The Eagles just won the first Super Bowl in franchise history — and, no, it’s not too soon or being greedy to think that this is only the beginning.
Based on the progress made by Carson Wentz alone, it was becoming easy to project the Eagles as a perennial contender for the next decade. Then Wentz got injured, and over the course of the next eight weeks, it became crystal clear that this team was more than just an ascending superstar quarterback.
The Eagles have a great front office, a great coaching staff and a great roster, with the vast majority of the key members set to return next season and much of the core in place for much longer.
Naturally, the architect, Howie Roseman, isn’t going anywhere. But Roseman will also continue to receive sage advice from vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas in 2018. An influential voice in many of the Eagles’ offseason signings and draft picks, Douglas was blocked from interviewing for another job and will continue serving as the GM’s right-hand man.
Doug Pederson obviously will remain in his position, coming off a win over perhaps the greatest coach in NFL history, proving his doubters wrong once and for all. The best part is that Pederson’s staff will likely stay largely intact, with only some minor changes among the position coaches anticipated. At this stage, coordinators Jim Schwartz, Frank Reich and Dave Fipp are probably sticking around.
Among players, Nigel Bradham, LeGarrette Blount, Patrick Robinson and Darren Sproles are among the key free agents. Yet out of the bunch, only Bradham is a full-time starter, while the Eagles are built to withstand losses at running back and in the secondary.
Even beyond 2018, Wentz*, Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Jason Kelce, Brandon Brooks, Lane Johnson, Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Derek Barnett, Malcolm Jenkins, Rodney McLeod and Sidney Jones are all under contract through 2021.
(*Wentz’s current contract ends in 2020, with a team option for 2021.)
Most important of all, the Eagles have the quarterback, provided Wentz is restored to full health after suffering a torn ACL. And if there is any concern at all, Nick Foles — he was only the Super Bowl MVP, after all — is under contract for another year, which is plenty of time to sort things out.
This is a roster filled to the brim with young, unsung heroes like Corey Clement, Nelson Agholor, Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills, Derek Barnett. And it’s also a roster stacked with leadership that won’t lose its appetite for winning, guys like Wentz and Foles, like Jenkins, like Brandon Graham, like Kelce and Johnson, like Jay Ajayi.
The Eagles just won a world championship missing Wentz, Jason Peters, Jordan Hicks, Chris Maragos and Darren Sproles. Imagine what almost this exact same group could accomplish at anything close to 100 percent.
Imagine the damage that can be inflicted in the NFC East, in the conference, in the NFL for the next few years or longer. The Eagles have quarterbacks. They have a team. They have coaching. They have the front office.
The Eagles have everything it takes to turn one magical season into another run at the prize in ‘18, and in 2019 and for who knows how long.
Whether or not they reach the mountaintop again, this season may be the first of many when the Eagles are in the hunt to win the Lombardi Trophy. Enjoy the celebration, but when it’s over, realize there’s still a whole lot more left ahead for this group.