Howie Roseman's Last Stand
By Scott Daniels
Playing in the NFL is a privilege. The ridiculously small amount of athletes that make it to football’s elite understand that their careers won’t last long. Poor play can lead to unemployment. Head coaches share the same fate when their leadership fails. Even management cannot escape the wrath of an impatient owner.
The city of Philadelphia is a football town first. It’s undeniable. Sure, the Phillies resurrected a town desperate for a title in 2008, but their popularity doesn’t compare to the Eagles fanfare.
Let’s get back to the short shelf life of those who under perform in the NFL. The Eagles have been a disappointment over the last two seasons. Andy Reid, whose coached the Birds since 1999, was relieved of his duties last season after producing just four wins. But for whatever reason, Howie Roseman, the team’s general manager since 2010, has seemed to escape any blame for the team’s lack of success.
It’s widely known that Reid made most, if not all of the decisions, on and off the field. He had carte blanche on player personnel. He dictated the plays. He ran the show. He was also forced out of the organization that followed his lead for over a decade.
So where does Roseman fit into all this? As the GM, why hasn’t he bared any of the responsibility for team’s struggles over the last two years? He’s been the team’s GM since 2010 but what exactly has he accomplished since he’s held this coveted title?
Roseman has a nice story within the organization. He started off as an intern and eventually became GM ten years later. He must have had a role in persuading Chip Kelly to leave college football for the NFL, but this acquisition could prove fatal for his career if it backfires. Roseman no longer has Reid to lean on and even though the Eagles extended his contract last year, another unsuccessful season will force Jeffrey Lurie to reevaluate his management structure.
Roseman has managed to stay relatively hidden behind Reid and Joe Banner, former president of the organization. But he’s in the spotlight this season. If the Kelly hire doesn’t pan out, a new GM might be in the works. The Eagles haven’t exactly owned the draft over the last few years and Roseman’s compilation of the so-called “dream team” played out like a dysfunctional rec league squad.
A successful season for the Eagles will buy Roseman some time. A superbowl victory will buy him more. But as we’ve seen time and time again, no one is eternally safe in the NFL. Kelly isn’t the only one under a microscope this season. And his success, or lack thereof, will dictate Roseman’s future with the Eagles.