By now I’m sure you’ve heard that Riley Cooper, Jason Kelce and Jason Peters have all been locked up to new multi-year contracts. Cooper was a pending free agent, but Kelce and Peters were extensions on their current deals.
First off, let me just say that I think these deals were good moves by the Eagles. After the Peters news, I questioned how much business sense it was to give a 32 year-old player a large deal with a lot of guaranteed money.
However, after seeing Reuben Frank’s breakdown of the contract, it’s essentially a two-year deal with Peters. If his play declines and they want to move on in the 2016 season, they would only owe him $1 million.
In fact, all three players’ contracts have only a total of about $4.6 million in guarantees for the 2016 season. Therefore, they’re really only betting that these guys will be productive players for the next two seasons with hopes that they’ll make it at least three.
Excellent job by Howie Roseman in working these deals. It makes the players happy while also not killing the future salary cap.
In fact, let’s give Roseman some kudos here.
He was promoted to GM four years ago in 2010. At that time, he was viewed as a young, pimply-faced Joe Banner-numbers-guy-protege. There was then talk about how the rest of the NFL front offices viewed him as cocky and arrogant.
That was quickly put to rest after seeing all the wheeling and dealing he was able to accomplish…including a huge trade of Donovan McNabb to the Redskins after being GM for less than three months.
The Eagles’ drafts were horrible in 2010 and 2011, but Lurie stated that Roseman didn’t technically take over the draft until 2012. The 2012 and 2013 drafts are generally seen as successes at this point.
In any case, this article isn’t meant to discuss Howie’s draft successes or failures. It’s about what he, Jeff Lurie and now Chip Kelly are trying to build.
You’ve heard them all talk about the importance of creating a positive culture within the organization. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Roseman started in 2012 when he “took over” for Andy Reid. The offseason heading into the 2012 season is when the Eagles began to erase the mistakes of the dreaded Dream Team offseason of 2011.
Think about all the things that Roseman and the Eagles’ front office did that year:
- Extended DeSean Jackson
- Extended LeSean McCoy
- Re-signed Evan Mathis
- Rewarded Trent Cole and Todd Herremans with restructured contracts
- Re-signed then “feel good” guy Derek Landri
- Traded for blue-chip middle linebacker Demeco Ryans
- Brought back Brian Dawkins to retire as an Eagle and retired his jersey number
- Had a draft that everyone was excited about
The Eagles did a lot of good things that offseason and it created an air of good feelings, positivity and excitement around the team. Unfortunately, those things never parlayed into positive results on the field as 2012 went on to become a complete disaster.
Well, that was corrected too when Reid was fired and Chip Kelly hired. New regime, new philosophy, and new players resulted in renewed optimism. And, that did parlay into positive results on the field.
Now the Eagles are continuing on that trend by extending two key offensive linemen and bringing back a productive receiver. They’re also working on bringing Jeremy Maclin back.
By taking care of their own, the Eagles are cultivating a positive environment in which current players can “take notice” and see that if you work hard and perform well, you’ll be taken care of.
It inspires confidence and motivates the current players. It makes them want to be in Philly and in the cases of Cooper and Kelce, they may even take less money just to stay.
Rest assured that the rest of the team took notice. Next offseason players such as Fletcher Cox, Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin and Nick Foles will all be candidates for new deals.
If those four guys are motivated and perform well, that should also equate to good things on the field.
Long gone are the penny-pinching days of Joe Banner and the stale philosophy of Andy Reid.
With Chip Kelly’s innovative football program and Howie Roseman’s homegrown approach to player personnel, the Eagles are building the right kind of culture at the NovaCare Complex.