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Eagles begin their quest to repeat Super Bowl victory

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The NFL season has come to an end with the Philadelphia Eagles winning their first ever  Super Bowl. Although there are no games being played from February to August, the offseason is an extremely exciting time where fans follow along as franchise executives build their rosters for next year. This period is filled with high profile trades, free agent signings, and culminates in the NFL draft on April 26th.

Philadelphia Eagles executive vice president of football operations, Howie Roseman, has been largely credited for the Eagles’ success in the past few seasons. This is partly due to recent draft picks paying off extremely well in the form of Carson Wentz, Jordan Hicks, and others. In addition to this, Roseman spearheaded the signing of key players such as Legarrette Blount and Nigel Bradham among others. Roseman overseas contract negotiations, salary cap management, and the team’s scouting department. So far this offseason, Roseman has led the Eagles through countless salary negotiations and trades, making the Eagles one of the most active teams in this period. While most teams who win a Super Bowl look to keep their roster in tact, Roseman has taken a different approach in the Eagles quest to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

Going into the offseason, the Eagles had a massive salary cap problem in which they needed to get rid of $10 million on the team salary before next year. Roseman acted quickly and restructured offensive lineman Lane Johnson’s and tight end Zach Ertz’s contracts, freeing up the necessary amount of money to get under the $177 million league salary cap. Roseman then looked internally at the 13 players whose contracts had expired and were open to free agency. Star linebacker Nigel Bradham was the Eagles-main priority, and was successfully re-signed to a five-year 40 million dollar contract. This move was a steal for the Eagles, as linebackers have been receiving much more money recently, which shows Roseman’s negotiating prowess.

The Eagles then turned their attention outside and began making big name signings in order to bolster their already impressive roster. One of the biggest trades of the offseason was made for Seattle’s defensive end Michael Bennett. In this trade the Eagles gave up backup wide receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth round pick for Bennett and a seventh round pick. This trade was huge for Philadelphia as it strengthened their already tenacious defense which allowed the least passing and rushing yards per game of any team in 2017. In addition, it filled the gap left by long time Eagle star, Vinny Curry, who was signed by the Buccaneers to a three-year 23 million dollar contract. The downside with Bennett is his problematic off-the-field behavior which has landed him in the news once again this past week. Bennett had a warrant issued for his arrest after his alleged assault of a 66-year-old paraplegic women after Super Bowl LI. Bennett turned himself in but maintained his innocence. Roseman claimed that the Eagles were unaware of this incident while trading for Bennett

“I don’t think it’s fair in any situation to not give people the right to present their side. I don’t want to get into this, but our overriding philosophy on things are people are innocent until proven guilty.”

In addition to Bennett, the Eagles added veteran defensive tackle Haloti N’gata. Adding another defensive lineman was a very interesting move by Roseman, especially after the addition of Michael Bennett. Although N’gata is a very talented player, he is 34 years old and hasn’t played a full season since 2011. He will presumably take on a lighter workload next season for the Eagles, and will solidify the depth at defensive line.

After trading their number-two receiver Torrey Smith to the Panthers, the Eagles were in the market for a replacement. Roseman went out and signed Ravens veteran Mike Wallace to a one-year $2.5 million deal. Wallace, now 31, has continued to produce exceptional numbers even as he has passed his prime. This signing was a steal for the Eagles, as Wallace is a coveted veteran who is known for his fantastic locker room demeanor.

Roseman and the rest of the Eagles executives have shown the NFL that they are not satisfied with their accomplishments last season. They have been aggressive and effective in their offseason moves, filling gaps and upgrading positions across the board. It will be extremely interesting to see who the Eagles draft and also any other moves that occur before the season starts again in July.

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