The roster has been significantly upgraded in the last couple of years. The blue-chip count has grown. Is there one player who rises above all to be deemed "Most Valuable" here?
The fans think so. On the Fan Poll on PhiladelphiaEagles.com, running back
McCoy is a star player. So is left tackle
What's exciting is that the Eagles have added to the talent mix with youth. Very good youth. Quarterback
I'm not going to agree with the fans, then. While McCoy is a remarkable player and will in the next couple of seasons become the most productive running back in the history of the franchise and who, at age 25, is very much on top of his game, he plays a position that requires depth and interchangeable pieces for the long haul of a 16-game season. For that very reason, the addition of Sproles in the offseason will prove to be so important and will pay such huge dividends in the season ahead.
From this perspective, the most valuable player on any football team is the quarterback. There is the very true notion that the sum of the parts is greater than any single player, but it is also true that in no sport is there a position more vital than quarterback in football.
For that reason, Foles gets the nod as the team's most valuable on the field. As he raised his game in 2013, the offense soared. Turnovers were minimized. Big plays were maximized, and the level of efficiency increased tremendously. The Eagles won seven of their final eight games in the regular season and claimed the NFC East to reach the playoffs for the first time after missing out in 2011 and 2012.
The premise is also that if "something should happen to Player X, who would step up?" and I understand that. Behind McCoy there is Sproles, a super-productive player with varied skills, but who has also never had more than 93 carries in a season. Given the chance, though, and with a strong supporting cast, the expectation is that Sproles -- as well as
We don't yet know where
That's the way it works in the NFL. That's why quarterbacks are so coveted. That's why franchises treasure the position so dearly. That's why the biggest contracts in the league go to the quarterbacks.
Quarterback is the most valuable position, for better or worse. No other position in any sport has as much impact in the fortunes of a franchise. That's the rule in the NFL, not to be broken any time soon.