After barely falling short of their goal of being Super Bowl champions in 2023, the Philadelphia Eagles have returned to the practice field for the start of organized team activities (OTAs).
The team had a very eventful offseason. Fans knew there would be some roster turnover, as a lot of the team’s key players were free agents heading into last season. Many crucial players from the previous year’s team headed in a different direction this offseason. Leading rusher Miles Sanders signed with the Carolina Panthers, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave signed with the San Francisco 49ers, offensive guard Isaac Seumalo signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson signed with the Detroit Lions and linebacker T.J. Edwards signed with the Chicago Bears, to name a few.
Not all free agents left Philadelphia, however. Cornerback James Bradberry re-signed with the team for three more seasons and franchise legends Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox both re-signed for one year.
General Manager Howie Roseman wasn’t content with simply re-signing players from the 2022-23 roster. He went out and signed safety Terrell Edmonds and running back Rashaad Penny and traded for running back D’Andre Swift. Those players will join both of the Eagles first round draft picks Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith, whose selections earned the Eagles and Roseman high praise in NFL draft circles.
The core of the team remains, with quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receivers A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, offensive linemen Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce, tight end Dallas Goedert, cornerbacks Darius Slay and the aforementioned Bradberry, all returning for the upcoming season.
The team will have to answer some questions as it heads into OTAs, however, to prove it can return to the Super Bowl in 2024.
The team lives and dies by the success of Jalen Hurts and head coach Nick Sirianni. Both had phenomenal sophomore seasons, but we have seen examples of coach and quarterback duos doing just that and then having a turbulent third season. Look no further than former Eagles head coach/quarterback duo Doug Pederson and Carson Wentz. Will Hurts and Sirianni be able to break the trend?
The team will be counting on its rookies for major production. Smith and Carter will be expected to contribute right away, and mid-round picks such as safety Sydney Brown and cornerback Kelee Ringo should see significant time on the field, as well. Will they be able to live up to expectations?
Will any players from last season’s team take a leap this season? We saw it with Hurts, going from a borderline starter to an MVP candidate in one season. Do DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert, or Quez Watkins have that type of a jump in store next season?
While the Eagles are undoubtedly one of the best rosters in the NFL, there is a lot of work to be done if they want to repeat last season’s success. As OTAs commence and the season inches closer, fans and spectators will get a better idea of if this group can replicate the success of last season.