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Weapon X Mailbag: Have you ever felt this discouraged as an Eagles fan before?

Plus: Would you trade Joel Embiid for Deshaun Watson?

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

I’m miserable and irritable: the perfect moods to hammer out some Eagles questions!

@WichaelMright: Have you ever felt this discouraged as an Eagles fan before?

It sounds reactionary and shortsighted and hyperbolic, but no. I like to preface this when I write: I’m 26. I came of age in 2001 as a fan. I’ve seen this franchise’s highest highs, but I’ve also experienced the crushing defeats.

Other than this moment, there are two other points in the last two decades you could point to as times of turmoil for the Eagles: the 2013 offseason and the 2016 offseason. Unsurprisingly, those seasons featured changes at the head coaching position.

Following the 4-12 season in 2012, the Eagles canned Andy Reid before going balls-to-the-wall and hiring Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. His offenses felt revolutionary at Oregon and with a unit built on speed with Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and more, it was easy to feel as if the Birds were on the cutting edge of pro football innovation.

We all sipped the Chip Kool-Aid (it was kelly green colored). I bought in. I grabbed Oregon merch from the Nike Football store at the Cherry Hill Mall. Chip was going to lead a parade down Broad Street.

Flash forward three years and our hopes about Chip had been crushed.

All the dreams we held so close all seemed to go up in smoke.”

I was more discouraged following the disastrous 2015 campaign than I had been after the Eagles parted ways with Reid, but I talked myself into what was coming. Kelly leaving meant that Roseman was back in power and that felt like a win for the football nerds of the world. “Roseman didn’t get a fair shake!” we naively thought.

Sam Bradford wasn’t anything to get worked up about, but once the franchise hired a former Reid disciple in Doug Pederson and made clear their intentions to trade up for a quarterback in the 2016 NFL Draft, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Flash forward to now and... I just feel defeated. It’s one of those situations where you start to question why you’ve devoted so much time and energy and mental capacity to putting your entire being into the Eagles.

Jeffrey Lurie is one short step above Jerry Jones. Roseman has eradicated any goodwill he accumulated from winning the Super Bowl, eroding what was once thought to be a promising core primed to compete for the next half-decade.

That duo continues to be the root of the Birds’ current issues, only made worse with the way Lurie has increasingly meddled in football affairs over the last couple years.

What hire could they make to change this? None of the top candidates would want to come to this mess and work for these guys. The Carson Wentz situation is bleak and I’m just so totally out on watching him play quarterback for this team going forward. I can’t. I mean, I obviously will be watching the game and cheering all out and shit, but, I’m going to be pouty about it.

I think of Mike Judge’s Office Space:

“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

“What about today? Is today the worst day of your life?”

“Yeah.”

“Wow, that’s messed up.”

That’s where I’m at with the Birds.

@scoobylifeofev1: What is the absolute best case scenario for the Birds the next 5 years?

A rare moment of optimism in a week full of gloom!

How would everything break right for the Eagles?

The Eagles begin by hiring Lincoln Riley, pairing him with his former college player Jalen Hurts. Riley enlists former 49ers inside linebackers coach (and Eagles starter) DeMeco Ryans as defensive coordinator. Howie Roseman rights the wrongs of the last two drafts when he missed on two Hall of Fame talents at wideout, selecting Devonta Smith out of Alabama. Carson Wentz is shipped out of town for a 2022 second-round pick from the Colts.

The aerial attack that gave Riley a 45-8 record with the Sooners translates smoothly to the pro level, as Hurts looks like the quarterback he was when he was a Heisman runner-up under Riley in 2019. He’s what we all thought Chip Kelly would be.

The Eagles go 10-6 with a last place schedule and win the lackluster NFC East in 2021, Hurts picks up a Pro Bowl nod and Smith wins Offensive Rookie of the Year with 1,100 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. After an offseason trade of Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert is healthy and looks like George Kittle-lite in Riley’s offense, hauling in 11 touchdowns of his own.

The Eagles win Hurts’ and Riley’s first playoff game as Eagles against the Vikings at home before falling to the Seahawks in Seattle in the Divisional Round. That season’s a success.

In the 2022 offseason, Roseman gives Hurts the weapons he needs to succeed, signing Courtland Sutton and giving the team another stud at wideout. The offense is one of the five-or-so best in the NFL, but the Eagles ultimately come up short of glory in the playoffs, losing in the NFC Championship Game to the Packers in Aaron Rodgers’ final game at Lambeau Field.

Come 2023, however, it’s the Eagles’ world and everyone else is playing in it. Ryans’ defense conjures up images of the 2017 Birds. Riley, with Hurts blossoming into an elite quarterback, leads the top offense in the league, setting up a matchup with Andy Reid and Kansas City in the Super Bowl. In a meeting of the Eagles’ past and the Eagles’ present, Riley out-duels Reid, as the Eagles pull off a 38-34 win, capturing the franchise’s second Lombardi Trophy.

What kind of blood sacrifice do I need to perform for all of that to happen?!?

@BMcDevs: Will the Eagles have a winning season in the next five years, and why not?

My initial thought is to be overly pessimistic and be like, “HELL NO!” but that’s just not the reality of the NFC East. Since 2015, Washington has made the playoffs twice (though once with a losing record), the Giants have made the playoffs twice, Dallas has made the playoffs twice and the Eagles have made the playoffs three times.

With the NFL as the beacon of parity in pro sports, it’s more likely than not that the Eagles are 9-7 at some point and fall ass backwards into the playoffs.

@NotThatGreene: It’s a moot point now but who would have said no: Doug, Hurts, and the #6 pick for Deshaun Watson?

Eagles would’ve gotten laughed off the phone.

@TheWizWit: If cross-sport trading was allowed, what would you offer for a package of Deshaun Watson and James Harden?

This is as if the previous question was injected with the Super Solider Serum. I’d trade literally whatever the Houston franchises wanted. I wouldn’t trade Joel Embiid for James Harden, but I would trade Embiid to the Rockets if it meant Deshaun Watson would be the Eagles’ starting quarterback. I can get both of them? Take your pick. Tyrese Maxey, Miles Sanders, Ben Simmons, etc.

The Houston squads wouldn’t do it, but in an ideal world, cities would own their own sports franchises, much like Green Bay does with the Packers. In that scenario, cities should be able to do cross-sports trades.

@thernedtrucker: Did Jim Schwartz have more say over the defensive personnel than Doug did over the offense?

Jim Schwartz got to pick his defensive players. Pederson didn’t even get to pick his assistants.

@RoniRivera34: Why is this happening to us?

The world is out to get Philadelphia. Plain and simple. It’s our pain to bear.