Eagles update: A fresh start in Philadelphia

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For the first time since Jan. 3, an embarrassment on Sunday Night Football at the hands of the Washington Football Team, Eagles fans have something to look forward to: the future. The Eagles have made a slew of coaching changes in the last month and traded embattled quarterback Carson Wentz, and are set to take the team in a new, successful direction.

By Andrew Franceski, Staff Reporter

For the first time since Jan. 3, an embarrassment on Sunday Night Football at the hands of the Washington Football Team, Eagles fans have something to look forward to: the future. The Eagles have made a slew of coaching changes in the last month and traded embattled quarterback Carson Wentz, and are set to take the team in a new, successful direction.  

The first of the hiring changes was the firing of Doug Pederson after five seasons and a Super Bowl victory. After weeks of silence and swirling rumors, the Eagles named former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni as head coach, a move met with mixed feelings amongst fans. Sirianni has a reputation as a tough coach who does not like egos, the type of coach desperately needed in Philadelphia and is in my opinion the best candidate for the job. 

This has brought hope to a dejected fanbase that was forced to suffer through one of the franchise’s worst seasons while the coaching staff and players at times showed little urgency. A change in head coach and the corresponding change in team culture will hopefully fix the fractured and often hostile locker room; a locker room often seconds from fighting.

 On Jan. 25, the Eagles hired former Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Shane Steichen, who coached alongside Sirianni on the Chargers to the same position for the Eagles. This hiring unjustly ignored Duce Staley, the Eagles’ running backs coach for a decade, who was considered to be the top candidate for either the head coaching or offensive coordinator positions. Staley was an Eagles fan favorite because of his time as a player, but was only briefly interviewed and left for an assistant head coaching job for the Detroit Lions. 

Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman also fielded multiple offers for Wentz, accepting the offer proposed by the Indianapolis Colts of a 2021 third round pick, a 2022 conditional second round pick and full salary payments after 2022. This means the Eagles are only responsible for 30 million of the remaining 100 million dollars left on his contract. The conditional pick switches from a second to a first rounder if Wentz plays 75% of offensive snaps, or starts 11 games. Fans should keep an eye on the Colts, as the better they do, the better the 2022 pick, and the better the trade is for the Eagles.

Since Wentz has been traded, the Eagles should begin to focus on developing Hurts and looking towards the NFL Draft in late April. The Eagles are in desperate need of a number one wide receiver as well two offensive lineman and a cornerback, and with the sixth overall pick, they need to draft Devonta Smith. Smith won the 2020 Heisman Award for best player in college, and the 2020 Biletnikoff Award for best wide receiver. However, Roseman has a reputation for drafting unorthodox players, often to the detriment of the team and the chagrin of fans. Everyone, myself included, is praying he does not do it again. We do not need a repeat of Jordan Hicks or Nelson Agholor both of whom were busts in Philadelphia.

COVID-19 has also created unforeseen money problems for the Eagles. They are 46 million dollars over the cap this season, and for the first time in almost a decade, the cap will not rise due to a loss in revenue. This will lead to inevitable roster cuts and restricts their ability to sign free agents. 

Fans should expect cuts of veterans including Alshon Jeffery, Javon Hargrave, and Malik Jackson, all of whom had their contracts restructured in early January and will most likely be cut in March, saving close to 15 million dollars. These players all didn’t play meaningful snaps all season and myself and many others are not sad to see them go. 

Roseman will need to be frugal, and draft well to avoid a pricey luxury tax and other potential fines during and after the 2021 season.

Eagles fans will have to stay tuned next season, as it promises to be interesting, and reveal the future of the franchise.

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