Howie Roseman

Fallout From Doug Pederson Firing: Eagles, Wentz, Staff

Monday was a pivotal day in Eagles franchise history, as the team fired Super Bowl winning coach Doug Pederson. There’s been a lot trickling out since then, and we’re here to bring you all the fallout from the decision:

  • This all has been “boiling” since last offseason, when owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman pressured Pederson to fire offensive coordinator Mike Groh, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. A source told McLane that Pederson actually threatened to quit over it, but Eagles brass didn’t take it seriously. We noted in our initial writeup yesterday a report that “Pederson was sick of people telling him what to do.”
  • To that end, Lurie was apparently “underwhelmed” by the staffing suggestions Pederson made for the 2021 season when they met last week, a source told McLane. Pederson apparently wanted to promote from within, as McLane reports he wanted to promote QBs coach Press Taylor to offensive coordinator and to “bump up defensive line coach Matt Burke to defensive coordinator.” Clearly Lurie was more inclined to bring in bigger names from outside the organization, and it sounds like this was a sticking point in the ultimate divorce.
  • Finally, McLane points out in another tweet that Roseman will now be on his fourth head coach (third that he’ll hire), after Andy Reid, Chip Kelly, and Pederson. McLane writes that “Pederson and Roseman had decreasingly seen eye to eye on personnel.” Roseman is turning into somewhat of a polarizing figure, but he clearly has a lot of power.
  • One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind when the decision came down was what it meant for Carson Wentz. It might be good news for the former second overall pick, as a source told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com that the firing “significantly increases the chances” of Wentz staying in Philly next season (Twitter link). We had heard just before the end of the regular season that the relationship between Wentz and Pederson was fractured beyond repair, and this could be a sign that Lurie and Roseman believe Wentz should be the quarterback in 2021. The increased likelihood of Wentz returning was confirmed by Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who added that had Pederson been retained Wentz would’ve wanted out (Twitter video link).
  • Lurie released a statement through the team explaining the decision and thanking Pederson, which you can read via this tweet. Not surprisingly, he said Pederson will be inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
  • The Eagles also tweeted a statement from Pederson, thanking the team, the city, and the fans.
  • We’ve already heard the team is interested in Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, but Lurie also said at his press conference explaining the decision that assistant head coach and running backs coach Duce Staley would be a candidate for the job. Staley is very popular in the locker room and a number of former players immediately voiced support for him on social media, but that still seems like a pretty big long-shot.

Eagles HC Doug Pederson Uncertain To Return

Earlier this month, we heard that the Eagles were expected to retain head coach Doug Pederson. However, sources tell Chris Mortensen and Tim McManus of ESPN.com that owner Jeffrey Lurie is not confident in Pederson’s vision and that Lurie will meet with his HC soon to hash things out (Twitter link).

The elephant in the room, of course, is quarterback Carson Wentz, whose struggles have been (fairly or not) attributed to Pederson, and recent reports indicate that the relationship between Wentz and Pederson is fractured beyond repair. However, Mortensen and McManus say that Lurie is not just concerned about the Wentz issue, and as NFL insider Adam Caplan tweets, Lurie is worried about the direction of the offense in general. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer adds that Pederson and GM Howie Roseman — whose job is safe — are growing farther apart on personnel issues, and Pederson himself is upset that Lurie forced him to fire offensive coordinator Mike Groh last year and might insist on more changes this year.

Pederson earned his stripes as the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator from 2013-15, and while his team finished in the bottom fourth of the league in total offense this year, the rash of injuries the Eagles sustained at wide receiver and along the O-line were certainly a major factor in that performance. But injuries aside, the offense has not looked the same since former OC Frank Reich left for the Colts several years ago, which appears to be the source of Lurie’s consternation.

Still, after Pederson guided the Eagles to the Lombari Trophy following the 2017 campaign, his club managed to qualify for the playoffs in each of the next two seasons, despite dealing with myriad injuries in those years as well. He owns a 42-37-1 regular season record in his five-year head coaching career, a mark that looked a lot better before the Eagles collapsed into a 4-11-1 finish in 2020.

