Fix-it Friday: The Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles had quite the season and they are in the midst of quite the offseason. Just three years removed from their Super Bowl Victory, Doug Pederson is out and Carson Wentz is reportedly about to join him. In fact, he could be traded by the time you read this article.

Philadelphia finished the season with a record of just 4-11-1. That’s a mark down from 9-7 the past two years and 13-3 in their Super Bowl year. This team feels like they should be in a rebuild, but they also feel too stubborn to fully commit to a rebuild. That’s something that never creates a good outcome. And before this article goes any further, I want to make it very clear that I believe the Eagles’ best chance at turning things around is to rebuild this offseason. My cuts, signings, and draft picks will reflect this.

Head Coach and General Manager:

As I said above, the Eagles fired Head Coach Doug Pederson three years removed from him bringing them their first Super Bowl victory in team history. It seems the differences were too great between Pederson’s vision and the Eagles’ management’s vision.

They hired Nick Sirianni, most recently the Indianapolis Colts’ offensive coordinator. He has shot up through the NFL coaching ranks the last few seasons and seemed to be the clear choice for the Eagles throughout their search.

The Eagles’ general manager is Howie Roseman, he assumed that role in 2010. Roseman took control of a contending team, who then quickly hit near-bottom in 2012 before turning things back around for the 2017 Super Bowl season. He now finds himself in another new spot this offseason. Like I mentioned above, the Eagles look like they are in a rebuild, but they do not want to commit to a rebuild. That usually spells disaster, sitting in the middle, and typically leads to multiple seasons of records like 7-9 and 8-8; in other words: football purgatory.

Cap Space: $-41.5 million

Cut Trade:

Carson Wentz, QB – $-25 million

Zach Ertz, TE – $4.7 million

DeSean Jackson, WR – $4.8 million

Derek Barnett, EDGE – $10 million

Marquise Goodwin – $4.5 million

The Eagles can make other cuts here and there to free up less than a million per player, but this is t he bulk of it. As I mentioned above, the Eagles need to rebuild.

They will not be able to repair the relationship with Wentz, so they will have to eat a lot of dead cap. Ertz is not who he used to be just a year or two ago, and Dallas Goedert can take over at tight end. Jackson is a luxury they can’t afford. Barnett has had his moments, but paying $10 million to an edge rusher who I believe to be a bust, is not wise.

Resign:

Hassan Ridgeway, DL

Richard Rodgers, TE

Duke Riley, LB

Boston Scott, RB

There are difficult decisions here, as well, with a rebuild mindset. There are many players that just don’t make sense to bring back for the money they would demand. These four players should come pretty cheap, all with a chance at being second in line at their respective positions, with a chance to do well in spot starts.

Free Agency:

Before I list the players, rebuilding is much more about what you do in the draft rather than free agency. Many teams have fallen flat on their face after trying to rebuild through free agency, overpaying mediocre players and ending up in a worse spot than when the rebuild started. Therefore, this list will be small, compared to my previous articles. Just keep in mind that the trades of Wentz and Ertz will bring back some picks for the draft portion to help greatly with the rebuild.

Tier One:

Brandon Scherff, G

Joe Thuney, G

Shaquill Barrett, EDGE

Tier Two:

Melvin Ingram, EDGE

Sammy Watkins, WR

Bud Dupree, EDGE

A.J. Bouye, CB

Russell Okung, OT

Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE

Lavonte David, LB

Markus Golden, EDGE

K.J. Wright, LB

Alejandro Villanueva, OT

Jason McCourty, CB

Mike Hilton, CB

Olivier Vernon, EDGE

Desmond King, CB

Tier Three:

Marvin Jones, WR

Ryan Kerrigan, EDGE

Kyler Fackrell, LB

Everson Griffen, EDGE

Sean Lee, LB

John Ross, WR

Austin Blythe, G

Jimmy Smith, CB

Demarcus Robinson, WR

Daryl Williams, OT

Quinton Dunbar, CB

Curtis Samuel, WR

Chidobe Awuzie, CB

Jason Verrett, CB

Taylor Moton, OT

Shaquill Griffin, CB

Tim Patrick, WR

Levi Wallace, CB

Draft:

As I mentioned above, the trades of Wentz and Ertz will bring back some picks. I’m not going to predict what those picks are here, but just keep that in mind as we go through the rounds.

Round One:

6th Overall:

Rashawn Slater, OT

Christian Darrisaw, OT

Patrick Surtain II, CB

Micah Parsons, LB

With rebuilding, I do not want a receiver at sixth overall. If the Eagles really want one in the first round, they can trade back 10 picks or so. But by far the best position to address is offensive tackle. Slater could be on the board at six, which should be an instant draft choice for the Eagles. They can also address cornerback with the best one in the draft to go opposite Darius Slay. Or finally fill the middle linebacker spot with the best one in the draft.

Round Two:

38th Overall:

Terrace Marshall Jr., WR, LSU

Kadarius Toney, WR, Florida

Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame

Dillon Radunz, OT, NDSU

Eric Stokes, CB, Georgia

The Eagles can address the wide receiver position with this pick. This is a deep draft, so in general it would be better to take a receiver in the second round and addressing any other need in the first round. If for some reason they don’t go offensive tackle in the first round, Eichenberg or Radunz would be excellent picks here. Stokes is my top second round corner, and someone who is flirting with the first round in my mock drafts.

Round Three:

70th Overall:

Jevon Holland, S, Oregon

Jabril Cox, LB, LSU

Tylan Wallace, WR, Oklahoma State

Joe Tyron, EDGE, Washington

Josh Myers, IOL, Ohio State

This pick starts the run of need positions that aren’t as crucial as offensive tackle or cornerback. The Eagles can still get by without taking receiver through this pick, but they do have decent depth at the position, they just need that number one guy. The Eagles safety position is weak, and Holland could be an instant starter. Addressing the edge position after I released Derek Barnett is a smart move as well.

Round Five:

149th Overall:

Tony Fields II, LB, West Virginia

Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse

Richard LeCounte III, S, Georgia

Tarron Jackson, EDGE, Coastal Carolina

With (hopefully) the Eagles addressing offensive tackle and receiver already, their offense should be fairly set. They can address defensive depth with their two fifth round draft picks.

153rd Overall:

Ar’Darius Washington, S, TCU

Sadarius Hutcherson, IOL, South Carolina

Charles Snowden, LB, Virginia

Adetokunbo Ogundeji, EDGE, Notre Dame

Along with more defensive options, I also listed an interior offensive lineman. One offensive tackle in the first two rounds won’t completely fix this offensive line, but it’s a start. Hutcherson would be a nice depth piece that can handle some spot starts if needed

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