The Philadelphia Eagles finished 9-7 for the second straight season in 2019, but despite the disappointing record, they made the playoffs both years. In 2018, they made it to the divisional round and were an Alshon Jeffery catch away from possibly making the NFC Championship. That off-season, they made a few big decisions including signing Malik Jackson, trading for Desean Jackson, and resigning Carson Wentz to one of the most expensive contracts in the NFL. Many thought that this could be enough to propel them deep into the playoffs. Instead, they had a very disappointing and injury-plagued 2019 season. They made the playoffs on a late season run and just a few plays into the game, the Eagles lost their star quarterback Carson Wentz for the game due to a concussion. Philadelphia now has an important off-season ahead of them with many positions to fill.
1. Secondary It is no secret the Philadelphia Eagles had a very inconsistent cornerback core last season. Their safeties, Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins, have been very good over the past few years. The problem has been inconsistent cornerback play over the past couple years, and they have not had a true leader in that position for quite some time. During several games last season the secondary looked terrible, including losses to both the Vikings and the Cowboys. Then there were games where they looked great including wins against the Bears and the Jets. The Eagles secondary was incredibly inconsistent and frustrating. A few targets to look out for are Darius Slay, a three time Pro Bowler, and Byron Jones, a one time Pro Bowler. If the Eagles go after Slay, they would have to trade for him. If they were to go after Jones, they would have to pay him big money. They also have to resign Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills, two key players in their secondary. Malcolm Jenkins, the defensive captain, also said that he wants to re-negotiate his contract. There are many reasons that the Eagles need an improved secondary.
2. Linebacker At the beginning of this off-season, the Eagles made a decision to release their best linebacker, Nigel Bradham. Howie Roseman, the Eagles General Manager, has shown in the past that he does not prioritize the linebacker position at all. Now, this team is left with no relevant linebackers and has a massive hole at this position. Sure, the Eagles released Bradham, but it was not because they were dissatisfied with his play. They cut him because he was overpaid. Since Philadelphia still likes Bradham, it would not be surprising for him to come back on a cheaper deal. There are a few other options out there like Devondre Campbell and Corey Littleton, but they would cost a decent amount of money. The Eagles have a gaping hole at linebacker and need two somewhat decent linebackers on opening day. There are not many options for the Eagles, so they have to make the most of what is on the market.
3. Wide Reciever The Eagles lost their top four receivers coming into the season. Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Desean Jackson all were injured during the season. Their fourth receiver, Mack Hollins, was cut late in the season after terrible play. This forced the Eagles to use players like Greg Ward, Robert Davis, and Deontay Burnett at the end of the season to catch passes. This off-season Nelson Agholor is expected to leave, Alshon Jeffery is expected to be traded, and Desean Jackson cannot be relied on to play a full season. There are many good options for the Eagles, especially in the draft. Ceedee Lamb, Henry Ruggs, Laviska Shenault, and many more are expected to be available for the Eagles. There are also players like Robby Anderson, who would be a high priced free agent, and Demarcus Robinson, who would be a lower priced free agent. The Eagles have a huge hole to fill at wide receiver position this off-season and they can do it through the draft or free agency.
The Eagles have some incredibly high expectations during the past few seasons and there is no question that the pressure will be there next season as well. They have a pretty solid team coming into the season, but have some big holes to fill at wide receiver, linebacker, and in the secondary. Philadelphia can attack these positions in the draft or in free agency. It will interesting to see how the Eagles can fill the holes in their roster this off-season.