INDIANAPOLIS — After spending the last couple of years in win-now mode, Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman enters this offseason with a different approach in mind.
"We’re hopeful that if we go into the free-agent market that maybe we’re signing guys, more core guys," he said Tuesday. "More one- or two-year guys, and we look at it from building our team over a two-year perspective as opposed to this one-year window."
That sounds like the Eagles could be bigger spenders than past seasons. Roseman noted, however, that he’s always aware of getting too tied down with bulky non-quarterback contracts.
"I think the one thing we have to be careful of is the amount of cap room we have this year, and then how it’s affected next year and the years going forward because we don’t want to be in the position where we lose flexibility totally by doing that," he said.
And yet, Roseman noted that as he goes offseason fishing in free agency, he’s looking at team-building from a more long-term perspective rather than keeping the Super Bowl window cracked open.
"I think it will be fair to say that the past two years coming off the Super Bowl (win), we had a different amount of resources going forward, and we were looking at team-building over that ’17, ’18, ’19 period," he said. "And we knew that in ’20 we were going to have to change that a little bit. Now, we’re looking at it over the course of a window. Not that we don’t want to win this year, we desperately want to win this year, but more building this team over 2020, 2021, hopefully 2022 — it’s hard to look three years out really, but keep our eye on that. But I think that maybe changes the complexion of our decisions this offseason that is different than coming off the Super Bowl or coming off losing to the Saints in the divisional round."
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With a projected 10 draft picks this year, Roseman hopes to inject more youth in the roster, and that plan could pertain to free agency as well.
"I think the scenario changes a little bit," he said. "If we can get the right free agents, we’re not in a mode now where maybe we try to find the undervalued older guys that we tried to find the last couple of years. Going forward, we’re trying to build this over a period of time. We’re not in this one-year window … looking at this 2020, 2021, 2022, in this three-year period of getting guys for a part of it. I guess similar to how we looked at free agency in 2016 and 2017."
Atop the priority list should be finding weapons for Carson Wentz after injuries and inconsistent play stymied the Eagles’ offense for stretches.
"We’re always looking to add weapons and help for our quarterback," Roseman said. "It’s a big part of our job, is to surround him with playmakers, protect him, of course. And so that’s something that will always be a focus as we start an offseason."
Along with the possibility of adding free agents, the Eagles have their own players set to hit the open market, including veteran left tackle Jason Peters.
"As it pertains to all of our free agents, I think it’s important as we go through this process that we keep an open mind with everyone, and try to figure out as we get more information," Roseman said. "A big part of this week is accumulating information. That’s what we’ll do here. Obviously, when you talk about Jason Peters, you’re talking about a Hall of Fame player, Hall of Fame person, someone who is very special to us. Played at a really high-level last year. We’ll go through all those decisions this week, and that will kind of be my stock answer as it goes for every free agent we talk about here."
With last year’s first-round pick Andre Dillard waiting in the wings, a decision on Peters’ future could shape the Eagles offensive line decisions. Roseman noted having several starting-caliber offensive linemen is a "good problem" to have, especially in an O-line0deficient league.
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