Eagles

Why one GM says Eagles' Howie Roseman is the NFL's best general manager

Why one GM says Eagles' Howie Roseman is the NFL's best general manager

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has had an interesting week.

Last Thursday, Roseman was preparing for a crucial draft in which he would attempt to re-tool the Eagles' offense into a unit that can compete for a Super Bowl next season.

This Thursday, he's still defending his decision to draft quarterback Jalen Hurts with the No. 53 pick instead of opting for a cornerback, a linebacker, or even a second wide receiver.

While the football world is largely still scratching its head over what the Hurts pick means for Carson Wentz and for the Eagles' future, at least one key decision maker in the NFL thinks Roseman had a great weekend.

Browns general manager Andrew Berry, who worked alongside Roseman last season as the Eagles' VP of football operations in his only year with the organization, appeared on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" this week to talk all things NFL, and was unsurprisingly asked for his thoughts on Roseman's controversial draft decisions.

Berry had nothing but good things to say:

With Howie, I've said it before: I think he's the best general manager, currently, in the sport. Very well-rounded skillset. I've taken a lot from in him, in terms of my approach to free agency, trades, general aggression with roster building, contract management, and then just overall people management and philosophy.

Is Berry biased because of his close relationship with Roseman? It's certainly possible. And, yes, I know listening to the person in charge of the Browns isn't a very good way to become a smart football fan.

But Berry has spent the last decade working in and around the NFL, which means he's not exactly new to the league and the people who are in charge.

Roseman has taken a lot of flack for investing valuable a resource at a position that didn't represent need for the Eagles this offseason, but Roseman has doubled down in media appearances since Friday, trying to sell the pick as both a win-now move and a security blanket for the franchise.

An interesting point was raised by The Ringer's Kevin Clark this week, about Roseman daring to re-tool his team on the fly instead of waiting for it to fall apart and rebuild.

Clark likened Roseman's apparent re-tooling, among others in the NFL, to one of the greatest soccer managers of all-time, Sir Alex Ferguson from Manchester United, who viewed his team as needing to change after four years.

Here's Ferguson, who won 13 league titles at Manchester United, on always looking ahead:

Although I was always trying to disprove it, I believe that the cycle of a successful team lasts maybe four years, and then some change is needed. So we tried to visualize the team three or four years ahead and make decisions accordingly.

Only time, and likely results, will tell if Roseman was multiple steps ahead of the league by picking Hurts, or if the selection will feel like a waste of a second-round pick.

But Berry clearly believes Roseman has a plan, and it sounds like Roseman's approach is influencing the next generation of GMs.

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Eagle Eye podcast: Appreciating Fletcher Cox’s prime

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Eagle Eye podcast: Appreciating Fletcher Cox’s prime

On the latest Eagle Eye podcast, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro get together after the NFL’s opt-out period is over. 

The Eagles had just one player opt out of the 2020 season. Exploring more questions about having a season and Doug Pederson’s role as a virtual coach. 

Is it really a good year to be an undrafted free agent? Plus, takeaways from interviews with Rodney McLeod, Jalen Mills and Fletcher Cox. 

  • (0:29) — Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out.
  • (12:23) — Doug Pederson is still leading the team... virtually.
  • (18:06) — Good year for undrafted free agents?
  • (25:31) — Takeaways from zoom interviews with Jalen Mills, Rodney McLeod, and Fletcher Cox.
  • (42:48) — Shady signs with Tampa Bay.

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Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out

Deadline passes with only 1 Eagle known to be opting out

The NFL’s opt-out deadline passed Thursday afternoon with no word of any additional Eagles electing to skip the 2020 season because of COVID-19 concerns.

As of 4 p.m. EST, only wide receiver Marquis Goodwin had announced he’s opting out. 

The Eagles acquired Goodwin in a draft-day trade with the 49ers, and while he wasn’t expected to be a starter his 140 career receptions are second-most among the Eagles’ healthy receivers.

League-wide, it appears 66 players opted out. 

With most teams carrying 80 players on the roster, that represents about 2 1/2 percent of NFL players.

In the NFC East, the Giants and Cowboys lost three apiece and Washington lost two. 

Teams losing the most players are the Patriots [8], Browns [5] and the Chiefs, Colts, Cowboys, Giants, Jaguars, Jets, Lions and Raiders [3 each].

Three teams appear to have no opt-outs: The Chargers, Falcons and Steelers. The Eagles are among nine teams to lose one player. Ten teams had two opt-outs.

Players who opt out who have been determined by the NFL to be at risk because of a specific pre-existing condition receive a $350,000 stipend from the league and receive a year of pension credit toward free agency and benefits. 

Those who are considered not at risk receive $150,000 that is essentially an advance on their 2021 salary and they do not accrue a year of pension credit. If players in this category don’t make a roster next year, they must return the money.

Goodwin, who is considered not at risk, had 962 yards for the 49ers in 2017 but has just 35 catches for 581 yards the last two years. 

Several Eagles starters who were made available to the Philly media over the past week said they talked about opting out with family members before electing not to.

I think everyone in the back of their mind was wondering, ‘What does this look like for me safety-wise, what does this look like for my family safety-wise?’ Carson Wentz said. “And I was no different. I think, definitely, the health and safety of my family definitely is different than I think a lot of guys that are maybe single and don’t have wives or kids and those things, and you definitely have to take all those factors in. You never know how this is going to fully unfold, but I feel safe here and it was something that my wife and I talked a lot about and prayed a lot about, and we feel good with our decision but at the same time completely respect the guys that did decide to opt out for personal reasons, family reasons, health reasons. Like Marquis Goodwin, I fully respect his decision. Obviously I’m bummed I’m not going to be able to play with him but fully respect those guys’ decisions.

Rodney McLeod echoed Wentz: “It was a conversation I had with my wife, but I think looking at all the protocols that were put into place here we felt confident that this is probably one of the safer environments you could be in between these walls. Marquis Goodwin had to do what was best for his family and I understand that and we support him fully for that decision.”

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More on the Eagles