It seems like forever ago that Nick Foles led the Philadelphia Eagles to a shocking Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots. But just a few years removed from hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, Doug Pederson and his team appear on the verge of falling apart.
With Carson Wentz collecting huge paychecks from the bench and the rest of the roster in dire need of upgrades, the Eagles have major issues to address. But apparently, the organization has been hiding a secret weapon for months that could save the franchise from falling apart.
The Eagles have major personnel problems
Coming off back-to-back 9-7 campaigns, the reigning NFC East champions own a disappointing 4-8-1 record.
After finishing third in scoring and seventh in total yards in 2017, the Eagles have fallen all the way to 26th in both categories. Despite signing a $128 million contract extension in the spring of 2019, Carson Wentz lost his starting job to Jalen Hurts. The second-round rookie led Philadelphia to a shocking upset of the New Orleans Saints last Sunday.
Obviously, though, Wentz’s future with the franchise hangs in the balance. And unfortunately for Eagles fans, the team has other issues to address this offseason.
The offensive line needs to be re-tooled. Jason Peters may earn a bust in Canton one day, but it’s time for Philadelphia to move on from the nine-time Pro Bowler. Lane Johnson’s durability problems may force the Eagles to consider bringing in multiple tackles.
The wide receiver position should get overhauled. Alshon Jeffery will count $18.5 million against the cap, but the team can save about $8 million by moving on from the perennially-injured pass-catcher. The Eagles can save another $5 million or so by getting rid of DeSean Jackson.
Defensively, the Eagles clearly need more playmakers in the secondary. Stunningly, Jim Schwartz’s unit has only picked off four passes in 13 games. Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham have combined for 13.5 sacks and 23 quarterback hits, but both are on the wrong side of 30.
Philadelphia faces major salary-cap trouble in 2021
With significant personnel decisions to make, the Eagles face arguably the most important offseason in franchise history.
However, their salary-cap situation will make it incredibly challenging for Philadelphia to fix its issues via free agency. According to Spotrac, the team has $260 million in contract commitments for the 2021 season. Should the cap drop to $175 million as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Eagles will be $64 million over the cap after rolling over $21 million in unused cap space. Only the Saints will be in a worse situation, as they project to be $95 million over the $175 million limit.
And for those wondering whether trading Wentz would help ease Philadelphia’s cap woes…it’s actually the opposite.
The former No. 2 pick counts $34.6 million against the cap in 2021. However, Wentz carries a whopping dead-cap hit of $59 million. Needless to say, it seems highly unlikely that the Eagles will move on from him this offseason.
Between the state of their roster and their salary cap, the Eagles appear to be in dire straights. But as it turns out, they’ve been hiding a secret weapon for months that could save the franchise from falling apart.
The Eagles have kept a significant move under wraps for months
Not too long ago, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman garnered widespread praise for his role in assembling a championship roster. But with the franchise facing an uncertain future, Philadelphia reportedly made a significant move a few months ago that has flown under the radar. In doing so, the Eagles brought in a big-time weapon that can save the organization from completely falling apart.
On Saturday, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo revealed that John Dorsey has been working as a consultant for the Eagles for the past few months. He formerly served as the general manager for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2013-2016 before he ran the Cleveland Browns from 2017-2019.
According to Garafolo, Dorsey could remain in Philadelphia on a full-time capacity if he doesn’t get hired as a GM elsewhere. And that should be a welcomed bit of news for Eagles fans.
Can John Dorsey replicate what he did in Kansas City and Cleveland?
Although the Chiefs won a Super Bowl after Dorsey left, he played a significant role in acquiring some of the team’s biggest stars. He drafted a number of impact players, including Chris Jones, Dee Ford, Marcus Peters, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Mitch Morse.
Oh, he also stole Travis Kelce with the 63rd overall pick in 2013. Three years later, Dorsey scooped up Tyreek Hill in the fifth round.
In Cleveland, the seasoned personnel man laid the foundation for the current team’s success. Myles Garrett headlined a 2017 class that also included underrated defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi. Dorsey famously took Baker Mayfield with the first overall pick before snagging Denzel Ward at No. 4. The Browns’ 2018 draft class also included Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb.
While the Eagles have found some solid players via the draft in recent years, they need an A+ class in April in order to turn the franchise around. With no money to spend in free agency, their best (and only) chance to improve is to make every selection count.
Based on his stellar track record of finding high-impact players in both the early and late rounds of the draft, Dorsey deserves to have a huge say in how the Eagles approach their player-selection process. He can replenish the roster with younger, cheaper options that will allow the team to get rid of aging, expensive players.
If the Eagles are smart, they’ll let the experienced personnel executive work his magic.
If they don’t, it definitely won’t be sunny in Philadelphia.