The Philadelphia Eagles were far from spectators on day one of NFL free agency. Their activity yielded five new players to their roster. Tight End James Casey from the Houston Texans, defensive lineman Isaac Sopoaga of the San Francisco 49ers, safety Patrick Chung of the New England Patriots, former St. Louis Rams cornerback Bradley Fletcher and linebacker Jason Phillips formerly of the Carolina Panthers. Household names? No, and so far it may appear as a big disappointment for many Eagles fans. However, these initial signings make a lot of sense.
Sure, everyone wants their team to make a big splash and acquire one of the top free agents on the market, but you have to put your feet into the Eagles’ shoes. It’s safe to say that management has the contract of Nnamdi Asomugha and others fresh on their minds especially by cutting ties with the underachieving cornerback just yesterday. In addition, this franchise needs players in many different positions including a complete rebranding on defense. Throw in the factor that Chip Kelly will be a rookie head coach and although he’ll run things on the field his way, it looks like 2013 will be a bit of a grace period for Kelly and the entire coaching staff.
This new regime needs time to rebuild. Kelly does not have the horses as some of his senior colleagues in the NFL. How will Kelly’s aggressive offensive philosophy translate to the NFL? How long will it take to instill a new 3-4 defense scheme with a new unproven coordinator who doesn’t have all of the necessary parts? Can a 33-year-old Michael Vick with an extensive injury history excel in the read option? All are questions that most likely can’t be solved in just one season. Fans in Philadelphia have been waiting forever for a world championship and it may take just a little bit longer.