Earlier today, Eagles’ guard, Brandon Brooks, finalized his restructured contract with the team. This move decreases Brooks’ cap hit for next season from $11.1 million to $4.8 million, providing Howie and the Eagles some much needed cap relief. Brooks is now the fourth Eagles player to save the team money for next season by restructuring his contract. This list includes: Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
Entering this offseason, GM Howie Roseman had his work cut out for him. He had to find a way to improve an already stacked roster, and do so without much cap flexibility. Not only has he improved this roster at positions where there wasn’t much room for improvement, but he’s actually freed up cap space in the process.
Just looking at some of the moves Howie pulled off early during the free agency period, it’s hard to complain about any of them. The only move that seemed to back fire a little bit was the Torrey Smith for Darryl Worley trade. Worley is already off the team after his incident with Philadelphia police just a week or two ago, but the fact that Howie was even able to find a trade partner for an aging Torrey Smith was remarkable. Regardless of what happened with Worley once he got to town, Howie getting rid of Smith’s contract to free up additional cap room was good enough for me.
Other than that little hiccup, this offseason has been great for the Eagles so far. Howie was able to get both Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata, perennial pro bowlers, for dirt cheap. These two players are improvements over what the Eagles lost in Vinny Curry and Beau Allen, and they’re also much cheaper. Howie was also able to seamlessly replace Torrey Smith with veteran wideout, Mike Wallace, who will likely play the same role tat Smith did in Doug Pederson’s offense.
It’s almost hard to believe that the Eagles will be better next season than they were in 2017, but that’s what its starting to look like. The only glaring need that Howie has yet to fill is nickel corner. After losing Patrick Robinson to the Saints in free agency, some thought that Worley may step up and fill that position. Obviously, he’s not on the team anymore so the Eagles will need to look elsewhere. With the draft just a few days away, my hunch is that they’ll most likely look to find a nickel corner with one of their first few picks, possibly even their first rounder. The Eagles also have a lot of young and hungry players in that cornerbacks group, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the youngsters step up next season either. Other than nickel corner, there really isn’t another major hole to fill.
Howie has proven that he can build a Super Bowl roster, and Doug has proven that he can take multiple individual talents and mold them into one cohesive team. The fact that a handful of players have agreed to take pay cuts and restructure their contracts into more team-friendly deals speaks to the culture that Doug has built up in his locker room. This kind of culture and team orientated atmosphere is what lays the foundation for dynasties. There’s a reason there are only a handful of dynasties throughout NFL history. It’s hard to find athletes who are willing to put the team first, especially when millions of their dollars are on the line. The reason the Patriots have been relevant for so long is because players like, Tom Brady, continuously take pay cuts for the sake of the team. But unlike the Patriots, who seem to be losing their niche, it feels like players actually enjoy playing here in Philadelphia. I wrote about this before, but I truly do believe the torch for NFL supremacy was passed to the Eagles from the Patriots after the Super Bowl. Only time will tell if this feeling comes to fruition, but so far, it seems that the Eagles have figured out the formula for success. The sky is the limit for the Birds as long as these two are behind the wheel.