New faces: DT Malik Jackson, WR DeSean Jackson, RB Jordan Howard, DE Vinny Curry, LB Zach Brown, OT Andre Dillard, RB Miles Sanders, WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside, QB Josh McCown, S Andrew Sendejo, LB L.J. Fort
They’re gone: QB Nick Foles, DE Michael Bennett, WR Golden Tate, LB Jordan Hicks, DE Chris Long, DT Haloti Ngata, WR Jordan Matthews, RB Darren Sproles
2019 snapshot: One of the few teams in the league without any real glaring holes to fill, Philadelphia entered the offseason with plenty of flexibility and put it to good use.
Three former Eagles — DeSean Jackson, Curry and Timmy Jernigan — were brought back for cheap, and GM Howie Roseman also signed two former Pro Bowl defenders who were released (Malik Jackson, Brown). Bennett (traded to New England) and Long (retired) will be missed, but Curry, a healthy Derek Barnett and a freshly paid Brandon Graham should be sufficient on the edge.
Roseman also had a great draft, starting with a mini trade-up past Houston to nab Jason Peters’ successor in Dillard. He acquired Howard for cheap (2020 conditional sixth-rounder) and drafted offensive contributors in Sanders and Arcega-Whiteside, both of whom could have roles from Day 1. The Eagles are also in line for more draft capital in 2020 thanks to the compensatory pick formula.
Foles’ departure was unavoidable, but the Eagles drafted Clayton Thorson and moved quickly to extend Carson Wentz. That extension — while complicated in structure — looks like a clear win for the team. Any deal would carry some risk given Wentz’s injury history, but if he remains healthy moving forward, Philadelphia will have one of the league’s best quarterbacks on a deal significantly short of the top of the market.
Injuries thinned depth behind Wentz this summer, leaving the team to sign Josh McCown out of retirement to be Wentz’s backup.
Get to know… RB Miles Sanders
A second-round pick out of Penn State, Sanders has overshadowed newcomer Jordan Howard — acquired via trade from the Chicago Bears — and is clearly viewed as a potential three-down back. The question for this season is: Has his time already arrived? Sanders proved effective as a runner and receiver in the preseason and was praised heartily throughout training camp.
Worth the investment?
–After 13 wins in 2017 and nine last season, the Eagles’ over/under is set at 10 this year. Wentz’s injury history isn’t enough to shy away from the over.
–Wentz was likely headed for his first MVP award before tearing his ACL late in 2017. Betting on him to do so this year at +1500 is a fair wager.
Bottom line: Few GMs in the business are better than Roseman, who put together another strong offseason with a clear and coherent plan. There’s no reason the Eagles shouldn’t compete for a Super Bowl appearance.