Howie Roseman, the Philadelphia Eagles’ chief roster architect, said last week at the NFL scouting combine that his goal for this offseason is to improve the team that just won the Super Bowl title even without its league-MVP-candidate of a young quarterback, Carson Wentz.
Roseman is wasting no time.
The Eagles agreed Wednesday to a trade for Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, bolstering a Philadelphia defense that struggled in the Super Bowl against quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots but was good for most of last season.
The deal is not necessarily a blockbuster. Bennett turns 33 in November. The Eagles will have to send only a fifth-round draft choice and wide receiver Marcus Johnson to the Seahawks for Bennett and a seventh-round pick when the trade becomes official next Wednesday, the first day of the new league year.
But Bennett remains a solid contributor as a pass rusher. He had 8.5 sacks last season for the Seahawks and will strengthen the Eagles’ defensive front.
“This is a unique position for us and certainly me personally in the fact that we have to make these decisions coming off a championship year,” Roseman said last week in Indianapolis. “But we want to get better. We want to continue to be in a position to get better. And so we’re going to have to make tough choices. It’s not like we can just bring the band back together and expect the same results. That’s a part of what we have to do out here. There are going to be some tough ones that we have to make. But I think talking to Coach [Doug Pederson] and our staff, we understand that that’s the mentality we have to take to have a chance to get back here again.”
The biggest offseason decision for Roseman, Pederson, owner Jeffrey Lurie and the Eagles is yet to come. They must decide whether to trade quarterback Nick Foles, the Super Bowl MVP, to take advantage of his elevated value, or keep him as an insurance policy as Wentz works his way back from the knee injury that cut short his 2017 season.
But Roseman has been active and aggressive since re-inheriting control over the Eagles’ roster from former coach Chip Kelly, and he showed Wednesday that he has no intention of standing pat even with a still-shiny Lombardi Trophy in the team’s possession.
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