For a long time, the Eagles knew this day was going to come. But that won’t make it any easier.
The Jets are hiring Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas to fill their vacant general manager job. (It's a six-year deal from the Jets, according to ESPN.) And the Eagles, in the process, are losing one of their key front office members.
Douglas was hired by the Eagles in May of 2016 and has helped them build rosters that have gone to the playoffs in back-to-back years and helped construct the Super Bowl team in 2017.
In New York, Douglas will take over a franchise that has been a laughingstock in the NFL. He replaces recently fired Mike Maccagnan and will reunite with head coach Adam Gase, who was the offensive coordinator in Chicago during Douglas’ only season there. Douglas was reportedly Gase’s first pick for the job. If anyone can un-Jets the Jets, it’s Douglas, who will provide a much-needed vision and stability to a team that has been a wreck for a long time.
While Douglas was long considered to be the favorite for the Jets job, New York also interviewed Scott Fitterer (Seahawks), Terry Fontenot (Saints) and Champ Kelly (Bears).
While this is a tough day for the Eagles, they have been preparing for this moment.
"At some point, we are going to lose executives," Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in March. "When you’re winning, you’re going to lose executives. I think we’re in a great position to be able to deal with that. We don’t want to put a cap on how many good executives we have in football operations. That would be a competitive mistake."
This offseason, the Eagles did hire Andrew Berry as their vice president of football operations, so perhaps he could be Douglas’ replacement. But for now, Berry is working under Roseman in a different area.
The reason this is such a big blow is because of the working relationship Douglas and Roseman had achieved over the last few years. No, they weren’t lockstep with each other on every decision, but they had a similar vision and respect was always at the forefront of their relationship. Before Douglas’ arrival, there was a clear perception — some of it earned — that Roseman was tough to work with. There was a list of guys who failed next to him. But when Lurie reinstated Roseman’s power after he fired Chip Kelly, it was clear that there was going to be a significant personnel hire. That hire took a while to make, but it was a key part to the puzzle.
While Roseman has grown into a solid talent evaluator, it’s clear his biggest strength is understanding value and the financial aspects of the NFL. His biggest strengths and weaknesses seemed to be perfectly complementary to those of Douglas, who came up in Baltimore from the scouting world.
Just a few weeks ago, before the combine, Douglas and Roseman both raved about the way they and the entire organization worked together.
"We’re both extremely passionate about this game and we want nothing more than to win championships at the highest level,” Douglas said earlier this offseason. “I think what makes our relationship work is that we’re not afraid to have tough conversations. Oftentimes we can set our egos aside and come up with the best solutions for the Philadelphia Eagles."
The Eagles blocked Douglas from interviewing with the Texans in January of 2018, which is a shame for Douglas, because that seems to be a much more stable spot than where he ended up. But there are only 32 of these jobs available and Douglas was eventually (and deservingly) going to get one.
Now, it’s time for the Eagles to replace him.
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