As quarterback Sam Bradford finished his Thursday afternoon press conference, the Philadelphia media moved from its seats in the NovaCare Complex auditorium to the front left corner of the room, forming a small scrum around executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman.
While initially asked about Bradford's new two-year contract and how the deal came about, Roseman also fielded questions regarding the other main topics of interest for the team. With free agency beginning next week and the 2016 NFL Draft just around the corner, Roseman shared that the Eagles still have work to do this offseason.
On Bradford's Contract
According to Bradford, initial talks of a return to Philadelphia began immediately following the season. The real negotiations only started to heat up in the last few weeks, but those preliminary discussions really helped set the tone for Roseman.
"I think the intentions were right all along, really good conversations," he said. "I think, at least for the two of us, not knowing each other as well as I've been fortunate to know the quarterbacks that have been here, for us to kind of get to know him that last week and keeping in touch over the last few weeks, few months when we signed guys, his excitement and his energy and being able to call him when the deal was done and hearing the genuine excitement in his voice."
The deal came together just minutes after the franchise tag deadline passed at 4 PM on Tuesday. The timing was no coincidence though. It was a goal on both sides to have a contract in place.
Roseman also feels the team has more stability at the position now with Bradford's return. Stability at quarterback is a concept the Eagles have not had in years and it's something they're looking to build toward in the future.
"I think that the longer quarterbacks play, the more continuity you have throughout your organization," Roseman said. "It helps you win. It helps you develop programs. Then you can build on it. You can think about it like a layer cake. You build those layers and you get a chance to compete every year. There's no question about it. It's important and when you start over all the time, it's hard."
The Offensive Line Is A Priority, Period
Now that the team's quarterback is in place, another area Roseman knows the Eagles need to address is the offensive line whether it's through free agency, the draft or even a trade.
"The O-line is a priority, period," Roseman said. "It's a priority today. It's a priority tomorrow. It's a priority next week. It's a priority in April. It's going to be a priority. Every day we're looking for offensive linemen."
Bradford's Impact On The Draft
Regardless of Bradford's new contract, the Eagles have not ruled out selecting a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft. With head coach Doug Pederson and offensive coordinator Frank Reich's expertise on the position, the organization feels all the more settled in its evaluation of prospects.
"We have this huge resource in this building with coach and his staff as well as our scouting staff," Roseman explained. "For all of us to get a chance to come together and hear their perspective, you're always learning in this. We've been very fortunate in this building to have really great quarterback teachers and to have those guys and how they look at the position."
Will A Deal With Fletcher Cox Be Next?
Even with the moves made to lock up players already in the organization, the Eagles aren't shying away from options in free agency. However, they aren't going to make any quick decisions either.
"We want to do anything to improve the team, but it's got to make sense," Roseman explained. "It will be interesting to see how this market goes. We also have some players that were on our team that we'd like to have back, that would still be of interest to us.
"I think we've got a lot of our to-do list checked off. There's still more. I think we talked about Fletch (Fletcher Cox). That's still on our to-do list. There's no question about that. We're not forgetting about that or him. We'll just see how it goes on the market. We just want to be sure that we're making good decisions as we go forward here."