When the Philadelphia Eagles moved up to draft Carson Wentz second overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, it became their identity. No matter all the good they do stocking the roster with talent, if Wentz bombs, the front office, the coaching staff, the organization will be revamped... again.
Suddenly, the days of Andy Reid don’t seem so bad.
There is reason for excitement in Philadelphia though.
They have talent all over their roster.
They have drafted well and now, they need their second year quarterback to take the next step.
Notable free agent additions: Alshon Jeffery, Torrey Smith, LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Patrick Robinson, Chance Warmack, Nick Foles
Notable free agent departures: Bennie Logan, Nolan Carroll, Connor Barwin (released), Leodis McKelvin (released), Chase Daniel (released)
Trades: Acquired DT Timmy Jernigan and pick No. 99 from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for pick No. 74
Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies: First round pick Derek Barnett will be a key part of the Eagles’ pass rush rotation. Sidney Jones will potentially miss his entire rookie season as he recovers from an Achilles injury. Rasul Douglas could challenge for a starting role at cornerback. Donnel Pumphrey is expected to be a significant role player on offense.
Biggest offseason addition: Alshon Jeffery is easily the biggest addition Philadelphia made this offseason. The Eagles arguably owned the NFL’s worst wide receiving corps last year. Carson Wentz desperately needed a legitimate No. 1 target and the Eagles gave him one by signing Jeffery.
Biggest storyline heading into training camp: Will Carson Wentz step up in Year 2? The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft showed promise as a rookie but he also went through some struggles. Now that he has a year under his belt and an improved supporting cast, the hope is Wentz can lead the Eagles back to the playoffs.
Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp: Is Doug Pederson the right head coach for this team? Not unlike Wentz, Pederson was up and down in his first year on job. He seemed to do an overall decent job given the lack of talent he had to work with. Now the excuses are gone and the team needs to improve in his second year.
Notable injuries heading into training camp: Second round pick Sidney Jones is recovering from an Achilles injury and could potentially miss the entire 2017 season. Starting slot receiver Jordan Matthews missed most of spring practices due to lingering knee tendinitis. Backup defensive tackle Beau Allen suffered a pectoral injury in February. It’s unclear if he’ll be ready by Week 1.