If Lurie elects to part ways with Pederson, he will have some catching up to do. The six clubs with head coaching vacancies are already well underway with their coaching searches, and it’s unclear how the top candidates feel about the Eagles’ QB situation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Aren’t “Talking About” Carson Wentz Trade

Carson Wentz wants out, but the Eagles aren’t in any rush. Trading the quarterback is “not anything we’re talking about right now,” GM Howie Roseman says (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of NFL.com). 

[RELATED: Eagles’ Ertz Wants To Stay]

Even after getting the hook for rookie Jalen Hurts, the Eagles are said to still have faith in Wentz. Wentz, meanwhile, is frustrated. That’s been brewing for a while — he was annoyed with the surprise second-round selection of Hurts back in the spring.

It’s quite possible that Roseman is simply looking to maintain leverage. Major changes are coming to the Eagles no matter what, and the shakeup could include the departure of Zach Ertz. Meanwhile, head coach Doug Pederson will stay on board, according to a recent report. The two have butted heads, so Philly might not be big enough for both of them.

Trading Wentz before the third day of the league year would result in a dead cap charge of ~$34MM. Cutting Wentz would dead cap hit of nearly $60MM. Even if it’s spread out over two years, that’s a cap killer. Frank Reich — the former Eagles OC who could lose Philip Rivers to retirement — may look to reunite with his one-time protege.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

John Dorsey Working As Consultant For Eagles

Former Chiefs and Browns general manager John Dorsey has been “quietly” working for the Eagles over the past few months, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). The 60-year-old has been serving as a consultant for general manager Howie Roseman.

According to Garafolo, the Eagles have been focused on strengthening their “talent evaluation,” especially following the departures of Joe Douglas (Jets) and Andrew Berry (Browns). Dorsey is thought of “extremely highly inside that building,” and he could potentially stick around for a full-time role in 2021.

Of course, Dorsey would probably prefer a GM gig, and there have been some rumblings that he could be a candidate for potential openings. Earlier this month, we heard that the Texans were planning to interview the executive for their GM vacancy.

Dorsey has been chased out of both Kansas City and Cleveland, but he’s also a big reason why both of those teams are currently successful. For the Chiefs, Dorsey was responsible for drafting MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes, wideout Tyreek Hill, and tight end Travis Kelce. While the Browns struggled during their first two seasons with Baker Mayfield at the helm, the team has taken a step forward this year. Dorsey’s other acquisitions and selections, including cornerback Denzel Ward, running backs Nick Chubb, and defensive notables Sheldon Richardson and Olivier Vernon, have also played major roles this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Zach Ertz: I’m Not Sure If Eagles Want Me Here

Sep. 13: Rapoport says that Ertz and GM Howie Roseman got into an animated and heated discussion after a practice this week (video link). That discussion took place in front of several players, leading Rapoport to speculate that Ertz’s future in Philadelphia may be even more in doubt.

In a subsequent tweet, however, RapSheet said that the exchange also included owner Jeffrey Lurie and ended on a professional note. So clearly there is some tension there, but the situation does not appear to be beyond repair.

Sep. 10: Eagles tight end Zach Ertz says he wants to stay in Philadelphia, but he doesn’t “know for sure if that feeling is mutual,” (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). Talks recently broke off between the Eagles and Ertz, who characterized the process as “frustrating at times” and “difficult.”

Ertz is believed to be eyeing numbers similar to those achieved by George Kittle and Travis Kelce, who pushed the TE ceiling to $15MM per year. Meanwhile, the Eagles’ last offer to the 29-year-old was reportedly worth less over the next four years than Austin Hooper‘s four-year, $42MM Browns deal. Of course, it’s important to note the framing of those numbers – Ertz has two years to go on his current deal, so the mashup of old money and new money isn’t exactly fair.

Ertz is set to earn base salaries of $6.7MM and $8.3MM in 2020 and ’21, the final seasons of the five-year, $42.5MM pact he inked in 2016. Overall, that deal averages out to $8.5MM/year, which ranks seventh among TEs. With no guaranteed money to go, Ertz wants a raise, and additional security.

Last year, Ertz racked up 88 catches for 916 yards and six touchdowns – an especially solid stat line given the Birds’ up-and-down season. In 2018, he notched career highs in just about every category with 116 receptions (also an NFL record for TEs), 1,163 yards, and eight touchdowns. A Pro Bowler in each of his last three seasons, Ertz has 525 grabs, 5,743 receiving yards, and 35 touchdowns to his credit across seven pro seasons. Meanwhile, he’s led the team in catches and receiving yards in each of the last four seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

Eagles Notes: Roseman, Weidl, Wentz

The departure of Joe Douglas to the Jets has let to some front office shuffling for the Eagles. This week, the Eagles officially added the title of GM to Howie Roseman‘s nameplate and elevated Andy Weidl from director of player personnel to vice president of player personnel.

