Howie Roseman wrested back control of the Eagles‘ personnel staff over the offseason, and quickly turned to remaking the roster on his terms, dealing away several of former head coach Chip Kelly‘s acquisitions — such as DeMarco Murray and Byron Maxwell — while extending much of Philadelphia’s young core, including Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz, and others. This approach was by design, as Roseman (now the club’s de facto general manager) explained to 94 WIP in Philadelphia.
“When you look at it, some of the mistakes we’ve made have been going out and spending a lot of money,” Roseman said (link via Turron Davenport of USA Today). “A lot of those mistakes were on guys that aren’t our own. They were guys that we’ve brought from another organization, and we thought we knew.
“We went and looked at our plan for our roster over the next couple of years and said we will never let Fletcher Cox leave the building,” Roseman continued. “We will never let Lane [Johnson] leave the building, we will never let Zach [Ertz]…if we do it now, we do it a little early and maybe save on those guys and add to the team, keep as many guys around as possible. We have this core, and we can build off of that.”
Let’s take a look at more out of the NFC East:
- As Roster Resource details, the Redskins are expected to start Kory Lichtensteiger at center, with Josh LeRibeus and Austin Reiter serving as backups. According to Rich Tandler of CSNMidAtlantic.com, Lichtensteiger is the only member of that trio who can be considered a lock to make the 53-man roster, and he’s highly unlikely to face any competition for the starting job. The 31-year-old Lichtensteiger did miss 11 games due to injury last season, so Washington needs to have an effective contingency plan in place in the event that the veteran center goes down once again.
- The Giants boast one of the league’s best running back contracts, writes John Breitenbach of Pro Football Focus, who places the two years remaining on veteran Rashad Jennings‘ pact among the top-five deals in the NFL (from a team perspective). Jennings, 31, originally signed a four-year, $10MM deal with New York, and is now scheduled to earn base salaries averaging roughly $2.3MM in each of the next two seasons. After rushing for more than 800 yards in 2015, Jennings is expected to form a rotation with Shane Vereen, rookie Paul Perkins, and others during the upcoming season.
- Ezekiel Elliott is capable of matching the success that DeMarco Murray had behind the Cowboys‘ offensive line in 2014, and could flirt with 1,500 rushing yards, opines Dan Graziano of ESPN.com, who notes that even middling back Darren McFadden was able top 1,000 yards on the ground last year with the help of Dallas’ front five. McFadden, of course, is still on the roster (but injured for the time being), while the club also signed Alfred Morris in free agency and re-signed Lance Dunbar. But Elliott, the fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, should get every opportunity to dominate touches in the Cowboys’ backfield.