This season was a tough pill to swallow. Starting out at 9-3, the Eagles controlled their own destiny and had the chance to secure the teams’ first “free pass to the Divisional Round since the magical 2004-2005 season. However, those aspirations quickly turned to pleas for change. The Eagles moved forward losing 4 of their last 5, bouncing themselves right out of the playoffs. Following one of the most historic collapses in the history of the NFL, it became glaring obvious that this offseason would be an offseason of change. The issues that the Eagles face this offseason are their most significant challenges since the offseason that saw Chip Kelly become the first Eagles head coach not named Reid since 1995.
Eagles owner Jeff Lurie quickly took notice of that fact. As I returned from a family outing on Friday afternoon, I saw the news that Howie Roseman was relieved of his “General Managerial” duties, and that Chip Kelly would now be in charge of Player Personnel. I must admit that I was taken back at first, but it began to make sense after I thought about it. For the past two seasons, Chip has stated that “this team is not complete yet.” In order to make this a “complete team”, the only option was to put the ringleader in charge of recruiting the talent. The amount of power that Kelly now has is unprecedented. To my knowledge, Bill Belichick is the only other coach to possess the power, allowing him to determine who the team selects in the draft, in addition to hand-picking his own free agents. I’m not saying that other head coaches aren’t instrumental in their teams draft selections, and free-agent pickups, but not a lot of (if any) coaches have the amount of power that Bill and Chip do.
With the power that Kelly now possesses comes the responsibility. Chip is now the head honcho of player personnel, and controls who the team ships out, and brings in. That means, no more excuses of an “incomplete team”, as Kelly now has the ability to bring in the players that will improve this team, and make it complete. Howie Roseman no longer stands in the way, and no one can deny Chip. Roseman can only nod, and create the cap space/roster room to accommodate the moves. This shakeup now means that the dogs are loose in the front office, and the sky is the limit this offseason. I will use this article to take an in-depth look, and explain some potential moves that we Eagle fans could see from the team this year.
First up on the offseason agenda is the free-agency period. This is where I anticipate that the Birds will be the most aggressive. Corners Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams are both expected to be let go, as is Nate Allen. In addition to “The Three Stooges”, the departures of Riley Cooper, Mark Sanchez, James Casey, and Trent Cole are also anticipated, three of the four as cap casualties. This would leave the Birds with holes at corner, wideout, and pass-rushing linebackers. Superstar names are very few and far between in the market this year, but there are plenty of attractive names out there. Let’s take a look at the top 10 free agents, that (if they hit the open market) I believe should be targeted by Captain Kelly and the “Starship Eagleprise.”
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