Just What is Howie Roseman Doing?

March 9th, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | Filed under Eagles, Football, General, NFL, TalkSportsPhilly.
Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

We’re approximately 24 hours removed from the two blockbuster trades that were made by the Eagles on Monday. By now, I’m sure that Eagles fans have had a chance to digest what happened yesterday, and hopefully make sense of it. If you’re an Eagles fan that has yet to make sense of the deal, then look no further. In this article, I will take an in-depth look at the trades made yesterday, what they mean for Free Agency, the Draft, and the team’s culture going forward.

Entering Monday, the Eagles had about $18.5 million to work with in cap room. With the legal tampering period scheduled to begin yesterday, it was expected that the Eagles would be busy. Just how busy they were, was not expected. There were no discussions with Free Agents, nor their agents. Instead, the Eagles opted to clear more cap space, by working on a pair of blockbuster trades. The first trade, as reported first by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, would see Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso head to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for “draft pick compensation.”

While said “compensation” remains unknown at this point, it has been reported by A2D Radio’s Twitter account that the Eagles and Dolphins will not only swap first round picks, but the Birds would also get back a 2nd round pick. That means the Eagles would go from holding the 13th overall pick, to holding the 8th overall pick and the 41st overall pick in the 2016 draft. That return has not been confirmed, and will not be until 4:00 tomorrow when the new League Year opens. I will say though, that would be quite a return.

Some are wondering what the motivation is behind this trade. There’s not really a simple way to answer that, as there are a number of reasons that Howie Roseman could’ve executed this trade. The main reason though, from what it seems, is the Eagles ability to clear cap space through this trade. Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap.com reported yesterday, that the Eagles would save $4.9 million by moving Maxwell. Pairing that $4.9 million of Maxwell’s with the $991,000 of Kiko Alonso, and you save just about $6 million. It may not look like a lot at first, but $6 million could buy you a nice middle-of-the-road Free Agent, or a pair of buy-low Free Agents.

So, with Maxwell and Alonso gone for “draft pick compensation”, the Eagles would most likely turn their attention to the open market, right?   Wrong.

About three-hours after the Eagles reportedly finalized a deal to send Maxwell & Alonso to Miami, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was once again on his game, this time reporting that the Eagles and Tennessee Titans were working out a deal to send DeMarco Murray to Tennessee for terms that were not disclosed.

In a span of about six hours, Howie Roseman had wiped out about eighty-five percent of Chip Kelly’s 2015 acquisitions. These trades immediately led to speculation that Howie Roseman was doing this as a “personal attack” on former coach/GM Chip Kelly. Those comments added fuel to the Roseman-Kelly feud that seemed to develop last offseason, when Kelly was given the keys to the ship. Former NFL executive Charlie Casserly believes otherwise, when speaking on this matter. Casserly said to NFL Network on Tuesday, “No, I don’t think this is a personal attack on Chip Kelly, I think it’s them looking at the players that Chip Kelly brought in and saying ‘We don’t like the money, we don’t like the fit.” 

I truly believe that Casserly is correct, in this case. In my opinion, the contract that was given to Byron Maxwell was a knee-jerk reaction. Chip Kelly was so desperate to find a #1 corner, that he heavily overpaid a #2 corner in a weak market. He wanted to keep Murray from returning to the Cowboys so badly, that he overpaid the former Oklahoma Sooner for one amazing season. In Alonso, the Eagles took a shot in acquiring a player that was already damaged. They hoped that he could re-capture his Rookie of the Year form, but that experiment failed. All told, these moves were the Eagles admitting that they made a mistake shelling out that money last year.

Between both deals, the Eagles have cleared approximately $10 million in cap space, jumping our total from $18.5 million to $28.5 million. While these moves free up more money, some say that they create more holes to fill. In theory, that might be true. Let’s be honest though, those holes have always been here. They were just filled by overpaid players. With almost $30 million free to spend, I believe the Eagles could be an active team once Free Agency officially opens on Wednesday at 4:00 PM. Among the many names that are linked to the Eagles, I’m hearing the team has interest in former 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone, former Detroit Lions linebacker Tahir Whitehead, and a possible reunion in former defensive back Brandon Boykin. Nothing can become official until tomorrow afternoon, but the Birds seem primed to be active.

Nevertheless, Howie Roseman clearly deserves a gold medal for the work that he’s been putting in.

*Author’s Note: These opinions are clearly that of the author’s, and in no way represent the opinions of others here at TalkSportsPhilly*

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