Andy was raised in a great scouting community with the Steelers, Saints, and Ravens and then came to Philadelphia at the same time that we hired Joe,” Roseman said in a statement. “He’s grown from assistant director of player personnel to director of player personnel and really deserves an opportunity to run the scouting department on a day-to-day basis as the vice president of player personnel. We’re excited about Andy.”

The Eagles will now forge ahead without Douglas in a quest to capture another Super Bowl ring. Here’s the latest from Philly:

  • Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of the Eagles’ front office shuffle, from Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter): The team has two main arteries – a football operations department and a player personnel department. Andrew Berry is atop football operations while Weidl is atop player personnel. Both execs will funnel up to Roseman, who is atop the chart.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap took a deep dive into Carson Wentz‘s extension, which is not as clear-cut as first believed.
  • Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins wants a new contract, but he still showed up for mandatory minicamp.

Eagles Extend Roseman, Pederson

In two years as a decision-making duo, Howie Roseman and Doug Pederson lifted the Eagles to never-before-seen heights. And ownership wants no part of a near-future breakup.

The Eagles extended both the GM and their third-year head coach on Sunday, with these new deals running through the 2022 season.

We are thrilled to solidify continuity in our organization’s leadership with the extensions of Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman, whose collaborative partnership helped deliver our city its first Super Bowl championship,” Eagles Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said. “Doug and Howie are committed to the success of our franchise by ensuring that we remain competitive, both in the short and long term. That unified vision for the future of our team is what gives us the best chance to win moving forward.”

Pederson’s initial Eagles contract ran through the 2020 season, and the team picked up the HC’s fifth-year option recently (per Jeff McLane of Philly.com, on Twitter). So it’s not a big surprise to see the franchise extend that for two more years. In his second season as a head coach, Pederson guided Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl championship and first NFL title since 1960. And he did so after the team’s starting quarterback was lost for the season in December.

Roseman’s path may be even more stunning. Demoted in 2015 in order to give Chip Kelly decision-making power, Roseman returned in 2016 and set out to fortify the team’s core with a slew of extensions that year. That helped lead to the Eagles’ Super Bowl run, and Roseman’s 2016 deal to move into position to draft Carson Wentz has the franchise set up long-term at sports’ premier position. Roseman earned multiple executive of the year honors for his 2017 work.

Pederson, 50, rejoined the Eagles after three years as Andy Reid‘s offensive coordinator with the Chiefs. And after a 7-9 season in Wentz’s rookie year, the Eagles stormed to the NFC’s No. 1 seed and notched three upset (by point spread) victories to secure the Super Bowl LII championship. Roseman, 43, has been with the Eagles since 2000 as a salary cap staffer. He ascended to the GM role in 2010 and was reinstated in that position after Kelly’s ouster late in 2015.

With Wentz back and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles serving as the NFL’s top insurance policy, Roseman and Pederson have the Eagles positioned as a top threat to become the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls since the 2003-04 Patriots.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jets, Giants, Eagles, Broncos, Chiefs, Vikings

With the selection of Sam Darnold at No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jets brought their quarterback room to five. The USC product joined Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Newsday’s Calvin Watkins, however, notes that number is expected to shrink by the time the team heads to training camp in July.

The two obvious candidates to be moved or released are Petty and Hackenberg. The former has failed to impress in seven starts, and the latter, despite having a cannon for an arm, has yet to make an appearance in his first two seasons.

Even if one of the two make it to training camp, another move is likely to come as keeping four quarterbacks would handicap the team at other positions. In addition to Darnold, it would be hard to see the veteran McCown not making the squad. The journeyman is viewed as invaluable in the locker room and is the perfect candidate to help the young Darnold learn the ropes of the NFL.

