Howie Roseman’s year away now helping Eagles move forward

For one year, Howie Roseman was the forgotten part of the Philadelphia Eagles organization. Chip Kelly was the center of it all.

When Chip Kelly was hired as head coach, it marked a new era for Eagles football. When Kelly took over the GM role last season as well, it started a one-year dictatorship that would cost Kelly his job as the coach for the mistakes and ill-advised moves the were made in the GM role.

Roseman has spent the offseason working hard to correct as many of those moves as possible. When the new league year opened last Wednesday, the Eagles officially dealt three of Kelly's acquisitions from last year and added six new players. 

What Roseman has done so far could prove valuable to the Eagles on the field in the coming years. But it is only possible because he took a year away from the GM role and the offices and phone calls and so on to examine how to better himself if he ever returned to the role.

In an interview with MMQB's Peter King, Roseman revealed how he spent his year away, studying the management of teams from their leaders, the GMs of the NBA, NHL, MLB and Premier League Soccer. 

"That was so valuable," Roseman said. "And talking to people in basketball, hockey and baseball helped a lot too. I believe experience is a great teacher. All experiences. In the middle of your career, you can’t often take the time or use the energy to take a step back and really learn about your business. But sometimes that’s the best thing for you in business — to take a step back and learn. I was given that opportunity, and Jeffrey wanted me to learn as much as I could, and for that I’m grateful. So when this opportunity came up now, I was able to hit the ground running. I’d been thinking about so much of the stuff about building a team."

So when Chip Kelly was fired one week before the season ended in December 2015, it was a no-brainer for Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie when selecting his committee for the impending coaching search. Roseman was there, conducting exit interviews with players, getting a feel for the team that he didn't get to work with in an exclusive role.

And that's why he spent the first weeks of the offseason controlling what he could control. He helped select Doug Pederson as the next head coach. He orchestrated new deals for players already on the Eagles roster: Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Lane Johnson, Vinny Curry, Najee Goode, Malcolm Jenkins and Sam Bradford.

"What sticks out to me is how happy our players have been when we sign them," Roseman said. "Brent Celek told me when his agent told him the deal got done, he had tears in his eyes. Sam Bradford told me, ‘I’m so fired up! I told my agent I wanted this done three days ago!’ Vinny Curry grew up an Eagles fan; this is home for him. So that’s something I’m really pleased about — we have a core of players who really want to be here."

Roseman has never been one to ignore what's working in a franchise. He has been a master of salary cap management and player retention. Which is why it was no surprise that the Eagles were rolling out new and restructured deals for so many current players.

But everyone know Roseman wasn't messing around about erasing some of the past mistakes when he managed to trade Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray, two egregious contracts that seemed impossible to move. When the deals were made official at the open of the league year, he then pounced on the free agent market, signing six free agents, among them a backup quarterback and four potential defensive starters at linebacker, cornerback, safety and offensive guard.

And, oh yeah, Roseman also managed to turn that trade involving the overpaid Maxwell and oft-injured Kiko Alonso, along with the 13th overall pick in the Draft, into a Top-10 pick with the eighth overall selection, which will likely be used to get another starter at a position of need.

It is that kind of diligence, that kind of dedication, that kind of studious work that has Roseman getting recognized around the league as the winner of the offseason so far. Because not only did Roseman get his old job back, he returned only to thrive in the role in his first offseason.

And perhaps it was that year away that made all the difference.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Eagledelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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