Roseman’s fascinating explanation why Eagles didn’t extend players in 2022


INDIANAPOLIS — Since the days of Joe Banner, the Eagles have been known for extending their own players early.

So when they didn’t do that at all this season, it was pretty notable.

Now we know why.

Speaking to reporters at the NFL combine on Tuesday, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman explained the organization’s thinking during the 2022 season.

“I think just obviously we took a little bit of a different tactic this year,” Roseman said. “Usually, we like to sign guys early and sign guys during the season. And because of how hot we started, how well we did, and how many free agents we had, we thought it would create a different dynamic if we started to pick one guy and not another guy.

“We understood that could cost us in the end, but we felt like it was worthwhile because of the opportunity to potentially win a championship. Unfortunately, we came up short.”

That’s pretty fascinating.

Because just before and during the 2021 season, the Eagles reached contract extensions for four members of their 2018 draft class. And that’s normally the standard operating procedure for the organization.

But the Eagles were careful with the chemistry they built in 2022 on a team that fell just short of winning a championship. It was probably wise. Because think about if, for instance, C.J. Gardner-Johnson, who was brought in via trade just before the season, got an extension before other veterans like Brandon Graham or T.J. Edwards.

The Eagles chose to avoid all that.


But now that the 2022 season is over and free agency is just a couple weeks away, the Eagles are faced with an impossibly long list of pending free agents and there’s just no way around it:

They won’t be able to keep everyone.

“It's not like we wake up the day after the Super Bowl, and we say, ‘Oh, man now we have to go figure out the team.’ This is what we've been doing,” Roseman said. “We have been doing it during the season, in the offseason.

“I wake up every morning thinking about this football team, and I go to bed every night thinking about this football team. It's constant communication about some of the things we are going to do.

“At the same time, we're going to prioritize the things that are important to us, that we build our team on. We're going to make sure those areas are strong. Are we going to get all the free agents back? We're just not. We're not capable of getting all those guys back, but we also understand we're in a good situation in terms of picks that we have going forward. We have a lot of guys under contract, not only for this year, but going forward. We're not going to make excuses for the position we're in.”

The Eagles this offseason have a ton of pending free agents. And there’s no way to keep Javon Hargrave, Fletcher Cox, Graham, Edwards, Kyzir White, Gardner-Johnson, Marcus Epps, James Bradberry, Miles Sanders and Isaac Seumalo.

Especially not as the Eagles are preparing to lock up quarterback Jalen Hurts to a mega deal.

Roseman knows the Eagles will look very different in 2023. They’ll look very different in 2024 too. They have been preparing for this reality.

And a lot of the next phase of team-building is going to come down to replenishing with the draft. The Eagles’ class of 2022 is a start. They’re hoping for big things from their first three picks — Jordan Davis, Cam Jurgens and Nakobe Dean — in 2023 after those players made a relatively small impact as rookies.

This April, the Eagles have six draft picks, including two first-rounders. And they already have eight picks in 2024 and will end up with a handful more thanks to the compensatory pick formula once they lose free agents this offseason.

It’s not like the Eagles are rebuilding. They have plenty of really talented players under contract through the next few seasons. But they at least recognize that they will need to shift their team-building strategy.

And that will start with saying goodbye to some key members from the Super Bowl LVII team.

“Obviously, you want all your guys back,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “You want all your guys back because you just went through a super special journey together. The journey is what you will always remember. I know that loss will stick with us, but there was a lot of good moments in that journey.”


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