Eagles GM Howie Roseman is on the cusp of being the best GM ever

Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman after win against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman after win against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

There’s nothing quite like Super Bowl week to overload your eyes and ears with hyperbole, right? The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs are set to take each other on and everyone is wondering whether or not “GOAT status” is on the line in this game.

Is Patrick Mahomes already the greatest QB to ever play? Is Andy Reid the best coach in NFL history? Are these teams going to be dynasties? Is Travis Kelce the best tight end ever?

While some of these questions have varying levels of legitimacy at this point, I think one question that simply isn’t being asked enough is whether or not Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is on the cusp of earning the title of “best GM ever”. Now, how’s that for hyperbole? If you take a second to think about the greatest general managers in the history of the NFL, you could obviously point to a number of candidates.

People will rightly mention candidates like Bill Belichick, who is the true architect behind one of the great dynasties of all time with the New England Patriots. Bill Polian was recently elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Dick Haley and Tex Schramm were architects of the Steelers and Cowboys legendary teams.

There’s plenty to be said for the longevity of success and those candidates all deserve their kudos. But can we, at least for the sake of the discussion, talk about the job Howie Roseman has done the last decade with the Philadelphia Eagles?

Eagles GM Howie Roseman could cement NFL legacy if his team wins Super Bowl LVII

Roseman started his front office career in the NFL as a front office intern with the Eagles. As far as his time in the NFL is concerned, Roseman is an Eagles lifer. He became general manager of the team in 2010 after working his way up for 10 years. Remember the Eagles “Dream Team” that sort of became a laughing stock?

Well, Roseman was the one responsible for that. He was also chosen over Andy Reid (I mean, I guess you can say that, right?) back in 2012 after the Eagles went a very disappointing 4-12. Reid, as fate would have it, was hired by the Chiefs in 2013. The Eagles moved on to Chip Kelly, another disappointing era in Philly football history.

In hindsight, it’s kind of wild that Howie Roseman made it through knowing what we know now, but the Eagles did win 20 games in Kelly’s first two seasons before he was let go in 2015. The Eagles hired Doug Pederson in 2016 and made a big move up the NFL Draft board to go and get North Dakota State quarterback Carson Wentz. Wentz played at an MVP level for Philadelphia in the 2017 season before going down with an injury, at which point Nick Foles took over.

Foles helped lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win in franchise history. This team that had been assembled with a strong foundation appeared to have the pieces in place to continue to be great for years to come with Carson Wentz proving he could be an MVP-caliber player early on and all of the right pieces around him, many solidified with long-term contracts.

Just take a quick trip down memory lane. Take a look at the opening day roster and lineup for the Eagles back in September of 2018. At the time, this was a goldmine of talent, and again — these were expected to be long-term fixtures in the city of Philadelphia.

Until they weren’t.

Carson Wentz’s play was never the same after that 2017 season. The Eagles were forced into a rather unexpected “rebuild” when Wentz and the offense sputtered from 3rd in the NFL in points in 2017 to 26th in 2020. The Eagles went from being at the top of the NFL to picking in the top 10 of the NFL Draft after going 4-11-1 in 2020, and that’s when the wholesale changes really happened.

Doug Pederson was fired and replaced by Nick Sirianni. The Eagles turned to second-year QB Jalen Hurts, who was afforded time to grow and learn as the Eagles really built an offense around him during that 2021 season. The Eagles surprisingly made the playoffs as Hurts took a leap forward, but no one could have anticipated the type of well-oiled machine they would be by the time the 2022 season rolled around.

Just like in that championship season of 2017, the Eagles ranked 3rd in points scored this past season. Unlike in that championship season, however, the Eagles have new franchise cornerstones at a variety of positions.

Gone is Carson Wentz, the one-time franchise QB and chosen one in Philly. In is Jalen Hurts, another QB who has come so far from being benched at Alabama to now being an NFL MVP candidate in his own right.

Gone is former franchise left tackle Jason Peters, and in is Jordan Mailata, the NFL equivalent of a blank canvas who was developed from the ground up into an elite force by Eagles OL coach Jeff Stoutland.

Gone are former first-round pick Nelson Agholor and former big-money free agent pickup Alshon Jeffery, and in are DeVonta Smith and AJ Brown at the revamped receiver position.

Gone is Zach Ertz, in is Dallas Goedert.

Some key players — Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Brandon Graham, and others — still remain.

Roseman worked a master class in the 2022 offseason, swinging the draft night trade for AJ Brown (which is still as ridiculous now as it was back in April). He played Mickey Loomis — a GM of over 20 years in the NFL — for a fool by trading him two picks in the teens of the 2022 NFL Draft in exchange for a pick in the teens as well as a 2023 first-round pick. That 2023 first-round pick is now a top-10 pick for the reigning NFC Champion Eagles to fortify their roster in an inexpensive way in 2023.

He played Loomis like a fiddle again at 2022 roster cuts, trading virtually nothing of consequence to the Saints for defensive back CJ Gardner-Johnson, who ended up picking off a career-high six passes for Philadelphia in 2022.

He swooped in when the Giants foolishly made James Bradberry a cap casualty, adding another stud corner to pair up with Darius Slay in his revamped secondary.

He made Haason Reddick perhaps the biggest bargain free agent signing in all of 2022, landing him for three years and just $45 million despite the fact that Reddick had 23.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles in the previous two seasons with Arizona and Carolina. Reddick finished this season with 16 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and 26 QB hits.

Six years apart. Two completely different teams. Two completely different coaching staffs. Two very different quarterbacks, both with MVP-level production. Two totally different roster cores.

Two Super Bowl contenders. What Howie Roseman has done with the Eagles is nothing short of remarkable. Hall of Fame worthy. It can take NFL teams decades to find just one window. There are 12 teams that still don’t have a Super Bowl win in their franchise’s history.

Roseman could soon win his second ring with the Eagles, and he might do it in a way that no one has really ever done it before with no continuity at head coach or quarterback.