While some of the NFL is focused on the championship games this weekend, most teams are looking ahead to next season and especially the offseason, with contract negotiations and re-signings on their mind. Two of the most important players the Philadelphia Eagles have to worry about are Vinny Curry and Zach Ertz.
Ertz, a tight end who just completed his third and most productive season with the team, isn’t a free agent this year but the next. However, the Eagles have a chance to sign the second round draft pick on an extension to avoid trouble a year from now, especially if he has a strong season. Doug Pederson, the new head coach, designed the offensive system that helped Jason Kelce do so well last season with the Kansas City Chiefs, so it wouldn’t be too big of a surprise if Ertz improves on his 75 receptions and 853 yards in 2016.
Curry just completed his fourth season and final on his contract since being the 59th overall pick in 2012. The Eagles already have a contract offer waiting to be signed by Curry, although he’s taking his time. One of the issues he had was playing in a 3-4 defense, which being a defensive end, makes it a bit more difficult. However, the Eagles will be moving to a 4-3 front under Jim Schwartz, which should fit the former Marshall player a lot more, and help him make a decision in favor of staying in Philadelphia.
Obviously, there are other issues the Eagles have to deal with. Maybe the biggest one is Sam Bradford, who has said he would like to stay in Philadelphia, and of course it all depends on the contract he’s offered. Rumors about his agent asking for $25 million a season can’t be true right? While Bradford played well in the second half of last season, he isn’t one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and there’s no one out there willing to pay him that kind of money.
As disappointing as last season was for the Eagles, this team might not be in a need for such a massive overhaul is it might seem. A good draft and maybe putting the players in a better system for them, with Chip Kelly criticized for doing too many things his way which rubbed off poorly on too many people within the organization, could put them in playoff contention again and maybe more. A good offseason can quickly turn things around in the NFL, especially when the foundation isn’t that bad to begin with.