The Philadelphia Eagles season has been a nightmare. Ending the season at 4-11-1 and last in the NFL’s worst division, there are so many questions surrounding the Eagles heading into the offseason. That Super Bowl 52 victory over the New England Patriots seems so long ago now that the Eagles have become a bad team.
After a season like this, with so much drama and questionable coaching decisions, it might make sense for Philly to blow everything up. It doesn’t seem like the players support the current leadership, and many key players could be leaving. After an abysmal year, this is a perfect time for the Eagles to start fresh and look toward the future.
The Philadelphia Eagles season was a disaster
The Eagles had some lofty expectations coming into the 2020 season. With Carson Wentz, Zach Ertz, Miles Sanders, and a solid defense, many expected Philly to be a contender in the NFC. Before they even took the field, injuries decimated their roster, particularly their offensive line. Things were so bad, they brought back Jason Peters and moved him to guard. That should’ve been a sign of things to come for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles’ offense never got things going, highlighted by Carson Wentz’s struggles. Wentz shoulders much of the blame, but injuries to key skill players and a patchwork O-line didn’t make things any easier for him. Wentz was sacked 50 times (most in NFL), threw 15 interceptions (most in NFL), and had a QBR of 49.7 per ESPN. The Eagles benched Wentz against the Green Bay Packers, letting rookie Jalen Hurts take over.
Things were going smoothly for Hurts after two impressive games against the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals. He didn’t play well in his final two games, and head coach Doug Pederson benched him in their last game against the Washington Football Team. This move received much backlash given the playoff implications the New York Giants had riding on that game.
Doug Pederson’s leadership of the team was a symptom of the Eagles’ illness this season. His wishy-washy responses to reporter questions, questionable coaching decisions in games, and his handling of Wentz’s benching all contributed to the Eagles’ deterioration. The Eagles look like a sick franchise, and the only way to heal them is to clean house.
The Eagles need to clean house
As much as it might hurt, it is time for the Philadelphia Eagles to blow this thing up. This team is not the close-knit, family group or coaches and players that made their Super Bowl run. Relationships are damaged, coaching isn’t adequate, and players want change, even if it hasn’t been publicly said. The first step to cleaning house is getting rid of Pederson.
It seems like Pederson has lost the pulse of the locker room. If it wasn’t obvious during the season, it was evident in Philly’s final game. Eagles players were held back from approaching Pederson after he benched Hurts. That was a clear indication that he wasn’t trying to win the game, which angered many players.
Howie Roseman would also be out in this house cleaning. Roseman and the Eagles front office have made some questionable draft choices, although that analysis can be in hindsight. They have also put their money into the wrong players, resulting in the Eagles having $-74 million cap space per Spotrac. The mismanagement of contracts and bad draft history should be enough evidence for Philly to show Roseman the door.
Jim Schwartz, the defensive coordinator for the Eagles, is stepping away from the game for at least a year. Given the Eagles’ player injury history, it might be worth thinking about switching out the health/training staff also. It doesn’t stop there, as the Eagles have a big offseason coming with many decisions around their players.
The Philadelphia Eagles have a crucial offseason ahead of them
This offseason will be a huge one for the Philadelphia Eagles. The biggest thing surrounding them is the future of Carson Wentz. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported that Wentz would ask for a trade, but the Eagles aren’t at that point yet. Wentz will make $32 million next year, and if traded, will incur a $35 million dead cap hit.
They will swallow a huge financial pill no matter what they do with Wentz. Given how the relationship between him and Pederson is fractured, it’s best to see what they can get for him in a trade. Other Eagle mainstays could be on the way out also. Zach Ertz could be leaving after failing to reach a new contract. Jason Kelce might walk away from the game, something he has brought up the past few seasons.
Philadelphia’s team is now old and expensive. With their absurd cap situation, they need to cut or rework some veteran contracts. Alshon Jeffrey and Desean Jackson are good options, as they have dealt with injuries the past few seasons. Getting their cap situation right would help Philly attract younger talent.
After a season like this, the Eagles need a fresh start. Pederson’s resume is nice, but his recent shortcomings are too egregious to overcome. With their once franchise quarterback on the way out, the sixth pick in the upcoming draft, and a lack of trust from coaches to players, Philly needs to blow it up and rebuild for the future.