With representatives from all 32 teams showing up in Indianapolis today for the scouting combine, Eagles fans got to hear both Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman answer questions at the podium for the first time since their end of the year presser.
Here are three of the biggest takeaways from both of their press conferences.
Honestly, is anyone surprised that both Doug and Howie more or less said Jason Peters will be back next season? With his contract expiring this offseason, I really thought we may have seen the last of our future Hall of Fame left tackle. But after hearing what we heard today, I can’t imagine Peters leaving for another team once free agency rolls around.
When Pederson was asked if he wanted Peters back in 2020, he responded with a resounding “heck yeah.” Howie also vouched for 71, stating that having both him and Andre Dillard would be “a good problem to have.”
Speaking of Dillard, Howie and Doug’s desire to bring back a 38-year-old left tackle tells you everything you need to know about how they view him. It doesn’t seem like they believe he’s ready to be the starting left tackle for this team, which isn’t a good sign at all.
When you trade up to draft someone in the first round, expectations are that said player will contribute immediately. Having Dillard ride the bench for a second straight year is definitely a cause for some concern.
But, at the end of the day I want to best left tackle protecting Carson Wentz’s blindside. If that guy ends up being Peters, then so be it.
Over the past week or so, a handful of reports regarding Alshon Jeffery’s future with the Eagles surfaced. Some articles painted Alshon as somewhat of a cancer to the locker room, stating that he and Carson never saw eye to eye on anything.
Well, it appears that these reports may have been blown a bit out of proportion, as is the case with most articles of this nature.
When Doug was asked about Wentz and Alshon’s relationship, he said that he saw no issues with the two. In fact, he actually praised Wentz for taking a big leap in his leadership this past season, including being a better communicator with his receivers.
It sounds like the organization is going to ride this thing out for at least one more season with Alshon. He may or may not have been the anonymous source who outed Wentz, but maybe it really hasn’t been as bad as some of the media will lead you to believe.
Let’s not act like this is on the Terrell Owens in 2005 level, where he publicly bashed his quarterback multiple times. Alshon has never said anything negative about Carson to the public.
Plus, moving Jeffery with his guaranteed money is a nearly impossible task. Cutting him results in $26 million in dead money, which would be the single highest dead money penalty ever incurred by releasing a player.
So yeah, seems like we’re going to have Alshon around for at least one more year. Woohoo.
After hearing Howie speak today, it really feels like we’re about to see an aggressive offseason out of this front office.
He gave off the impression that he won’t be giving out many one-year deals, which has been a staple of Howie’s offseason approach ever since he became the general manager again in 2016. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of players he targets in free agency now that he’s altered his strategy a bit.
Could they go out and spend big money to acquire one of the top free agents? I could certainly see that happening. With all the one or two year deals Howie has handed out over the past few offseasons, the team always seemed like they were in “win now” mode. While I still believe their goal should be to contend for a Super Bowl every season, it sounds like Howie is also going to start consciously building for the future as well.
With that being said, I think giving someone like Amari Cooper a four-year deal with solid compensation is definitely in the realm of possibilities. He’s young, he’s a perennial Pro Bowl wideout and he’s someone who could grow long-term with Wentz.
Whatever transpires this offseason, it should be exciting to watch it unfold. There’s no season like Howie Season.