Lost in another offseason of change and controversy is the fact that, dating back to the 2015 season, the Eagles have at least claimed to be in pursuit of an individual to work alongside Howie Roseman heading up the team's personnel department. Following the departure of Chip Kelly, owner Jeffrey Lurie was adamant that Roseman would not be the sole decision-maker when it came to how the Eagles roster was managed. The organization delayed their pursuit earlier in the offseason, likely due to the fact that many teams around the league would be immersed in their scouting for the 2016 NFL Draft. With that having come and gone, it is likely that potential candidates that the organization has been targeting would become available for opportunities elsewhere.
There is no doubt that Roseman was the primary figure in the organizational makeover that has taken place thus far this offseason. Punctuated by his drafting of franchise quarterback of the future Carson Wentz, the Eagles executive vice president of player personnel has been as aggressive and creative as ever in his re-shaping of the roster. Though some may have suspected that Roseman could be holding on to his sole decision-making status going forward, justifiably so given what has transpired this offseason, all indications are that the Eagles are sticking to their word in identifying and targeting someone to work alongside him. The name that seems to have emerged from the pack, according to various media members around the league, is Joe Douglas of the Chicago Bears organization.
Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune. Here are some of the details of his coverage of the potential union of Douglas and the Eagles.
Two league sources told the Tribune the Eagles requested and were granted permission to interview Douglas for a vice president position in Philadelphia that would oversee the team's pro and college scouting departments.
It's not a foregone conclusion that Douglas will not return but he's believed to be a very strong candidate for the job under executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman.
The Bears hired Douglas last May to be the college scouting director after a 15-year run with the Ravens. Pace could have blocked the Eagles' request because it does not include a general manager title. He has said that requests for employees under contract will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
Multiple individuals who cover the Eagles have both confirmed and fleshed out Biggs' story on the Eagles pursuit of Douglas. Geoff Mosher provided some context on how long the team has been interested in Douglas and what the opinion of him around the league is.
Chip tried to hire him last year for the personnel chief position. https://t.co/oJQjHRXIvZ— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
Received this unsolicited text from NFL personnel man. "If the Eagles get Joe Douglas that's a huge get for them." Called Joe a future GM.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
Lack of final say, actually, shouldn't be obstacle for Joe Douglas. He's a No. 3/4 in CHI, prob wouldn't have final say in next job anyway.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
I'm told now that last year Joe Douglas was offered director of college scouting job under Ed Marynowitz. Much bigger role this time around.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
List of NFL personnel men to sing Joe Douglas' praise to me since this AM is up to three. Two of them reached out to me, not vice versa.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) May 4, 2016
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer indicated that the team is moving quickly in their pursuit of Douglas and seemingly is trying to wrap things up sooner rather than later.
But Joe Douglas "interview" is believed to be a mere formality. Barring unlikely change he will be #Eagles head of personnel, sources said.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) May 4, 2016
If and when the Eagles do bring in another executive to work in their personnel department, it will put to test the notion that Roseman has fine-tuned his ability to work with others and operate in a more cohesive manner than he has in the past. The Eagles put themselves in a unique position following the departure of Chip Kelly and, to his credit, Roseman owned it from the jump. For better or worse, he put the onus of the 2016 offseason squarely on his shoulders and will reap the praise or criticism that comes along with it. Beyond that, he will have to show he can work with another personality like Douglas or whoever the Eagles bring in to make their personnel department a more traditional setting.
Somers Price is a contributor for Eagledelphia.com and can be followed on Twitter @somersprice