It was a suspiciously good offseason for the Philadelphia Eagles and their volatile fan base. A large group of folks hard to keep happy had few reasons to complain after GM Howie Roseman continued his penchant for draft day blockbusters. It started with deals last year (trade back with Miami, trade of Carson Wentz), and then continued through a swap of picks with New Orleans, a trade up for Jordan Davis, and the acquisition of new star receiver A.J. Brown, using the last remaining 2022 Philadelphia first-round picks. It’s worth noting that this largely improved team will have another year of multiple first-rounders in next year’s draft, giving them tons of flexibility to treat a very different looking roster after a year of added context. The most dramatic improvements for Philly in this offseason came among the defensive units and the receiver room.
The Eagles made out like bandits in moves that cost them seemingly way below market value to land the services of James Bradberry (free agent signing from a division rival), Nakobe Dean (Draft Day slide), and to some extent, the aforementioned Brown (see compensation for Brown, Marquise). This surplus of perceived market value translates to one of the best looking Eagles defenses, on paper, since Super Bowl 52. Jordan Davis adds to a collection of young interior defensive talent, but his presence alone changes this defense dramatically for Defensive Coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The EDGE rushers should look mostly familiar, unless you include free agency splurge and Temple alum Haason Reddick. The traditionally weak linebacker unit looks like a freshly renovated townhome with the additions of Dean and former Charger Kyzir White. The defensive backs are bottom heavy with loads of young depth pieces behind established starters Slay, Bradberry, Maddox, and Harris. The late addition of Jaquiski Tartt reunites him with fellow Samford alum Bradberry and should certainly raise the floor of performance for this group.
This team will live and die by the play of Jalen Hurts. It should come as no surprise in such a QB-driven league, but the third year QB with one year of starter’s experience has to show levels of improvement that instills confidence in the coaching staff and front office. After the addition of his best friend, the Eagles have themselves their best receiver since Terrell Owens, giving Hurts a limited list of excuses for not having an improved Year 3.
If Hurts continues to improve the way he has since being a member of Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide, I see no reason why the Eagles can’t go 13-4 to win the NFC East division. Also, look for the Eagles to jump on an extension agreement with him early if he shows improvement through Training Camp and I’m guessing Week 10. This is all dependent on consistent, above average performance from Hurts through this time, but watch for Howie to work the cap like he usually does for a two to four year extension with a $37.5M AAV.
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