If you were hoping for a quiet, uneventful, or frugal offseason for our Philadelphia Eagles, it looks like you may have been disappointed. That said, if you were looking for Howie Roseman to remedy the mistakes that Chip Kelly made this time last year, then you are probably ecstatic. When Kelly took over last year and consequently made a few outrageously rich signings in free agency, particularly Byron Maxwell and Demarco Murray, it seemed like most of the fanbase had to find a way to rationalize the actions of the “Mad Scientist”. When he broke our hearts with a blockbuster trade of Shady for Kiko straight up, most of the fanbase found the silver lining. The Eagles faithful collectively talked themselves into believing in Chip, who made some serious gambles that didn’t pay off. That’s why it was so easy for Philadelphia and the national media alike to crucify Chip and hold him accountable for the uniformly horrendous personnel moves that ultimately led to his firing. Enter: Howie Roseman the GOAT. Cleaning up the mess left behind by truly awful contracts and a mismatched roster was not going to be easy by any means, but it looks like Howie Roseman is almost undoubtedly on the right track. Between getting Jim Schwartz as DC, ridding the team of Maxwell’s and Murray’s contracts and likely even getting value in return, and signing veteran CB Leodis McKelvin, Howie immediately shifted the landscape of the future. He has seemingly changed this offseason from being the beginning of a steep decline to it being the beginning of a – hopefully – rapid rebuild. After Mark Sanchez did what he has always done, be bad at football, and coming to terms with the reality that Walter Thurmond is looking to get paid, holes at both QB and Safety have become evident. To act on that, the Eagles have made two pretty significant signings.
Firstly, the Eagles have come to terms with free agent Chase Daniel. Chase Daniel is 29 years old and he’s played for the Super Bowl winning Saints for four seasons before going to Kansas City in 2013 and staying there for three seasons. Daniel played under Reid and Pederson in Kansas City, where he was the backup to Alex Smith, and performed well when called upon. He started two games total, and has a career record of 1-1. The only game he lost was taken to overtime and lost on a missed field goal. In those two games, he went 43-of-68 for 409 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Daniel, now entering his 8th NFL season, has proven that he is a capable NFL backup QB. Obviously, he has experienced a very limited amount of actual in-game experience despite his comparatively lengthy and stable NFL career. Though it is a small step, any step moving away from Mark Sanchez is a good one.
Secondly, the Eagles have signed former Rams Safety Rodney McLeod. He is only 25 years of age and has ascended from being an Undrafted Free Agent to a successful and notoriously hard hitting safety. His deal is said to be for $37 million over the span of five years with $17 million guaranteed. He is listed as a Free Safety, but it is hard to imagine Malcolm Jenkins vacating that role and moving to Strong Safety. Both players, however, have proven to be versatile and able to cover and tackle. It’s certainly possible that McLeod starts at FS, but we won’t know for some time. In 2015, McLeod set career highs with 81 tackles and three forced fumbles. He brings with him the hard hitting mentality that the Eagles secondary so sorely lacked last season, and hopefully his intensity can continue to manifest itself next year. Between the addition of Rodney McLeod and Jim Schwartz and the subtraction of Billy Davis and Byron Maxwell, I fully expect the Eagles to embrace an identity centered around tough, hard nosed defense. Things are assuredly looking up, but all eyes are on you, Howie Roseman.
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