Howie Roseman has never played a down of football in his entire life, yet he is considered to be one of the best front office executives in the NFL. Weighing just 125 pounds, his mother refused to allow him to play football. At his size, I think she made the right decision.
Roseman has been a member of the Philadelphia Eagles organization since 2000. Originally an unpaid intern, Roseman worked his way up just 10 years later to general manager. In four years as GM, the Eagles have made the playoffs two times. However, for the first time since before the Andy Reid era, the Eagles missed the postseason in back-to-back years from 2011-2012. Their draft results have been mixed, as well as their free-agent signings. Here is a look of the best and worst moves the Eagles have made under Howie Roseman dating back to 2010.
Traded QB Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2012 second round pick.
Perhaps Andy Reid’s best skill as Eagles coach was developing quarterbacks into being worth second-round picks. It worked in 2004 with A.J. Feeley, 2010 with Donovan McNabb, and once again when the Eagles traded Kolb. He was supposed to be the future of the franchise, but injuries and Michael Vick’s breakout season made Kolb expendable. Needing a replacement for Kurt Warner, the Cardinals were long rumored to trade for Kolb, and gave up great value to close the deal. While Rodgers-Cromartie didn’t work out in Philly, Kolb struggled to stay healthy in Arizona, and only played there for two partial seasons after giving him a $63 million contract.
Drafting Nick Foles in the Third Round
The Eagles wouldn’t have made the playoffs last year if it wasn’t for an unlikely hero in Foles. The second-year QB threw 27 TDs and just two interceptions, proving to be the biggest steal in the 2012 Draft taller than six feet. The Eagles are also fortunate to have a franchise QB at such a bargain the next two seasons. Due to the rookie wage scale, teams are signing rookies to very favorable contracts, especially in the mid rounds. The Eagles have Foles under contract the next two seasons, and owe him just $1,315,000 in combined salary. Foles’ salary cap hit over the next two seasons are a very modest $770,888 and $815,880, making it very easy for the Eagles to sign and re-sign veteran players.
Signing CB Nnamdi Asomugha in Free Agency
At the time, this signing was the biggest piece to the “Dream Team” back in 2011. Regarded as one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL, Asomugha signed a five-year contract, averaging $12 million a year with $12 million guaranteed. Asomugha however, lasted just two years with the Eagles. He struggled in coverage, often getting burned by fast defenders, unlike his Oakland days. With a new coaching staff in place, the Eagles released him last offseason, and Asomugha was eventually waived by the 49ers mid-season.
Drafting Danny Watkins in the 2011 First Round
This pick made absolutely no sense, and was part of the 2011 NFL Draft disaster for the Eagles. While the Eagles had needs on the offensive line, Watkins was already 26 years old. An older rookie is expected to make an immediate impact, however Watkins rarely saw the field his rookie year, and was released after two seasons. The Eagles would have been much better off drafting based on value rather than need, with Cameron Jordan and Muhammad Wilkerson available.
Overall, I think Howie Roseman has been a very solid general manager for the Eagles. He has overcome many of his draft mistakes recently with mid-to-late round gems in the previous two drafts, and is widely regarded as one of the best negotiators in the league. Howie has developed a knack for re-signing his players prior to hitting the open market, and getting them at a premium. After four years, I would give Roseman a B, which is very good considering the little job security of a general manager.