2016 Offseason: A look back before looking forward

25 January 2017 Eagles News

At this time last year, I was admittedly harping on the post-Chip Kelly era in Philadelphia. He threw so much talent away and I wondered how we would get back to where we were.

Doug Pederson was named head coach of the Eagles on Jan. 18 and in the following days, Jim Schwartz and Frank Reich were announced as coordinators for the upcoming season.

On Jan. 26, Zach Ertz and Brent Celek agreed to contract extensions and only 3 days later, fans learned of Lane Johnson’s 6-year deal.

Almost set to enter free agency, Vinny Curry and Sam Bradford locked in deals to stay with the birds on Feb. 2 and March 1 respectively.

At the end of February, the Eagles front office made Malcolm Jenkins an offer he couldn’t refuse in the form of a 5-year deal.

After signing 5 players to deals, the Eagles got busy again signing 11 free agents in March.

On offense OG Brandon Brooks, OG/C Stefen Wisniewski strengthened the depth across the offensive line while players like QB Chase Daniel, WR Chris Givens, WR Rueben Randle and FB Ryan Mueller expected to compete for starting time.

On defense the Eagles added depth and experience for Schwartz’ defense by signing cornerbacks Ron Brooks and Leodis McKelvin as well as linebacker Nigel Bradham. Rodney McLeod addressed the team’s desperate need for a safety after it became clear Walter Thurmond was not returning and Nolan Carroll re-signed after considering options from other NFL teams.

Of the 11 free agents brought in to compete for spots on the Eagles 53-man roster, Givens, Randle and Mueller didn’t make the cut. Of the 3 players, none played during the 2016 NFL season; however, Randle recently signed a reserve/future contract with the Chicago Bears.

The 2016 offseason was unusual. The Eagles did not go for the high price tag players they had habitually gone for in the past. Instead, the front office decided to invest their money in long-term deals with several Eagles approaching the end of their contracts and moved on from players who were either simply being paid too much or didn’t want to be in Philadelphia anymore.

Trading Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray before free agency allowed the Eagles to clear cap and set the table for a move up the board to draft Carson Wentz in April.

By the end of the 2016 offseason, Fletcher Cox had agreed to a monster deal, Eagles got depth at wide receiver trading backup OT Dennis Kelly to Tennessee for Dorial Green-Beckham  and Bradford was traded for a first round pick+.

At this time last year I was wondering how long it would take to get back the talent Chip Kelly ripped away from this franchise. Now? I’m only looking forward.

The foundation is set with core play makers on both sides of the ball and I think it is time the league starts realizing, the Eagles are landing.

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