The Philadelphia Eagles could learn from the Raiders’ rebuild

Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the Philadelphia Eagles follow the same path as the Las Vegas Raiders?

The Philadelphia Eagles have seen their 2020 season spiral out of control, as they are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and post their worst record in the Doug Pederson-era.

Changes are bound to happen after this season is complete.

Poor drafting and free agency acquisitions from general manager Howie Roseman has caught up to the team, as this team isn’t as talented as we thought it was. Pederson has looked exhausted as the season has gone on, and the question is out there if he will be moved on from after the season.

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Even in the last week, we’ve seen quarterback Carson Wentz be benched for a whole half in favor of rookie Jalen Hurts. Although his contract may say otherwise, even Wentz’s job as starting quarterback could be in question for next season.

There is not one group you can look at on this Eagles team and think that they are safe going into next season. Once this season is over, everything should be on the table for how to fix this organization.

The question out there shouldn’t just be how the Eagles can fix this franchise. The more interesting question is, “Is there a plan already out there?”

If the Eagles want to fix this franchise sooner rather than later, they should look out west to a team that has gone through a similar predicament: the Las Vegas Raiders.

In 2016, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was having an MVP-caliber season before an injury late in the season would sideline him for the rest of the season and playoffs. Following that season, the Raiders gave Carr a five-year, $125 million extension, at the time making him the highest-paid player in the NFL based on average salary per year. Even though he finished the season injured and had zero playoff experience, they paid him early anyway. Sounds like a player we know here.

The following year in 2017, Carr came back and produced a Pro Bowl year at the quarterback position, but the Raiders posted a 6-9 record in the games he started. It was a little bit of a down year for Carr as his numbers dropped off, but it was still a respectable year. Again, sounds like a player we know here in Philadelphia.

After 2017, the Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio and hired former head coach and ESPN commentator Jon Gruden. Going into the season, Gruden stuck with Carr and wanted to get the quarterback right. Along with Gruden, the Raiders brought in Greg Olson as their offensive coordinator, Edgar Bennett as the wide receivers coach, and Tom Cable as their offensive line coach. Gruden brought in an entire staff to get Carr and this offense right.

Gruden started to turn around Carr that year. In 2018, Carr’s individual numbers increased significantly, despite the team’s 4-12 record. His completion percentage was the best it ever was at 68.9%, he had his first 4,000 passing yard season, his average yards per attempt went up, and his interception percentage went down.

There was hope for Carr, but still questions. He was still a gun-shy quarterback, and it was unknown if he really was the guy moving forward.

After the 2018 season, the Raiders decided to bring in NFL Network analyst and draft expert Mike Mayock to fill their general manager role. After years of missing on draft picks and not getting key free agents, the Raiders decided they needed to bring a true football mind in the building.

That offseason, Mayock made an immediate impact. He brought in key free agents Trent Brown, Tyrell Williams, Darren Waller, and LaMarcus Joyner. In the NFL Draft, he had three first-round picks and used them on Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, and Jonathan Abram. He wasn’t done after the first round. The rest of the draft, Mayock landed Trayvon Mullen, Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, and Foster Moreau.

Mayock probably had the best draft of all NFL teams, as he was able to bring in talent and quality starters on both sides of the ball for the Raiders.

In 2019, Carr continued to improve as he saw increases in his stats again, as well as the team improving to a 7-9 record and showing signs of hope. Mayock knew he had more work to do to get this team to the next level.

In the 2020 offseason, the Raiders brought in free agents Cory Littleton, Nick Kwiatkiski, and Nelson Agholor. In the draft, they continued to make moves by drafting Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, Bryan Edwards, and Amik Robertson. So far in 2020, the Raiders have taken another step, currently, sit at 7-5, and their quarterback is playing better than he ever has.

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If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Las Vegas Raiders and Derek Carr have gone through a very similar situation that Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles have gone through. Starting quarterback getting hurt during an MVP season, getting paid despite coming off of injuries and no playoff success, a general manager that has failed to hit on free agent and draft picks, and a coach who is on the hot seat and has an unclear future. What the Eagles decide to do after this year is still a big question, but there is a plan mapped out for them already. Get the right guys in the building to acquire young talent, bring in a new message to the franchise, and fix your quarterback.