The NFL offseason is well underway, and that means another hectic and crazy free agency period. Contracts have expired, and players who have reached the end of their deals are free to test the market and see who’s interested. It is always exciting to see old faces in new places. However, this year was exceptionally insane with the amount of players who inked deals with a new team. We’ve seen organizations completely reconstruct the foundation of their franchise and prove that no player in this league is completely immune from being traded or released.
Despite numerous teams making big splashes in the headlines with notable signings, many eyes in the NFL fell on the defending champs, the Philadelphia Eagles. As many Super Bowl teams are susceptible to, Philly entered the offseason with many players hitting the open market — a whopping 13, to be exact. Teams as talented as this Eagles squad can’t always keep the big names that they’ve acquired for their title run. However, not many teams have a general manager as smart and shifty as Howie Roseman. Despite losing some key contributors such as Vinny Curry, Trey Burton and Patrick Robinson, Roseman was able to fill those holes pretty quickly. The Eagles were able to trade for Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett from Seattle, giving up just a couple late round draft picks. Philly also added defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, another veteran who has made this front seven even scarier than the group that wreaked havoc on the league last year.
Roseman didn’t stop there as he traded an aging Torrey Smith to Carolina for their starting cornerback Daryl Worley. Worley, a Philadelphia native, is still on his rookie contract and coming off of a very strong season. Roseman was able to free up more cap room with this move and cut ties with Smith, who was no more than an afterthought in the Philly offense this season. With second round pick Sidney Jones set to come back healthy this season, the Eagles secondary looks deeper and stronger.
The Eagles filled Torrey Smith’s void pretty quickly as they signed veteran speedster Mike Wallace. The moves have just kept coming this offseason as Howie Roseman has kept the Birds in the headlines and in Super Bowl contention. Deals like this just don’t make sense from the standpoint of an objective fan. Philadelphia has the perennial target on their back, yet Roseman has been able to get the best of teams and steal away some of their most talented players. Eagles fans, still basking in the sunlight of the Super Bowl victory, have to be more than satisfied with what Roseman has done. He’s taken a Super Bowl winning team and made it even better, which is almost unheard of in today’s NFL.
Many players and coaches run for the huge contracts and cash in on their success once their team has accomplished the arduous task of winning the Lombardi Trophy. Though this remains true for this Eagles team, they were able to keep their core intact and build around it with cheaper yet talented players. Many players who have gotten the big contracts in past years now have set their sights on acquiring a ring. They want to join a winning culture, which is exactly what Philadelphia has become. Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles aren’t going into the offseason quietly and have made it clear that they are still the kings of the NFL.
They enter the 2018 season with a roster that is stronger than the one that just won a Super Bowl. The Birds aren’t falling off anytime soon, which is a very scary thought for the rest of the league.
Connor Sodak is a fourth-year student majoring in communications and minoring in journalism. ✉ CS824220@wcupa.edu.