideouts, joining a hopefully healthy DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. Despite a steady stream of bad injury luck since December 2017, the Eagles keep winning games — one of them Super Bowl LII — and making the playoffs. If Roseman’s squad ever regresses back to the health mean, it won’t just sneak into the playoffs, but contend for another Lombardi.
The Eagles making the playoffs in each of the last three years — and winning the Super Bowl in one of them — obviously justifies Roseman being near the top. The Birds could easily be worse off.
Roseman’s hardly infallible, though. He even openly admitted that he wasn’t good enough in 2019.
Yes, the Eagles have had bad injury luck. But part of that misfortune was tied to Roseman constructing one of the league’s oldest rosters. To his credit, Roseman emphasized the Eagles’ need to get younger moving forward. He also made two key medical staff hires from some of the NFL’s healthiest teams.
The failure to adequately support Carson Wentz is another mark against Roseman’s favor. The Eagles’ franchise quarterback has arguably had to deal with the league’s worst wide receiving corps in two out of his four seasons, including last year. And it still remains to be seen if Roseman did enough to fix the receiver position heading into 2020. There’s a lot of pressure on the aforementioned Reagor to make an instant impact.
When you think about it, a number of key Roseman draft picks beyond just Reagor have big questions to answer this season. Can 2019 first-round pick Andre Dillard establish himself as a good starting left tackle? Can 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside actually contribute at all? Can 2017 first-round pick Derek Barnett be more than just a fine starter? It’d be great to see the youth movement rise to the challenge. Such an outcome would signal a promising long-term foundation. And it’ll be pretty concerning if there are more flops than successes, all while 2020 second-round pick Jalen Hurts collects dust as a third string quarterback.
The (often-stated) feeling here is that Roseman has built the Eagles into a good team. It’s hard to envision the Birds being flat out bad! But after two straight years of barely making the playoffs at 9-7, it’d be nice to see the Eagles enter the postseason with more authority. The modern NFL doesn’t see wild card teams regularly winning the Super Bowl anymore. The Eagles need to improve from being merely good to legitimately great. We’ll just have to see if Roseman’s 2020 offseason truly positioned Philly to make the leap back in to the NFL’s elite tier. There are reasons for both encouragement and concern.
Rotoworld ranked Howie Rosemans as the NFL’s fourth best GM. Too high, too low, or just right?
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Here’s how the rest of the NFC East front offices stacks up in the Rotoworld article:
13. Jerry Jones/Stephen Jones, Cowboys
Of all the owners to have too much patience. Clearly liking that Jason Garrett would never challenge his authority, Jerry Jones allowed his longtime head coach to spin his wheels with too many talented teams. Now Jones has ushered in Mike McCarthy, someone known for doing the same thing in Green Bay. Jones and his cronies have built a bully on offense. On defense, Jones has proven surprisingly adept at on-the-fly retoolings. It’s a crime the Cowboys have only two playoff victories to show for the past six years. They have been ever-so-close to taking the next step, though McCarthy should not have been anyone’s first choice to get them there. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Football is a personnel business, and the Cowboys’ is strong. Long brash and impulsive, Jones has learned to ignore the Johnny Manziel siren’s call. It has him closer than ever to getting back to the promised land. If only he had picked someone more inspiring than McCarthy to help seal the deal.
26. Dave Gettleman, Giants
Dave Gettleman finally ran out of big bets to make this offseason, instead settling into filling out a roster that is now quintessentially Gettleman. The first-round running back and high-risk quarterback prospect have been joined by a meat and potatoes left tackle, Andrew Thomas. Although he once again refused to trade down, Gettleman came out of the first two days of the draft with strong value. “Strong value” isn’t how anyone would describe questionable 2019 trade acquisition Leonard Williams on the franchise tag, but that is the kind of hog mollie luxury Gettleman can afford with Daniel Jones on his rookie contract. The same is true of CB James Bradberry, whom Gettleman drafted in Carolina and showered $43.5 million on in free agency. Despite Gettleman’s old school approach, his fortunes are decidedly modern. They live and die with Jones, who was plagued by turnovers as a rookie but supported by big plays. Season two will signal Jones’ future while sealing Gettleman’s.
Unranked. Ron Rivera, Washington
Underappreciated for much of his nine-year tenure in Carolina, Ron Rivera has been rewarded with the league’s most thankless job. It would be one thing if Rivera merely had to man the sideline for a franchise that has won one playoff game in the 21st century. He also has to fill the power vacuum in the front office and clean up owner Daniel Snyder’s myriad off-the-field messes. How exactly is this man supposed to focus on football? More importantly, why does Washington want his focus elsewhere? Personnel was never Rivera’s forte in Carolina. As they have learned the hard way in Washington, a toxic culture will ruin everything. Rivera is the man for that job. Actually assembling the football team that has to go out there and play games? Your guess is as good as Washington’s.