The 2017-2018 Philadelphia Eagles will go down as one of the most memorable Philadelphia sports teams of all time. They brought the city its first Lombardi Trophy and brought happiness to a fanbase who’s suffered defeat for so long. The Eagles are world champs. And the sweetest part of it all – this could be the beginning of something really special.
The overwhelming message from the Eagles organization after their Super Bowl victory was that this was only the beginning. Coach Doug Pederson said this will be “the new norm” in Philly, and Howie Roseman and Carson Wentz told Eagles’ fans to “get used to this” at their parade on Thursday. While it’s easier said than done, this team has the potential to create their own dynasty within the next 3 – 4 years and it’s all thanks to General Manager Howie Roseman.
The architect behind this team has set the Eagles up to succeed for years to come. Nearly the entire starting lineup for the Birds is under contract next season. Only a few key players are set to become free agents; Nigel Bradham, Darren Sproles, Legarrette Blount, and Patrick Robinson are the most notable. Bradham is probably at the top of Howie’s priority list as far as re-signing. He’s a playmaker at linebacker and with Hicks’ injury history it’s imperative they keep their depth at that position. Depending on Sproles’ injury situation it may not be worth the cost to bring him back. With Ajayi and Clement under contract for the foreseeable future it’s also hard to see us paying Blount either. I’m sure Howie would love to retain Robinson too, but after the tremendous season he just had it may be financially difficult to do so. Regardless, it won’t kill the Eagles if all these players don’t get re-signed. Howie’s proved he has an eye for NFL talent and I’m sure he would find adequate replacements for any of these players.
Looking ahead to 2019 and 2020 most of the main stays of this team will still be under contract. The following players are all signed through at least 2020; Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Timmy Jernigan, Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce, Vinny Curry, Jalen Mills, Malcolm Jenkins, Nelson Agholor, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Brooks, Rodney Mcleod, and most importantly Carson Wentz. That’s essentially the entire first team for the Eagles, and they’re all under contract until at least 2020.
There’s only one thing that could potentially derail this, and that’s paying Wentz. If he bounces back from his torn ACL next season and has the type of season he had this year Howie will almost certainly pay him more than any other Quarterback in NFL history. To do that he’s going to need to make some tough decisions to clear up enough cap space. A comparable situation played itself out in Seattle when they had to re-sign Russel Wilson after his rookie deal expired. A lot of their talent from their Super Bowl roster is gone now, and we saw this year that they’re clearly not the same team that went to back to back Super Bowls.
Having Carson long term is the top priority though, and I believe Howie will do whatever it takes to ensure he’s here for the long haul. Having a top-notch Quarterback like Wentz gives any team a chance to go to the playoffs year in and year out. Having Wentz here will attract free agents to come play with him as well, and hopefully for a discounted price.
There’s no reason the Birds can’t win another Super Bowl within the next few years – there’s no reason they can’t repeat next year honestly. The Eagles were the best team in the NFL all year and they’re returning practically all their starters next season. The rest of the league is looking at the Eagles right now and saying, “Alright, we need to build our team to beat Philadelphia.” The Birds are the team to beat. This team is scary stacked across the board. There isn’t one position of weakness. The Eagles are the next dynasty of the NFL, and I can’t wait to see it unfold.