Bridgewater, however, is no lock to make the roster. As Watkins notes, the former Vikings signal-caller receives a $5MM base salary if he makes the team. If not, the Jets are only out the $500,000 signing bonus. If he proves he is back to his pre-injury form, New York will have a steal. If not, the team can cut bait with minimal salary implications.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Broncos did not endure a turnover in the scouting department following this weekend’s draft, 9 News’ Mike Klis tweets. In the wake of the annual draft, it is not uncommon for teams to part ways with scouts and personnel department. Team president John Elway, however, decided to bring everyone back.
  • The Chiefs hired Eagles assistant director of college scouting Michael Bradway to an undisclosed position, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia tweets. Mosher notes Bradway, who was with the Eagles for seven seasons, joins back up with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, who also spent time in Philadelphia.
  • The Giants attempted to trade into the back end of the second round to select Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz writes. Though a deal did not form, New York was still able to pluck the speedy edge rusher when he fell to their third-round pick (No. 66). “What you have to appreciate is his unseen production. If he is flying off the edge, he is creating pressure. Sometimes you are looking at guys that create plays for others.,” general manager Dave Gettleman said.
  • The Eagles drafted their fewest players since 1989 when it emerged from the draft with only five selections. That is not a spot the team wants to be in again, general manager Howie Roseman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Les Bowen. “I think it’s a hard first couple of days for people who put a lot of time and effort into the process, and you see that,” Roseman said. “The last two days, it’s hard. A lot of guys get off the board, so we don’t want to do that again. I think that’s the first takeaway.”
  • Vikings center Pat Elflein is doing “part work” in spring drills but is not going to be ready for OTAs, the player told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Elflein suffered a fractured left ankle in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 21 and underwent surgery the following week. “We’re just not rushing it. I’m just trying to get myself back in shape and get strong and be ready to go.,” Elflein said.

NFC Rumors: Vikings, Zeke, Roseman, Cards

Harrison Smith underwent ankle surgery in February but is expected to be ready for training camp. The Vikings‘ top defensive back is ahead of schedule in his recovery from the left ankle operation, per Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but the team is expected to be cautious with him this offseason. A high ankle sprain hampered Smith toward the end of last season, and although the Pro Bowl defender returned for the Vikings’ final two games after missing two in December, a corrective procedure became necessary. A source informed Tomasson that Smith opted for surgery after playing on the injured ankle in the Pro Bowl led to it “getting worse.” Smith will enter the first season of his five-year, $51.25MM contract in 2017.

Here’s more from the NFC.

  • Jerry Jones acknowledged the Ezekiel Elliott video that emerged via TMZ last month is “not good.” The video shows the Cowboys running back lowering a woman’s top on a float at a Dallas St. Patrick’s Day parade. “There is not much that I want to say other than that was unfortunate and not good,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News,” Jones said. “It wouldn’t be the right emphasis one way or the other to get into any communications or dialogue since that happened. … I wouldn’t want to say on communication, but I’m aware of the incident and I’m aware of the criticism.” Representatives of the 21-year-old Elliott expect him to be cleared of wrongdoing in a 2016 domestic violence case, but this incident adds to a growing list of off-the-field drama for the talented back.
  • The Rams did not pursue T.J. McDonald or Case Keenum in free agency, according to the Los Angeles Times. An impending eight-game suspension reduced interest in McDonald, who landed with the Dolphins. Keenum signed with the Vikings.
  • Howie Roseman‘s given more power over the Eagles‘ draft board to VP of player personnel Joe Douglas than he did previous lieutenants Ryan Grigson or Tom Gamble, Jeff McLane of Philly.com writes. “The draft is going to be really built by Joe,” Jeffrey Lurie said, via McLane, before adding “the final decision will be made by Howie.” This will be Douglas’ first draft with the Eagles after landing in Philadelphia last May. McLane writes this will take some of the prospect-evaluation burden off of Roseman.
  • The Cardinals do not look set to add any notable help at either running back or wide receiver. Bruce Arians said (via Kent Somers of AZCentral.com) the team is content with what it has there. The fifth-year Cardinals coach noted Kerwynn Williams can be the No. 2 back behind David Johnson, and the coach expects a healthier season from John Brown. Somers notes depth pieces could come via lower-round picks or UDFAs, but it appears Arizona will address other positions with its higher draft picks.
  • Tim Hightower‘s 49ers deal is a one-year agreement, according to Nick Shook of NFL.com. The former Cardinals, Redskins and Saints back will turn 31 in May.