At this time of the year, if you write about the NFL for a living, you’re probably begging for training camp to start. With the exception of Colin Kaepernick still not being signed, there really isn’t a juicy subject to help pass the time. With OTA’s going on and the minor stimulus that comes with that, it’s a little easier if you write about a specific team like the Eagles. Nationally, you are doing QB’s lists and grading every team’s offseason. Which brings me to Chris Burke of SI.com. I’m sure Chris is a nice fella and he knows a lot about the NFL, but in his latest post, he doesn’t sound like he knows the NFL.
The title of the article, “NFL GM’s Under Pressure to Get Results”, lists Howie Roseman as one of the GM’s on the hot seat.
Technically the Eagles’ executive VP of operations, Roseman was the general manager from 2010 to ’14 before being reassigned as Chip Kelly took control of the roster. And … that … didn’t work. So those responsibilities went back to Roseman. Almost immediately, he started flushing out many of Kelly’s roster additions, all while setting his sights on Carson Wentz in the 2016 draft.
This off-season, the focus was on providing Wentz more help. Enter Jeffery, Smith, running back LeGarrette Blount and rookies Donnel Pumphrey and Mack Hollins. The weapons are available to help accelerate Wentz’s maturation. Will it all click? Did Roseman do enough to upgrade the defense? If this season devolves into another sub-.500 letdown, odds are someone—be it Roseman or coach Doug Pederson—will have to answer for the failure.
He mentioned seven other GM’s also on the hot seat, so it’s not like he needed another name and used Roseman to make the post long enough. Or maybe he actually did need the additional content for a finished piece, because that would make more sense that Howie’s job being on the line. Will someone pay the price if the Eagles struggle in 2017? Probably, but it won’t be Howie who loses his job.
The commentary is actually embarrassing. Outside of some type of scandal or unforeseen craziness, Howie Roseman has a zero chance of being fired. Here are a few reasons:
– He was able to maneuver and trade up to get Carson Wentz in the draft without giving up a ton. A franchise quarterback is the most important position in all of sports. It looks like Howie was able to get one without mortgaging the future. Even if Wentz has a bad season and doesn’t look as good as we thought, Doug Pederson will be blamed, not Howie.
– He took over a Chip Kelly roster that lacked talent and had a few high priced veterans who weren’t producing. He was able to get rid of those bad contract and get real value in return. And despite what Burke is saying, you can’t rebuild the roster in just one offseason. He elected to use free agency to give Wentz some weapons, while concentrating on building the defense in the draft. The team is going to need another strong draft or two before they really look like a finished product.
– The owner of the team loves him. When Chip Kelly pushed Howie Roseman out of his job, it would have been easy for Jeff Lurie to send Howie packing. Instead, he gave him a raise, new position, and brought him back immediately after firing Chip. Jeff Lurie isn’t a knee-jerk reaction type owner. Even if there are some mistakes and struggles in 2017, Howie gets at least a few years to build this thing.
I’m not even sure that the Eagles need to win 9 games for Doug Pederson to keep his job. The devil is obviously in the details. If they lose a few games because of errors by Pederson or if he just looks clueless, I could see the team moving on. I just don’t buy the narrative that guys have their jobs on the line if they don’t win a certain number of games. As I mentioned above, Jeff Lurie has never been that type of owner and I don’t expect him to change now.