Howie Roseman is known as one of the league's most creative executives for his ability to keep the Eagles under the salary cap. He's also one of the most aggressive wheelers and dealers, look at how he maneuvered from No. 13 to No. 8 to No. 2 in the 2016 NFL Draft to get in position to select a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz.
Boring has never been a word used to describe Roseman. Neither has predictable. But that's how he described the Eagles' philosophical approach to this offseason.
"In a lot of ways, we're boring. We're kind of predictable," Roseman said Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting in Phoenix. "It's going to be about the O-line, it's going to be about the D-line, and then it's going to be about getting pressure on the quarterback, protecting the quarterback, and then we build out from there.
"We knew we wanted to keep our offensive line together and continue to build on the offensive line and develop some of our young players while we do that like (Jordan) Mailata and (Matt) Pryor. We knew we wanted to continue to have a really good defensive line. Even though we traded Michael (Bennett), who was incredibly productive for us, getting Malik Jackson and signing Brandon Graham early in free agency, and getting Vinny Curry, and, obviously, we still have the draft to go. That was stuff that we knew we had to have in the blueprint."
But Roseman and the Eagles were able to do more in the start of free agency.
"Adding guys like DeSean (Jackson) and Andrew Sendejo and L.J. Fort, I think those are some things that just kind of added icing on the cake, but we have a lot of work to do. We're six months before the first regular-season game," Roseman said. "We have the draft coming up. The talent acquisition process really does not stop until the trade deadline and you know us, we will look at everything and every way to improve our football team."
Roseman offered some more insight into the moves that the Eagles have done to this point.
1. Retaining Current Players
"That's what we want to be known for. We want to develop our own players, re-sign our own players, guys who know what it takes and what it means to be a Philadelphia Eagle. That's really important to us."
2. Adding Impact
On DeSean Jackson: "We all know DeSean, but I think what our fans are going to see is a different DeSean Jackson, a mature DeSean Jackson who is totally committed to the team and winning and having a legacy in Philadelphia. That's really exciting for us and you think about our skill-position players and our wide receivers and our tight end group, we all know what Alshon (Jeffery) can do and the difference he makes. We all know the difference Nelly (Agholor) makes in the slot. Zach Ertz, one of the great players in Eagles history. Dallas Goedert, we saw him as a rookie and he hasn't even had an offseason program to take the jump from Year 1 to Year 2, and now you have DeSean on the outside.
"When you talk to our defensive coaches, when you talk to our defensive players and we're playing the teams that had DeSean Jackson on them, they're making sure they know where he is on every play."
On Malik Jackson: "Malik does a tremendous job of getting pressure on the quarterback, rushing inside, sitting next to Fletch (Cox). Now you continue to have two guys inside who can make a difference in your pass rush. When you get edge pressure and quarterbacks step up in the pocket and you're able to collapse that pocket from the inside, it's tremendous for your defense."
3. Adding Depth
On Vinny Curry: "Vinny was hampered by a high-ankle sprain this year, but you know what Vinny brings to the table – his ability to be disruptive in this scheme, in the run game and the passing game. Really excited to bring him back as well."
On L.J. Fort: "He's been a tremendous special teams player, but also continued to develop as a defensive player. Our scouting department was really excited to get a guy like him."
On Andrew Sendejo: "Andrew Sendejo, a guy we're really excited about getting. He's started and played at a high level, so he can play as our third safety, certainly can come in and start if we have the need, but also fill the role of a Chris Maragos, who we lost, of a veteran guy who's played on special teams, can provide that leadership and difference-making ability.
"All of those guys, tremendous character guys, tremendous work ethic, and all of those guys have overcome obstacles to become the player that they are. Great team players. They fill a role."