Known for targeting players early when it comes to contract extensions, Howie Roseman was quiet through the 2022-23 season and the Eagles GM explained the reason at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday.
Philadelphia was simply too good and the leverage wasn’t there for the organization with so many players having career years.
“Obviously we took a little bit of a different tactic this year,” Roseman told reporters. “Usually, we like to sign guys early and sign guys during the season, and because of how hot we started, how well we did, and how many free agents we had, we thought it would create a different dynamic if we started to pick one guy and not another guy.”
Loyal listeners of BIRDS 365 already knew the leverage aspect of the equation but Roseman went further in-depth on the give and take of not wanting to single out players to help the chemistry of what turned out to be a 16-4 team that came up just short in Super Bowl LVII.
“We understood [the strategy] could cost us in the end, but we felt like it was worthwhile because of the opportunity to potentially win a championship,” he said. “Unfortunately, we came up short.”
Roseman has now said on two occasions he expects to gain compensatory picks in 2024 because free agents will be leaving Philadelphia this spring.
“Obviously, you want all your guys back because you just went through a super special journey together,” head coach Nick Sirianni said. “…you want to try to get as many guys back as you can. But knowing that’s not always possible. Again, Howie’s gotta do what he feels is best for the team.
“I’ll have my input and we’ll see what happens.”
With a massive extension for Jalen Hurts looming, Roseman is cognizant that it could be difficult to keep players like James Bradberry, Javon Hargrave, Isaac Seumalo and Miles Sanders puls the GM may need to make decisions at linebacker and safety between the expensive (T.J. Edwards and C.J. Gardner-Johnson), and the more cost-effective (Kyzir White and Marcus Epps).
“We’re going to prioritize the things that are important to us, that we build our team on,” Roseman said. “We’re going to make sure those areas are strong. Are we going to get all the free agents back? We’re just not. We’re not capable of getting all those guys back, but we also understand we’re in a good situation in terms of picks that we have going forward.
“We have a lot of guys under contract, not only for this year but going forward. We’re not going to make excuses for the position we’re in.”
Typically when Roseman talks about priorities it starts with the QB and then the offensive and defensive lines.
The top priority on the offensive line is All-Pro center Jason Kelce, who is mulling retirement.
“He’s a special player, special person,” Roseman said of Kelce. “I think whatever his timeline is, we’re willing to work with him.”
As for Hurts, Roseman admitted having a star QB on a rookie deal is great in the short term but the only thing better is having a signal caller who you want to pay.
“You want me to get sentimental about how it was before we pay our quarterback?” Roseman smiled, “I think it’s the nature of the business. I think the better thing is when you have a quarterback that’s good enough that you want to pay him and that he has a chance to be a great player. Show him what kind of player he’s going to be.
“If you don’t have a quarterback, you’re searching for one, and you can’t win in this league without a great quarterback who plays at a high level. We saw how Jalen played in the Super Bowl, on the biggest stage, and that’s exciting for our team, for our fans, for all of us.”