Eagles

Eagles' 4 biggest offseason questions

Eagles' 4 biggest offseason questions

The confetti has been cleaned up and the party is over. The Eagles won a Super Bowl. Now it's all about trying to win one again. 

So hopefully Howie Roseman and his staff had a good time celebrating because there's plenty of work to be done. 

For the most part, the Eagles are in a pretty good position. Doug Pederson is back for Year 3, Carson Wentz's rehab appears to be going well, and the team brings back most of its starters from the 2017 season. 

But there are some major questions facing the team. 

Here are four of them: 

1. How should they replace Frank Reich? 
You can thank Josh McDaniels for this one. The Patriots' offensive coordinator had already accepted the Colts' head coaching job but then he backed out, leaving Reich in their crosshairs. The Colts might have actually lucked out in this whole situation because Reich has the makings of a pretty good head coach. But it is a loss for the Eagles. 

Now, there's a chance you don't know what the Eagles are going to miss losing Reich, but I tried to outline that here. Basically, the Eagles need to find a good complement to Pederson to put in this role. Maybe that's Duce Staley, maybe that's Mike Groh. Maybe that's someone who isn't in the organization right now. 

At some point, Pederson is going to have to figure out how to replenish his staff, especially if the Eagles are going to be successful over the next decade. Because with success comes other teams wanting your coaches. It seems like Pederson values promoting from within, but there also seems to be value in bringing in smart outside voices. He's going to have to learn how to balance those two things. 

2. Should they trade Nick Foles?  
Coming off a dazzling postseason and a Super Bowl MVP award, Foles' value has never been higher. Roseman could probably flip him right now for a high pick while also clearing $5.2 million in cap space. But, of course, it's not that easy and there's one big hurdle in the way. Wentz is still recovering from a torn ACL and LCL. His goal is still to be ready for Week 1 but it's far too early in his recovery to say definitively that he'll be good to go. 

So this puts the Eagles in a tough spot. Trade Foles and hope Wentz is ready. If he's not, then Nate Sudfeld is your Week 1 starter. Or keep Foles as an expensive insurance policy. 

The Eagles have already proven they can win a Super Bowl with Foles or Wentz, so the possibility of starting the season without either of them should be terrifying. Maybe we'll get a better sense of Wentz's recovery in a month or two, but until then it might be too risky to trade Foles. 

3. Who should they bring back? 
The Eagles have several key players set to become free agents when the new league year starts on March 14. The most important among them is linebacker Nigel Bradham, who came to the Eagles on a two-year deal two seasons ago. Bradham had a great 2017 season and filled in admirably for Jordan Hicks as the defensive signal-caller after the middle linebacker tore his Achilles. From there, the Eagles also have to make decisions on Beau Allen, Patrick Robinson, Trey Burton and others. 

The problem is that the Eagles don't have enough money to pay everyone. Based on projections of the 2018 salary cap, the Eagles are set to be about $9 million over. Now, don't worry too much about the numbers yet. If there's one thing Howie Roseman is great at, it's manipulating the salary cap. But they do have some decisions about players under contract, starting with Vinny Curry and his $11 million cap number in 2018. And is it worth picking up that Torrey Smith option for $5 million? That would be one quick way to help that cap situation. 

4. Who should they bring in? 
Roseman pulled all the right strings last offseason. Think about the guys he brought in: Alshon Jeffery, Robinson, Timmy Jernigan, Foles, Chance Warmack, Chris Long, LeGarrette Blount. All of them played a role in 2017. 

It seems like there are so many years when we expect Roseman to be quiet in free agency and he never is. He's an aggressive guy when it comes to adding talent in the offseason and after what he did last year, it's hard to argue against his philosophy. Expect him to be able to manipulate the cap enough to find room to bring in quality free agents and maybe a few diamonds in the rough like Robinson from last year.

Is it believable when Eagles call themselves underdogs?

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Twitter/@RealDGunnNBCS

Is it believable when Eagles call themselves underdogs?

On the latest edition of Eagle Eye, a Philadelphia Eagles podcast, Derrick Gunn and Barrett Brooks share stories from their fishing trip over the weekend. Is it believable when the Eagles keep calling themselves underdogs? How OTAs are different today compared to when Barrett played. Also, Johnny Manziel is playing football again. Will we ever see him back in the NFL?

Also, how Barrett won an Emmy working on Hard Knocks.

1:00 - Gunner and Barrett's weekend fishing trip.
5:00 - Guys caught a hot streak fishing.
6:30 - What is Gunner's family like?
10:30 - Do you believe it when the Eagles use an underdog mindset?
14:30 - Difference between OTA's today compared to when Barrett played.
17:00 - Barrett won an Emmy working on Hard Knocks
21:00 - Guys think the Browns (yes those Browns) will be competitive this season.
25:30 - Johnny Manziel is back in football.

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Zach Ertz is only other player to leave field with Jason Witten's jersey

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USA Today Images

Zach Ertz is only other player to leave field with Jason Witten's jersey

For a long time, Zach Ertz has always said that he’s emulated future Hall of Famer Jason Witten. Ertz loved the way he played and the way he handled himself on and off the field. 

Turns out it’s mutual. 

Because after Ertz went on social media to say goodbye to Witten after the longtime Dallas Cowboy retired recently, Witten returned the favor and praised Ertz. 

That’s pretty crazy. Witten played 15 years, a total of 247 games including the playoffs. And, according to him, the only other person to ever leave the field with his jersey is Ertz. It's become commonplace for players in the league to trade jerseys after games. During an NFL season, a peek into someone's locker will reveal a few jerseys of different colors. Witten's was probably be in demand, but Ertz is the only player to ever get one. 

It’s clear that Ertz gained Witten’s respect and Witten has probably heard the praise from Ertz before. He heard it again when Ertz tweeted earlier in May. 

“First off, I want to say congratulations to someone that had a profound impact on my career, by just being the man he is!” Ertz wrote. “At 17 years old when I was trying to figure out what a tight end meant and what they embodies I started following the tight end for the Cowboys. Everything he did on the field and off, I tried to emulate.” 

Oddly enough, this season Ertz made his first Pro Bowl, but couldn’t go because the Eagles were in the Super Bowl. Guess who took his place? Yup, Witten. 

Earlier this spring, Ertz said it’s strange to think that other tight ends are now growing up and trying to emulate him. He’s just trying to set as good an example as Witten did.