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What's The Plan For Free Agency?


INDIANAPOLIS -- Howie Roseman and head coach Doug Pederson met with reporters for over an hour on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. There were a number of topics that the two covered, but here are the five biggest takeaways for Eagles fans.

1. Eagles Can Be Players In Free Agency

But will they? The 2017 salary cap will reportedly by $167 million, and Roseman said that the Eagles have the flexibility to make moves in free agency which begins a week from Thursday.

"You're able to do whatever you want. It's just the ramifications of what that means," Roseman said.

Roseman did not put a number of how much salary cap space the Eagles have because of different potential scenarios. The Eagles had success in free agency last year by adding starters Brandon Brooks at guard and Rodney McLeod at safety. Roseman wants to add pieces to build around quarterback Carson Wentz, but is cautious that the right opportunity has to present itself.

In fact, Roseman maintained that the Eagles must have discipline and be willing to take "short-term pain for long-term gain." Earlier this offseason, Roseman pointed to the cornerback position as one in recent years where the team has applied Band-Aids for quick fixes.

The Eagles want to add talent, but an offseason priority is also developing the young players who are already on the roster.

The franchise tag deadline passed on Wednesday, and the Eagles elected not to use it. Among the Eagles who are scheduled to become free agents is defensive tackle Bennie Logan.

"He's been a great player since he walked in the door for us. He's been a huge contributor to our football team," Roseman said. "Great character. Works hard. You want to try and keep as many good players as you can."

2. Carson Wentz Makes The Difference

The approach this offseason is different because the Eagles have a young, franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz.

Roseman pointed to the 2011 offseason, after Michael Vick recaptured his magic and guided the Eagles to a division title. The Eagles wanted to capitalize on Vick's resurgence and quickly assemble a team to ride the momentum. The same can be said for the 2014 offseason, after Nick Foles had his historic season throwing 27 touchdowns against just two interceptions.

"From our perspective, we're trying to build this thing around a young quarterback and get some continuity," Roseman said.

3. A Historic Class At Which Position?

When asked about positions of strength in this year's draft class, Roseman pointed to two in particular - running back and defensive back.

He called this running back class "historic" in terms of the amount of talent and how it compares to previous years. Roseman added that the depth in the secondary is "unique" to all of his years attending the combine.

Not that it's a surprise, but Pederson confirmed that Darren Sproles will return in 2017. The head coach was also asked about a potential reunion with Jamaal Charles, who was released by Kansas City on Tuesday.

"I've got history with him in Kansas City for three years. He's a tremendous running back," Pederson said. "It's something that we'll evaluate now. We'll grade him like every free agent."

4. Where Will Isaac Seumalo Play?

Pederson confirmed that Jason Peters will remain at left tackle in 2017.

"He's such a valuable part of our team. He's a Pro Bowl left tackle. That's where he's going to stay," Pederson said. "I'm confident he can do that again next year."

Pederson also added that Jason Kelce will be back at center.

"He's a Pro Bowl player," Pederson said. "He's been a tremendous asset to the team."

With Brooks and Lane Johnson established on the right side of the line, can Isaac Seumalo unseat Allen Barbre for the left guard job in 2017?

"The benefit of Isaac is that he has the versatility to play both those spots. He played guard and center," Roseman said.

5. An Eagle To Watch In 2017

Defensive end Vinny Curry was re-signed to a contract extension last offseason. He had 2.5 sacks as a situational pass rusher in 2016, but Roseman believes that the former second-round pick can give the team more moving forward.

"When we re-signed Vinny last year, he had (a nine-sack season) in the National Football League. We felt very confident that he would fit in this scheme. Going back and looking at the cut-ups and the tapes over the course of the season, he's a guy who got a lot of pressure," Roseman said. "As we go forward, he's someone we're counting on for a large role. We know he can get pressure. Being in this system two years in a row ... we need more out of him, but we feel confident that we're going to get it."

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