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Super Bowl, Philadelphia Eagles, free agency, Jason Kelsey, who can lose, Nick Siriani, roster moves, latest, updates

The Eagles hope the challenge will be figuring out how to keep the heart and soul of a championship team.

Instead, the less attractive but equally daunting march commands: keep as much substance as possible to make another run at the title that has eluded them so badly.

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Can you imagine the Eagles without their two rugged, dominant inside offensive linemen, Jason Kelsey and Isaac Somelo? Or without running back Miles Sanders, the leading snob?

Think the Eagles without these defensive starters: Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham, linebackers TJ Edwards and Keizer White, linebackers James Bradbury, safety CJ Gardner Johnson and tackles Javon Hargrave. It wouldn’t be the same defense, right?

Things will change around the Eagles. They blew a 10-point halftime lead in Super Bowl LVII and fell firmly against the Chiefs, 38-35. Now they’re delving into the business of the offseason, pondering what to do with the 20 players – including some high-profile players – who are set to become no-strings-attached free agents.

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Another near loss to the Eagles is a key member of Nick Siriani’s coaching staff: Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is headed to Indianapolis as the next Colts head coach. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will be interviewing the Cardinals’ head coach, which means the Eagles could face a massive upset by losing both of their coordinators.

“I was just telling the boys ‘stay together’ because we put this team together so well and we had a rally like no other this year,” Graham said.

Taking precedence over all upcoming free agent decisions is how the Eagles will handle quarterback Jalen Hurts, who is set to enter the final year of his $6 million rookie contract. As a second-round pick, Hurts is ineligible to receive a fifth-year option reserved for a first-round pick.

Hurts, 24, has put together a stellar season in 2022 and has been a superstar on the biggest stage, with one passing touchdown, three rushing touchdowns and several great plays to almost deny Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Hurts will now want to be paid like an elite quarterback. The Eagles don’t have to do anything, but given the success of the Hurts, there’s no realistic way they can bring him back and have him play for the $4.2 million he’s currently on the books to earn in 2023.

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Hurts’ new contract will shrink the salary cap space available for the Eagles to use on their free agents. Estimates vary, but the Eagles are expected to be around $5 million under the cap — before any maneuver is sure to come.

Eight players subject to offense would become free agents: Kelsey, Somalo, Sanders, backup linebacker Gardner Minshew, running back Boston Scott, offensive tackle Andre Dillard, tight end Terry Jackson and wide receiver Zack Pascal.

In terms of defence, it’s true who’s who among the key players: Graham, Cox, Bradbury, Edwards, White, Hargrave, Gardner Johnson, linebacker Robert Quinn, Linval Joseph Ndamkong Suh and safety Marcus Epps. Long snapper Rich Lovato will also be a free agent.

It’s possible that Graham, Cox, and Kelce—three old Eagles, former Super Bowl winners and franchise icons—may all be gone.

Nine Eagles are named to Pro Football Focus’ list of the top 100 players hired to reach free agency, including five players in the top 30: Hargrave (No. 3), Bradberry (No. 14), Gardner-Johnson (No. 24), Edwards (No. 27) and Somalo (No. 28).

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“Of course when you have guys who are on the verge of free agency, they want to get the most out of their careers and make a lot of money and put themselves in a good position,” Bradbury said. on your shoulder.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has done a great job compiling a list that most talent assessors have ranked as the best in the NFL in 2022. Roseman is helped by what little space the Hurts have taken in the salary cap ($1.6 million). Those expenses would skyrocket, making it impossible for Rosman to keep the entire group together in 2023.

“If you want to build a championship team, you have to make absolutely sure you have enough capital for the future,” said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lowry. “We’ve always ensured there was enough capital and resources through free agency and after free agency in opportunistic moments when players are undervalued.

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“On the other hand, in the maintenance phase, you can’t get too emotionally swayed. You’ve got to do the absolute best — we’re going to have to do the best for the 2023 team, the ’24 team, the ’25 team. When you have a chance to win the Super Bowl, to win With an NFC Championship, there’s nothing left unturned.”

Roseman carried through the 2022 season, trading with Gardner-Johnson in the summer and signing Suh and Joseph and trading Quinn during the season.

“Howie choreographed some great moves,” Lowry said. “It’s all part of our focus on both the short term and not giving away the future assets we need to continue building.” Now the subtraction begins.

This story originally appeared on the New York Post and has been republished with permission


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