Major changes coming for Eagles as they usher in youth movement

Major changes coming for Eagles as they usher in youth movement

PHILADELPHIA — Eagles general manager Howie Roseman acknowledged at last week’s end-of-season news conference that one of his weaknesses is getting attached to his players. Given that many of the current men on the roster helped to deliver the city its first Super Bowl championship, it stands to reason that his grip is all the tighter.

But Roseman knows he needs to stick to the game plan and usher in the next era of Eagles football for the health of the franchise, starting this offseason.

“Going forward,” Roseman said, “we need to infuse youth in this team.”

Team chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie noted at the annual league meetings in Arizona in March that 65% of the NFL is composed of first- to third-year players. At the time, only 42% of the Eagles’ active roster fit that criteria. They had the third-oldest roster in 2019, with eight of their projected starters 30-plus years of age. And while having a veteran-laden group can be a good thing — the past four Super Bowl rosters have been on the older side — there’s risk involved in the forms of increased injury and decreased team speed and energy, and Philadelphia got hit with all of those issues this season.

Roseman said they viewed the 2017 through 2019 squads essentially as one team. With the Eagles’ draft resources depleted by trades — most notably, the one with Cleveland in 2016 that landed them quarterback Carson Wentz — they stuck with most of their core guys and tried to supplement the roster by looking for value in the over-30 bin in NFL free agency.

The approach will shift now that Philadelphia’s draft capital has been rebuilt. The Eagles are projected to have 10 picks in April’s NFL draft, including the 21st overall pick, two third-round picks and three picks in Round 4. That haul will help Lurie reach his goal of getting his roster closer to the league average in terms of youth.

In order to make room for the next generation, the Eagles will have to part with members of the old guard. Here are some of the notable players scheduled to be free agents, along with their current age:

Offense: QB Josh McCown (40); T Jason Peters (37); WR Nelson Agholor (26); QB Nate Sudfeld (26); T Halapoulivaati Vaitai (26); RB Jordan Howard (25)

Defense: DE Vinny Curry (31); LB Nigel Bradham (30); CB Jalen Mills (26); S Rodney McLeod (29); CB Ronald Darby (25); DT Tim Jernigan (27); LB Kamu Grugier-Hill (25); DT Hassan Ridgeway (25)

NFL News

via http://www.espn.com – NFL http://www.espn.com

January 16, 2020 at 06:49AM

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