Ultimately, the Philadelphia Eagles just aren’t there yet

The Philadelphia Eagles just aren’t there yet.

Sure, they can win games, run on (almost) everyone, and show flashes of greatness depending on the day, but when push comes to shove, and the Eagles needed to pull a rabbit out of their hat, they just can’t overcome a better foe solely committed to securing in the W.

Unfortunate? You bet, but again, what did you expect? The team has two wide receivers and one tight end with Ryan Kerrigan starting at defensive end, which weirdly ended up being the least of the team’s problems. With $62 million in dead money left on the cap and win-later moves littering the team’s transaction sheet, no one, not even Howie Roseman, expected the Eagles to make the playoffs under rookie head coach Nick Sirianni, and in any other season, they wouldn’t have, considering a third Wildcard spot was only commissioned in 2021.

After watching a brutal game slowly end the season like a three-hour car crash, it doesn’t feel all that great to be a Philadelphia Eagles fan at the moment. But in the not too distant future, that might change for the better. Why not focus on that for a few minutes instead of the sadness?

Remember, the Philadelphia Eagles have a bright future.

Three first-round picks.

Three.

After only having three first-round picks over the last four years – two of which were used on Andre Dillard and Jalen Reagor – the Philadelphia Eagles have three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, which is, unsurprisingly enough, the most of any team in the NFL.

Those picks should allow Howie Roseman and company to address their needs in a variety of different ways, from targeting positions of need, to trading for established stars, or simply going BPA and accruing maximum talent on a roster in need of top-end performers.

Fortunately, the Eagles won’t be forced to go with the former like they have with all five of their last first-rounders, as the Eagles also have money to spend in free agency.

That’s right, gone are the days of signing older vets on one-year deals in the hopes that one, maybe two still have something left in the tank and in their place maybe, just maybe, the Eagles could walk away from March with a legit difference maker, marking the first time that had happened since Javon Hargrave in 2020.

Sidebar I: Do you know who the Eagles’ last free agent signee was who made it to a Pro Bowl was as a member of the team? That would be none other than Malcolm Jenkins and Brandon Brooks in 2019.

With $13 million in available cap space as we speak with the potential to free up even more money if the Birds so choose, could the Eagles secure themselves a nice veteran receiver to play opposite DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins? A depth player who could moonlight as a return man? Both?

And what about on the defensive end of the field? With the big named defensive ends like Kayvon Thibodaux likely off the board when the Eagles first go on the clock, and Derek Barnett’s time with the team likely on the way out, maybe the team will go after a proven commodity like Chandler Jones or Jadeveon Clowney on the open market.

Sidebar II: If Jonathan Gannon remains at defensive coordinator, my favorite defensive name to watch is Anthony Barr, who can fill a number of boxes with the team and has that Mike Zimmer pedigree.

Needless to say, the 2022 Philadelphia Eagles are going to look a little different than their 2021 iteration when they take the field again this summer. Long-time fan favorites like Rodney McLeod may be gone, as could underperforming youngsters like JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and in their place will be a new crop of players both drafted and signed who better fill the holes presented by Nick Sirianni’s rookie season. Will it all work out? Only time will tell, but with a baseline of a Wildcard playoff berth now set, it’s safe to say the foundation is in place for something great.