A front office that wants to move on, but can't seem to let go. The main topic earlier today when Howie spoke at the NFL combine, (full press conference here), was the "youth movement". While he may have provided stock answers, Roseman was still able to portray the team's vision for the 2020 off-season.
The combine kicked off yesterday with player measurements and a few meetings. Today, some team personnel spoke to the media for the first time. Roseman was questioned about how he envisions the off-season going, and what exactly is the vision for this team moving forward. This is an interesting off-season for the Eagles. While they are stocked with draft capital and cap space, they are in need of filling holes that have been left by the key cogs from the recent success since 2017. The current core is also in their prime while leaning towards the tail end of their careers. This will lead to an interesting roster dynamic of aging and youthful players - much like the one from 2017.
With a mixture of youth and experience, specifically at the left tackle position, Howie was asked what the team's plans were with Jason Peters. Is he staying, or is he moving on?
(Jump to 0:40 of the press conference to hear Roseman's answer)
"As we go through this process, we want keep an open mind with everyone.. as we continue to gather information.. a big part about this week is accumulation information, and that is what we'll do here. Obviously when you talk about Jason Peters, you're talking about a hall of fame player, a hall of fame person who is very special to us, and played at a high level last year. We'll go through all of those decisions this week and that will kind of be my stock answer for every free agent we talk about here."
The takeaway from this is: The team enjoys the embarrassment of riches here, and would like to hang onto Peters... at the right price. Peters is a hall of fame player, and bringing him back only helps out the team's depth at the position. Obviously Dillard is waiting and might need more time to develop. However, if Peters feels like he can come back and play at a high level, the Eagles will evaluate the scenario.
As mentioned, the Eagles are loaded with draft capital, with a potential of 10 picks, seven coming in the first four rounds. Howie was asked if the team plans on using all 10 picks this upcoming draft.
"There are two parts to that.. I think the first part is, that the teams that have won the Super Bowl, there is also veteran components as well. So were not talking about a total rebuild, we're talking about a retool period, and injecting some youth. We got a lot of highly paid players, and good players - that is why we paid them, so you have to supplement them with some good young players."
Howie has realized that the team needs to get younger at certain positions. Now that Carson has gotten his large contract, that changes the entire makeup of building your roster. The cap space that was once allocated to other positions, is now tied up at the QB position. This means that drafting good, young talent becomes much more important, due to the salary cap flexibility.
Keeping on the topic of the draft, one of the more underrated questions of the day was when Roseman was asked how he and the staff evaluates past draft results - personally and as a staff. Roseman has been catching flak for his past draft results. While he and the staff have hit on key players such as Miles Sanders, Dallas Goedert, and Carson Wentz, there have been some questionable calls early on in drafts. Howie provided a candid answer:
"I think they (past drafts) are great learning tools. At the same time, you gotta look at some of the things you've over-valued, some of the things you've undervalued, and how the game has changed.. I am proud about the fact that some of the greatest players in Eagles history are from our draft classes.. Now can we do a better job, absolutely, and we are going to try and do everything we can to do a better job, but there is some projection involved."
At the end of the 14-minute press conference, Eagles fans can take away that the team is looking to get younger, while keeping a veteran presence in the locker room. While the team seems to want to keep JP around another year, the price has to be right. The Eagles are locked and loaded to move around the draft board this year, and if they have their sights set on a guy - they have the flexibility to move up. On the other end, given the amount of projection involved, it may be wise for the Eagles to hang onto their draft capital and get as many shots as possible to bring in a pro bowl caliber starter or two. The Eagles offseason is just getting underway. Fasten your seat belts, make sure your seat trays are in the upright and locked position, and get ready for take-off.