How the 2017 Eagles finally built their ‘dream team’ through free agency

Now the Eagles are almost $10 million over the salary cap. They have to be under the cap by the time the new league year begins Wednesday, so something’s got to give. Luckily for Philadelphia, Howie Roseman was ready for this.

“We had anticipated what was going to go on in this offseason certainly last year,” Roseman said at the NFL Combine. “Some of the moves we made were with that in mind. From our perspective, we attempted to look at the free agent classes over a two-year period and felt like we would try to balance where our resources would go.”

It’s good that the Eagles thought ahead, but the changes they’ll have to make to this roster will still be felt. They’ve already traded away Torrey Smith and Marcus Johnson and brought in Michael Bennett and cornerback Daryl Worley.

It’s unlikely that the Eagles will be able to hold on to Trey Burton, starting inside linebacker Nigel Bradham, and Blount, all of whom could walk in free agency. They will likely cut or trade defensive end Vinny Curry. They’re also saddled with a tough decision to make about Foles, who won them a Super Bowl but isn’t going to take the starting role from Wentz. How does Roseman plan to accomplish that?

“Our intention is to find creative ways to do that,” he said at the combine.

The Eagles don’t have the cap space to follow the exact blueprint they used in 2017, but their overall goal is still the same: using free agency to jump-start a path to the Super Bowl.

Playing as a strongside linebacker in New York, Kennard did enough as a blitzer to rack up 9.5 sacks over his four seasons with the Giants.

He wasn’t a particularly active run defender, although the Giants were an excellent run defense after importing Damon Harrison in 2016.

The USC product’s rookie season — when he generated 4.5 sacks and five tackles for loss despite starting just six games — might have been his most productive campaign.

It’s possible that Kennard projects better as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but as Patricia noted earlier this month, the Lions will be spending the vast majority of their time in their sub packages anyway.

More likely, Detroit will send Kennard after the quarterback more frequently than the Giants did and will expect him to contribute on early downs.

The issue with the New England comparison is that Bill Belichick really doesn’t value players at this position all that much.