It wasn’t a busy offseason for the Eagles in the sense of new coaches or major free agents signed.
But it was an important offseason to set themselves up for improving on last season’s 9-8 record that ended with a thud in the first round of the playoffs.
While the moves themselves began with a trickle when the new league year began in March, almost every offseason need was addressed.
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There was one exception, though. The Eagles did not add a starting caliber cornerback or safety either in free agency or the draft. There’s still time to do that before training camp starts in late July.
Here, then, is a ranking of the Eagles’ top offseason moves:
9. Return of kelly green uniforms
The Eagles will have to wait until 2023 to unveil the uniforms that the team wore up until the mid-1990s. But Jeffrey Lurie’s announcement that plans are in place, including helmets, excited many fans who longed for the old-time uniforms as an alternate.
For this season, the Eagles’ alternate uniforms will be all black, also including helmets, at the suggestion of quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Eagles were 2-0 last season when they wore black pants.
8. Howie Roseman’s extension
Roseman might not be a fan favorite, especially at draft time. But Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie feels differently. He gave Roseman, who began as Eagles’ GM in 2010, a three-year extension in March.
Even though Roseman’s drafts have been somewhat spotty, he has given the Eagles more flexibility with his trades.
That included getting two first-round picks both in the draft last weekend and again in 2023. Roseman turned the two first-round picks this year into Georgia defensive lineman Jordan Davis and star wide receiver A.J. Brown in a trade with the Tennessee Titans.
At the very least, Roseman has made Eagles’ draft night must-see TV with his constant deals.
7. Releasing, re-signing Fletcher Cox
Sure, you can blame Roseman for continually restructuring contracts of veterans like Fletcher Cox. At the time of the restructuring, it seems like a smart move because it saves the Eagles money on the salary cap.
But as Cox has gotten older and his play has declined, his remaining salary was becoming an albatross. Rather than paying an $18 million guarantee this year in addition to more years of guaranteed money, the Eagles released Cox, then re-signed him to a one-year deal worth $14 million.
By doing so, the Eagles get one more season from one of the best defensive tackles in team history. And Cox can help groom his successor in Davis.
The Eagles had the second fewest sacks in the NFL last season with 29. Enter Reddick, who had 23.5 sacks over the last two seasons.
Reddick will serve as a rush linebacker, and thus serve as a complement to the rotation at edge rusher with Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat.
5. Not trading for Wilson, Watson
The Eagles could have pooled their resources, and maybe they would have if either Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson had expressed interest in playing for the Eagles. Both quarterbacks had no-trade clauses.
But Roseman and head coach Nick Sirianni said repeatedly that they were going with Jalen Hurts this season, adding their offseason goal was to provide more help for the quarterback.
A trade for Wilson, especially, would have cost the Eagles about $35 million more on the salary cap than the $1.6 million that Hurts will count against the cap this season. Watson could still face a lengthy suspension stemming from the 22 civil suits from women alleging sexual misconduct. He agreed to a fully-guaranteed $230 million contract upon being traded to the Cleveland Browns.
Sticking with Hurts gave the Eagles more flexibility to address other needs.
4. Kelce putting off retirement
The announcement came in March, when Jason Kelce, at a cabin, tapped the keg of beer that Eagles coach Nick Sirianni sent him as an incentive to return for a 12th season.
Kelce poured himself a beer, took a sip with the foam on his full board, then announced that he’ll return. Kelce might be 34 years old, but he’s coming off arguably his best season. Kelce was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time and was named an All-Pro for the fourth time.
He’ll once again anchor one of the top offensive lines in the NFL, plus groom his successor in second-round pick Cam Jurgens. But that changing of the guard might not happen after this season. Sirianni said another keg might be in the offing next winter, too.
3. Drafting Jordan Davis
Give the Eagles credit. They identified a player that they really wanted in the first round of the draft, then made sure they got him.
So they traded up from No. 15 to No. 13, sending Houston their first-round pick, along with a fourth-rounder and two fifths, in order to get the 6-foot-6, 341-pound Davis. The Eagles felt they have to get ahead of Baltimore at No. 14 in order to get Davis.
The Ravens then took safety Kyle Hamilton. It’s believed that the Eagles would have gone after cornerbacks Derek Stingley Jr. or Sauce Gardner had either one fallen to around No. 8-10. They went third and fourth, respectively. So the Eagles turned to Davis.
2. Taking a chance on Nakobe Dean
Roseman said when it came time for their second-round picks, their top two choices were Jurgens and Georgia linebacker Nakobe Dean.
Imagine the Eagles’ surprise, then, when Dean was still available in the third round.
There were reports that Dean, projected to be a late first-round pick or early second rounder, had a pectoral strain. It was also reported that Dean turned down surgery. Dean denied that, saying it was never recommended.
Dean participated in the Eagles’ rookie minicamp last weekend. If he’s healthy this season, he should end up as a starter. That’s great value for a third-round pick.
1. Trading for A.J. Brown
The Eagles tried all offseason to get a marquee wide receiver. They reportedly were interested in trading for Calvin Ridley. They tried signing free agents Christian Kirk and Allen Robinson, among others, only to lose out when they, along with others, signed exorbitant contracts.
So it seemed like the Eagles would get their help for DeVonta Smith in the draft. Instead of going after someone like Chris Olave or Jameson Williams in the first round, the Eagles traded their first-round pick at No. 18 and third-round pick at No. 101 to Tennessee for Brown.
Brown just happens to be Hurts’ best friend. They worked out together a week before the draft. So instead of taking a chance on a rookie, the Eagles got a receiver who had 2,995 yards receiving in three seasons.
Hurts will certainly take that.
Contact Martin Frank at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.
This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: Which is No. 1? Ranking the Eagles top 9 offseason moves