Howie Roseman: Loved, Hated, Then Loved Again
There may have been a point in time where Howie Roseman was the most hated man in Philadelphia.
In 2021, the Eagles went 4-11-1, Doug Pederson was fired just two seasons after winning first Super Bowl in franchise history and Travis Fulgham was the team's leading receiver with 539 yards and four touchdowns.
Roseman’s seat was getting hotter, hotter and hotter by the second.
So he went to work.
There are a lot of people who deserve credit for the Eagles’ 14-3 NFC Championship season. Jalen Hurts had to up his game at quarterback first and foremost, but it was Roseman who made the selection which was highly scrutinized at the time, within the fanbase and around the league.
Eagles fans - let’s be honest - you’re lying if you said you weren't at least slightly skeptical of it, or on the scale somewhere to completely outraged.
It didn’t necessarily have anything to do with Hurts, either. It was the fact that the team had just signed Carson Wentz to a mega four-year, $128-million deal and the Birds were seemingly back in backup quarterback hell again.
But Wentz struggled to stay healthy, and his time in Philadelphia was short lived and he was cut just two seasons later. But have no fear, Eagles fans - number one is here.
Hurts’ mindset, determination and work ethic is as impressive as it gets for a 24-year-old, as is his talent and skill set. He has the whole team behind him, starting with the way he carries himself, and Roseman was the one who made that call.
Let’s take a look at how else Howie turned around his legacy and is just one win away from solidifying it:
A Cap Magician
If there’s one thing that’s always been true about Roseman, it’s that he’s a master at handling the cap space.
He’s maneuvered around the Eagles’ massive pile of dead money (thanks to Wentz’s contract) by restructuring deals. In other words, to do so in many cases Roseman moves the owed money down the line when the salary cap is higher, therefore the percentage he has to pay is less. It’s genius, really.
The Eagles had 30% dead money after trading Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, but were still able to land big-time free agents and pay them what they were asking for when their former teams didn’t want to/couldn’t pay them.
Roseman always finds creative avenues to maneuver around the cap space, a specific skill set that many general managers seem to lack.
But as long as Roseman’s running the show, the Eagles will be in good hands in the financial department.
A Roster Architect
This off season, Roseman was about as good as it gets in the player and personnel department.
He signed big-name free agents to fill key spots and draft picks developed to form one of the best rosters in the league.
Roseman inked one of the best offseason classes in recent memory.
Haason Reddick has 19.5 sacks (incl. playoffs) which leads the league and has been an absolute game wrecker. A.J. Brown similarly, although he’s a quiet start to the postseason, put up 1,496 and 11 touchdowns as Hurts’ number-one option.
James Bradberry and Darius Slay make for one of the best cornerback duos in the league, and C.J. Gardner-Johnson is a dawg at safety and a perfect fit in Philly.
Excluding Brown, 11 out of 12 starters on the Birds’ offense were drafted by Roseman. That’s pretty good for someone who “can’t draft,” one of his most common criticisms.
He was active in-season as well. After the Eagles suffered their first loss to the Commanders and were gashed on the ground, Roseman went out and signed 700+ pounds of man in Linval Joseph and Ndamukong Suh to make sure it didn’t happen again.
Roseman has a keen eye for players and isn’t afraid to make the pull the trigger on a bold shot - even if it misses sometimes. He’s had some bad ones, to be transparent; Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside over DK Metcalf immediately come to mind.
But the Birds have Brown and DeVonta Smith now, which is just as good if not better.
Oh, not to mention they have two first round picks this year, one in the top 10.
A Coaching Chef’s Kiss
Even with all the talent in the world, you still need leaders to be push the right buttons to reach the promised land. Roseman cooked up a supreme concoction of players and coaches, and the results speak for themselves.
Nick Sirianni wasn’t a popular pick as a head coach, and the decision was publicly ridiculed as soon as his introductory press conference because of a mere stutter.
But the former offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts has proven to be a perfect fit.
Roseman went against the grain and hired someone against the grain, who embodies Philadelphia and lives and breathes what the city is all about.
Sirianni’s enthusiasm, confidence and toughness is evident in his team’s output on the field. Since his famed “flowers comment,” the Eagles are 23-7. I think it’s safe to say the growing pains are in the past.
Roseman kept Jeff Stoutland (Chip Kelly’s guy), the best offensive line coach in the league, satisfied enough to stick around as he just agreed to a long-term contact extension. He also hired Shane Steichen and Jonathan Gannon, two blossoming young minds to lead the offense and defense, respectively.
Sirianni’s personality bleeds through the other coaches and players on the staff and it helps the team take on a winning mentality. Roseman was the one who gave him the lighter to ignite the flame.
Roseman has established a juggernaut that has no signs of slowing down.
He deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame for this offseason alone. But of course, it would certainly help his case if he caps off the season with a Lombardi - the second in five years.
Believe it or not, he probably has the best argument to be the next statue built outside of Lincoln Financial Field.
But rent’s still due.
Zach Donaldson is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.