There has been a lot of talk recently about a possible Eagles' tank job for the 2021 season. Quite frankly, it is a ridiculous idea for an NFL team to consider.
This isn't the NBA where teams need a superstar in order to compete. NBA teams that lack a single dominant player have no chance of competing for years. The NFL is a league with loads of parity where teams go from the top of the draft to contenders the very next season. Just look at the 2019 San Francisco 49ers, who went from 4-12 in 2018 to the Super Bowl the next year.
Tanking for 2021 would be unacceptable. A complete waste of a year. This would not help bring the Eagles closer to long-term success like the Process helped the Sixers. Unlike the NBA, stars can be found not just at the top of the draft, but through out the first and later rounds of the draft. The Eagles already have the 6th overall pick for this year. Whether, GM Howie Roseman decides to keep that pick or move up or down, the player that is picked will be expected to come in right away and help the Eagles.
If Jalen Hurts proves to be at least a top 12 to 15 starting QB in 2021, the Eagles will contend for a playoff spot, especially in the weak NFC East. There is no need to move off every pro bowl player on this roster such as RT Lane Johnson or DT Fletcher Cox, who both are age 30. Not young, but not ancient either. Jalen Hurts deserves a chance to show what he can do and he will need at least some talent around him in order to have a chance at success. The same goes for new HC Nick Sirianni.
This is a team that is coming off a 4 win season, that has fired their coach and moved on from their franchise QB. This team should be looking to retool from this point on.
There needs to be a culture of winning and accountability developed right away especially if Hurts and Sirianni are going to have future success. That starts now. Tanking would teach Hurts and the rest of the younger players on the roster that losing is okay. Not something you want if a winning culture is going to be built here.
With both Pederson and Wentz gone, the spotlight should be fully on GM Howie Roseman. He should have all the pressure on him to fix this roster and salary cap situation. Large contracts, such as Johnson and Cox's can be restructured to free up some cap room for 2021. Deciding to tank would essentially give Roseman a free ride for a year. He should not be given a free ride or a license to tank for a year. Roseman should be expected to build a roster that can at least compete in 2021. Compete is the key word here, this team is not going to the Super Bowl in 2021.
Roseman has always been an aggressive GM and it is hard to see him throwing out a season and accepting a tank. He has always been active in free agency. I don't see that changing this year either. It is likely Roseman will restructure some of the large contracts to free up salary cap and sign a couple veteran free agents to help build the roster.
Contrary to popular opinion, Roseman is fully capable of fixing this roster and turning the salary cap situation around. Many fans want him out, and he has been bad the past two years, but his past performance has actually proven that he is the right guy to turn things around. Just look at what Roseman did after the 2015 and 2016 seasons that turned into a Super Bowl title in 2017. In fact, since Roseman took over as GM in 2010, he has proven to be better than most GMs around the league.
Despite Roseman's poor drafting and his struggles the past two years, there is a case to be made for him being a top 10 GM.
Roseman's resume is a bit difficult to evaluate. He was named GM in 2010, yet Andy Reid had control over personnel from 2010-2012. Roseman lost control to Chip Kelly in 2015. Removing those four seasons, Roseman has had roster control for seven of those seasons.
Over those seven seasons, Roseman is 62-49-1, with 4 playoff wins, including 1 conference title, and 1 Super Bowl. Since 2010, only 7 current GMs have won a Super Bowl. This is how Roseman stacks up against the rest of the current GMs, ranked by winning percentage.
Bill Belichick, Patriots: 274-126 (68%), 31-12 in playoffs, 6 Super Bowls
Kevin Colbert, Steelers: 217-117 (65%), 15-11 in playoffs, 3 AFC titles, 2 Super Bowls
Mickey Loomis, Saints: 178-126 (59%), 9-8 in playoffs, 1 NFC title, 1 Super Bowl
John Schneider, Seahawks: 112-63-1 (64%), 10-8 in playoffs, 2 NFC titles, 1 Super Bowl
Brett Veach, Chiefs: 48-16 (75%), 5-2 in playoffs, 1 Super Bowl
Brian Gutekunst, Packers: 32-15 (68%), 2-1 in playoffs
Brandon Beane, Bills: 38-26 (62%), 2-2 playoffs
Jon Robinson, Titans: 47-33 (59%), 3-3 in playoffs
Howie Roseman, Eagles: 62-49-1 (56%), 4-3 in playoffs, 1 NFC Title, 1 Super Bowl
Jerry Jones, Cowboys: 276-236 (54%), 15-12 in playoffs, 3 NFC Titles, 3 Super Bowls
Roseman is currently 9th in winning percentage among active GMs, 3 of the GMs in front of him have no Super Bowl to show for.
The NFL is a bottom line business, the Eagles 4-11-1 record in 2020 reflect Roseman's performance. His record and rank among other current GMs, reflect that he is a good, but not great NFL GM.
Despite the frustration around Roseman's recent struggles, it is important to realize he is better than most GMs around the league and should be expected to succeed in making the Eagles a contender again.