Eagles planning ‘aggressive’ approach to free agency

By Thomson Reuters Feb 27, 2024 | 2:19 PM

INDIANAPOLIS — Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman plans on “aggressively” pursuing free agents who can help erase the sting of last season’s second-half collapse.

“The end of the season didn’t go how we wanted it to,” he said at the NFL Scouting Combine on Tuesday. “I don’t know that I think about it other than how do we improve, how do we get better as quickly as we can.”

One way to do so is by “aggressively going after” veterans on the market, he said, which presumably includes many of the Eagles’ own 20 pending free agents.

Philadelphia has $27.4 million in salary cap space to work with to help fix a team that lost six of its last seven games in 2023, including a wild-card playoff loss at Tampa Bay.

“The standard is trying to compete for world championships,” said Roseman, 48, who helped build the team that won Super Bowl LII and fell just short in Super Bowl LVII.

Roseman reflected on losing several key defensive players from that 2022 Super Bowl team in free agency last year, including defensive tackle Javon Hargrave and safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

“Looking back, we certainly missed some of those guys and that starts with me and making those decisions,” Roseman said.

In addition to preparing for April’s draft, where the Eagles have the 22nd pick in the first round, Roseman said that his offseason to-do list includes a potential contract extension for wide receiver DeVonta Smith and waiting to hear whether two veteran anchors — center Jason Kelce and defensive tackle Fletcher Cox –decide to return for another season.

Entering a quarterback-heavy draft, head coach Nick Sirianni said the Eagles have not lost faith in signal-caller Jalen Hurts or his leadership ability despite the second-half slide.

“Everyone has to lead their own way. Jalen has special qualities that people will follow and will want to follow,” he said. “He’s gotta do what he needs to do to lead in that way. Some people’s leadership style is loud and aggressive, some people’s leadership style is by example, and some is a mixture of both. And so Jalen needs to lead how he needs to lead.”

Hurts will be working with new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore, who replaces Brian Johnson. Vic Fangio is the new defensive coordinator tasked with improving a unit that ranked 30th in scoring defense and 31st against the pass last season.

–Field Level Media