Goal number one for any NFL team entering the year is winning their division. Once you accomplish that, aspirations for a deep playoff run are much more palpable.
Looking around the league, it’s fair to say the Eagles have been relatively quiet during the free agency period, comparatively speaking. There’s been a blockbuster move every other day it seems and Philly has only made one splash signing up to this point, acquiring pass rusher Haason Reddick.
But, when we look specifically at the NFC East, the Eagles have been the most active team. Especially when it comes to retaining their own talent.
Howie Roseman resigned essentially his entire 2018 draft class, which includes Dallas Goedert, Avonte Maddox, Josh Sweat, and Jordan Mailata, during the 2021 season. He then brought back key contributors in Boston Scott, Anthony Harris, Derek Barnett, and Fletcher Cox. The only notable losses the team has suffered thus far has been depth defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, who signed with San Francisco, and linebacker Alex Singleton, who went to Denver.
As far as external moves are concerned, Howie acquired three players that will instantly improve their respective positions. We already mentioned Reddick, who signed a three-year, $45 million contract, with a cap hit of just $4M in 2022. Zach Pascal was brought in to add veteran leadership to the young receiver room, and linebacker Kyzir White signed a one-year deal that’s reportedly worth up to $5M. None of these moves break the bank and each player should have a substantial role on the field during the 2022 season.
With the rest of the NFC East teams, they all lost significant players and have been pretty quiet on the open market.
Let’s focus in on the 2021 division champs first, the Dallas Cowboys. They lost their No. 1 receiver in Amari Cooper, their slot receiver in Cedrick Wilson, arguably their best defensive end in Randy Gregory, their starting right tackle in La’el Collins, along with backup tight end Blake Jarwin and kicker Greg Zuerlien.
They were able to mitigate some of their losses by resigning Michael Gallup and acquiring defensive end Dante Fowler, but their team is certainly less talented today than it was before free agency started.
Moving on to Washington, they too lost some key starters. Brandon Scherff, one of the best guards in football, signed with Jacksonville. Safety Landon Collins was released after refusing to take a pay cut for newly added Carson Wentz. Both Ereck Flowers and Matt Ionnidis were released as well.
To lessen the blow of losing Scherff, Washington signed guard Andrew Norwell — an average starter at best. Their big move of the offseason was acquiring our old pal, Carson Wentz. Not only did they trade valuable draft capital for his services, they took on his entire $28 million price tag for the 2022 season.
Regardless of our thoughts on Wentz as a player, he is an upgrade over Taylor Heinicke, but the team still has massive holes across the board.
Then we have the lowly New York Giants, the proverbial punching bag of the NFC East for the past half-decade or so. As expected, they haven’t done much in free agency either. They lost tight end Evan Engram to Jacksonville, along with starting corner Logan Ryan to Tampa Bay. Their biggest move of the offseason has been acquiring veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who may or may not be the starter come Week 1. The jury is still out on that one.
All in all, the Eagles have had the best offseason of any team in their division by a long-shot. They still have holes to fill, but they’re off to a good start.