People have described Philadelphia’s 2019 season as many things. They lost their identity. People counted them out. Injuries riddled throughout every unit made it difficult to improve week in and week out. They still found a way to host a playoff game by winning the NFC East. While they didn’t advance, it was still an overall successful season. However, if they want to find themselves back in the Super Bowl, they still have a lot of work to do.
Fixing the Offensive Struggles
On the offensive side of the ball, the Eagles have a lot of critical decisions to make. We already talked about Jason Peters in depth. With Nelson Agholor likely leaving via free agency, and the Eagles eager to trade away Alshon Jeffrey, the wide receiver position has to be number 1 priority this off-season. Questions have soared around if the Eagles will target a wide receiver in the first round of the draft. I think their best option is to draft a wide receiver in the first round and still go out in free agency to fill out the roster.
Free-agent options such as Breshad Perriman, Demarcus Robinson, and Amari Cooper have all been linked to Philadelphia. Philly is going to explore all of the options, but will they pull the trigger? They know they need to get young talent in the building for Wentz to grow with. They know they need some burners to help stretch the field out. DeSean Jackson isn’t getting any younger, and counting on his health is a dangerous game. Adding Perriman and Robinson could be big moves for an offense that lacked identity for the majority of the 2019 season.
What Would a Deal Look Like?
PFF has reported that Perriman could desire a 7 million dollar a year deal, which honestly is a steal. Admittedly, his stock significantly rose at the cost of Chris Godwin and Mike Evans getting hurt. Nonetheless, he made the most out of his opportunity and is deserving of a deal. He would be an excellent fit for Philadelphia. Amari Cooper is a tougher call. Cooper is a player whose production doesn’t always match his abilities. His skills weren’t used correctly in Oakland, and injuries hindered his time in Dallas. Despite the injuries, he still had 1100 yards and eight touchdowns last season, which were both career highs.
Demarcus Robinson, paired with Perriman, wouldn’t be too expensive and would be what Philadelphia needs. Robinson is a young burner who’s overshadowed in the dangerous offense known as Kansas City. While Tyreek Hill was injured earlier in the year, Robinson filled in nicely for the Chiefs. A more significant role for Robinson would benefit both him and the Eagles. Signing both Perriman and Robinson could be done for around 15 million a year collectively. That’s a bargain if you ask me.
Find a Top Corner
Philadelphia also finds itself needing a cornerback. Cornerback has been the bane of the Eagles’ existence for years now. From the “Dream Team,” where the Eagles acquired Nnamdi Asomugha, to the Byron Maxwell deal, to corners just not living up to their expectations, ala Sidney Jones. Philadelphia has failed on all fronts in regards to corners, and for them to be competitive going forward, this has to change. Anytime a top corner is rumored to be on the block, you’ll hear Philadelphia is interested. Darius Slay had been linked to Philadelphia since before the trade deadline last year. However, there are no imminent moves on the rumor mill. There are links to former Cowboys corner Byron Jones, but are they warranted? Philadelphia may avoid paying out big money to an unproven corner.
Will Philadelphia go after someone like James Bradberry? He’s certainly not a number 1 corner, but he’s shown flashes of what Philadelphia needs. Bradberry is only 27 but could be a good signing depending on his salary demands. Chris Harris is another option, but at 31 years old, Philadelphia may be less interested. Philly was linked to him during the trade deadline but ultimately decided against pulling the trigger. I think the most likely scenario is that the Eagles build from the draft again. This draft is a reasonably heavy cornerback draft, Philadelphia should try their hand at one.
The bottom line is that Philadelphia has to get younger to compete. Young talent at wide receiver and corner will get the Eagles on the right path. Carson Wentz must get better options on the offensive side of the ball. You can’t go into every year expecting Wentz to be superman. It’s not fair. Beyond getting Wentz a supporting cast, the Eagles have to start hitting on picks in the draft. Building a roster cannot rely on free-agent acquisitions; you have to develop from within to sustain success in the NFL. If the Eagles can hit on their draft picks this year, it will keep them in the conversation for another Super Bowl.