With free agency scheduled for March 12, and the draft six weeks later, the offseason heats up quickly and the roster takes form. Between now and then, of course, there is work to be done. That work includes the following ...
Making A Decision On Michael Vick
According to the reports, Michael Vick's contract in 2013 calls for a salary of $15.5 million. A chunk of that, about $3 million, is guaranteed to Vick should he be on the roster two days after the Super Bowl is over. So, the clock is ticking and the thinking all along was that the Eagles would make the call on Vick immediately after the Super Bowl.
However, according to recent reports, there isn't any kind of deadline in place that would force the Eagles to make such a fast decision on Vick. The reports say that Vick would get his $3 million, but that should the Eagles later decide to part ways with him and he signs elsewhere, the Eagles would be responsible only for the difference should Vick later sign elsewhere for less than $3 million.
Whether the reports are accurate or not, the point is this: The Eagles have to make a call on Vick at some point in the weeks ahead. They've given absolutely no indication which way they might be leaning with Vick or, for that matter, with any of the personnel Chip Kelly is evaluating.
Kelly has said not a word about his plans for the quarterback position, nor has his offered an opinion on Vick and Nick Foles other than to compliment each. We'll know soon -- how soon, exactly, I don't know -- how Kelly really feels. The Eagles, it would appear, are either going to commit to Vick and his large salary or they are going to part ways.
Finalizing The Coaching Staff
The Eagles have not announced any additions to their coaching staff, and it doesn't appear that they will do so until the entire staff is in place. So ... who will the coordinators be? Who comes in and runs the defense?
Was a coach from Sunday's Super Bowl someone the Eagles have their eyes on? Eagles fans have waited patiently, and it now seems like the time is near to find out who will make up Kelly's staff.
Just as important, what kind of schemes will the Eagles run offensively and defensively. In the weeks since Kelly was hired, he has impressed everyone he's met with his personality and with his congeniality with the media. We've gained snippets of his coaching philosophy. He's earned rave reviews from the fans.
But what about the meat and potatoes of what Kelly is going to do with this football team? We don't know. Soon, yeah I promise, we're going to find out.
Continuing The Roster Evaluation
A 4-12 season usually means a lot of turnover the following season, and with that kind of setup the Eagles are about to enter the personnel-acquisition phase of the offseason. Kelly has said that his approach is to tailor a scheme to what is on the roster, so what does that mean for the offense and the defense?
Beyond Vick, the Eagles have other personnel calls, including both of their starting cornerbacks -- Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent and Nnamdi Asomugha's salary skyrockets this year -- as well as other decisions to make that will have great bearing on the salary cap and any flexibility the team will have in free agency.
From a personnel standpoint, it's the calm before the roster storm. Every evaluation is extremely important as Kelly builds the roster.
Preparing For Pre-Draft Minicamp
A team with a new head coach is granted an extra mini-camp, which will be held prior to the draft. The dates of the Eagles' camp have not been announced. It will give us a peek into what the team has planned -- a tease, and that's all -- on both sides of the ball.
If nothing else, we'll see how the spring depth chart looks, and the coaching staff will have a chance to eyeball the roster prior to the draft. It's going to be an important weekend -- assuming it's a weekend -- to gain some insight into what the Eagles have prior to the most important weekend of the offseason -- the NFL draft.
That's what's ahead. We've waited a long time to see what Kelly has planned for the roster, for the coaching staff, for the season ahead.