While it was a disappointing end to the season for the Eagles on Sunday, the offseason ahead should be one of the more interesting ones in recent franchise history. Three first-round picks, over $20 million in projected cap space, along with an aggressive general manager should make for an exciting few months in Philadelphia.
First and foremost, before the Eagles actually go out and start acquiring talent, they’ll need to assess what their needs are on both sides of the ball.
Here are the five biggest needs facing the Eagles this offseason.
Let’s just be honest with ourselves, the Eagles could upgrade the quarterback position if they really wanted to this offseason. Whether or not they actually follow through with it is another discussion entirely, but it’s certainly in the cards.
Jalen Hurts is serviceable enough to be a stop-gap quarterback, but by no means has he done enough to solidify his status as the franchise quarterback. There are a few options if the Eagles decide to pursue a new signal caller. Most notably, Russell Wilson will more than likely be on the trade market. The team could also package some of their first round picks to move up and grab a quarterback in the draft.
If I had to pick which scenario is more likely, it would be trading for Wilson. But who knows, maybe Howie falls in love with one of the prospects coming out this year.
Nevertheless, we shouldn’t be shocked if there’s a change at the quarterback position this offseason.
4. Interior Defensive Line
On paper, the Eagles are actually pretty solid along the interior of their defensive line. But it was abundantly clear that age has caught up to Fletcher Cox this season, and seeing him get moved this offseason is more likely than not. Javon Hargrave did some nice things this season, especially early on. Milton Williams also showed enough to warrant more playing time moving forward.
Jonathan Gannon likes playing all three of his defensive tackles at a time, so if Cox is gone, that’ll leave a glaring hole for this team to fill. We know Howie values the trenches on both sides of the ball and he’s done a nice job over the years filtering in talent when need be. This offseason, more so than any in recent years, the interior line will need to be addressed in a significant way.
Linebacker has been an area of need for years now. After another subpar season, and a loaded linebacker draft class on the horizon, hopefully Howie comes to his senses a bit and addresses this position.
T.J. Edwards did enough to warrant a starting spot next season. He showed significant growth in a number of areas and finished as a top-10 linebacker in 2021, according to Pro Football Focus. Regardless, they still have special teams players filling out the rest of the linebacker depth chart and that needs to change.
Alex Singleton and Shaun Bradley are special teamers, nothing more. Davion Taylor had some nice moments in year two, but his health has become a real concern. He missed essentially half of the season this year with a handful of different injuries.
Howie has tried to mitigate the linebacker issue with bandaids throughout the past few years. The most recent being Eric Wilson last offseason, and he didn’t even finish the year with the team. It’s time for the front office to put actual assets into the position.
If you have safety as the No. 1 need facing the Eagles this offseason, I wouldn’t blame you. Both Rodney McLeod and Anthony Harris are expected to hit free agency this offseason and the team doesn’t have much in the pipeline to fill either of those holes. Marcus Epps has been okay, but similar to the dilemma at linebacker, he’s really a special teams player who’s been thrust into action due to necessity.
In today’s NFL, safety is one of the most important positions on defense. With Gannon’s defense, having two athletic, sideline-to-sideline safeties would do wonders. They’ll be in prime position to snag one of the better safeties in this year’s draft at 15th and 16th overall, and there are a few intriguing names set to hit the open market at the position.
At the end of the offseason, don’t be shocked if Howie adds multiple players at safety. The team desperately needs help at the position.
1. EDGE Rusher
There’s simply no way Roseman doesn’t add at least one blue chip EDGE rusher during the offseason. The Eagles pass rush was among the worst in the league this season, finishing with just 29 sacks on the year, 31st in the NFL.
Brandon Graham’s absence played a huge role in that, but all of the other defensive ends underwhelmed for the majority of the season. Josh Sweat had 7.5 sacks, which is respectable, but no other defensive end had more than two. Derek Barnett is set to leave this offseason (thank God), as well as Ryan Kerrigan.
The team should look to add multiple defensive ends this offseason, both through free agency and the draft. In Gannon’s scheme, getting pressure with the front four is paramount. In any defensive scheme, really. In order to get this Eagles defense back into the top-5, shoring up their pass rush should be priority No. 1.