The Eagles’ new front office power structure will face an early test in just over a month. If things remain status quo between now and March 10th, we’ll get to see pretty quickly how Chip Kelly, Ed Marynowitz and Howie Roseman work together once the bell rings at the start of free agency.
As we now know, Kelly and Marynowitz will be in charge of personnel and Roseman is still the salary cap guy. Their relationships will be thrust into the spotlight as the time comes for contract situations. There are several important decisions, and then actual deals, to be made in the very near future.
These are the biggest decisions they are facing…
To restructure or not
To cut or not
James Casey (could restructure too)
To re-sign or not
Jeremy Maclin (could be tagged as well)
After making decisions on the above comes the task of deal-making. Whether it’s restructuring a player or re-signing a player to a long term deal, Roseman and Kelly (or Marynowitz) will have to be on the same page.
Furthermore, there are a few key players eligible for hefty extensions. Fletcher Cox and Mychal Kendricks will (or should) be signed to long term deals.
All of the above will have a significant impact on the salary cap and will determine what free agents the Eagles can then be legitimate players for. This will take much collaboration between Roseman and Kelly/Marynowitz because a lot of this will happen simultaneously.
Many decisions should be made prior to the start of free agency, but things can suddenly change once everything starts becoming a reality.
For example, what if the Eagles have some interest in retaining Graham as maybe a Plan B or C and Plan A is to sign Jason Worilds. But, the process of courting Worilds hits a snag for some unexpected reason and Graham is close to signing elsewhere.
The Eagles would be faced with the possibility of not getting Worilds and losing Graham. Decisions and communication about players and money will have to be done in rapid-fire succession in a fast-paced pressurized situation.
Because of the marriage between the salary cap and player acquisition/retention/roster-building, the business side and personnel side absolutely must be a cohesive unit during the high time of free agency.
What we don’t need is for Chip Kelly to have to wait on going after a prized free agent because he isn’t sure what they can afford. Things happen fast in free agency when it comes to making deals with the top players available.
If there is any discontent between the “Big 3” front office people, this could be a seriously strained process that ultimately ends up as a failure to make the best moves possible to improve the team.
Imagine losing out on players like Worilds, Byron Maxwell, Chris Culliver or DaNorris Searcy because of some dysfunction between the numbers guy and the football guy.
What happens in free agency will have a big impact on draft strategy. There are positions of need for this team and free agency will offer an opportunity to at least lessen the severity of those needs.
A failure to do so will make the draft more about filling needs than everyone’s favorite “best player available” strategy.
Obviously, the results ultimately determine the product on the field. And that product will determine how busy the folks at Scorebig.com are selling Eagles tickets this upcoming year.
This team needs major improvement so let’s hope Kelly, Marynowitz and Roseman can be more like the Three Amigos and not end up looking like the Three Stooges come March 10th.