You have to appreciate what the Philadelphia Eagles have accomplished. In just four seasons they went from being the Super Bowl champions to a team that not only fired the head coach (Doug Pederson) that hoisted that trophy, but traded away the quarterback (Carson Wentz) that won most of the games that year.

Enter new head coach Nick Sirianni, formerly the offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts. Sirianni is a fine hire, but this is a team that literally can’t afford to go through a rebuild. They enter the 2021 season with $48.9 million in dead cap money thanks to moving Wentz and cutting other expensive players. Sirianni will go into battle with pretty much the same team that won four games last year.

Luckily, they play in the NFC East so even repeating that record might not keep them from playoff contention.

Second rounder Jalen Hurts took over the team for Wentz last season and could keep the job. Or, the Eagles could cash in draft picks and nab Deshaun Watson when the Houston Texans put him up for grabs.


Last season: 4-11-1, 4th place, NFC East

2021 odds: over 6.5 wins -160, under 6.5 wins +130

2021 NFL Draft: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama – Round 1, Landon Dickerson, C, Alabama – Round 2, Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech – Round 3, Zech McPhearson, CB, Texas Tech – Round 4, Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Memphis – Round 5, Marlon Tuipulotu, DT, USC – Round 6, Tarron Jackson, DE, Coastal Carolina – Round 6, JaCoby Stevens, Safety, LSU – Round 6, Patrick Johnson, OB, Tulane – Round 7

UDFAs: Jhamon Ausbon, WR – Texas A&M, Jamie Newman, Wake Forest – QB, Trevon Grimes, WR – Florida, Jack Stoll, TE – Nebraska, Jaquad Bailey, DE – Iowa State, Kayode Awosika, OT – Buffalo, Harry Crider, C – Indiana

Acquisitions: Ryan Kerrigan, Edge – Free Agent, Anthony Harris, Safety – Free Agent, Eric Wilson, LB – Free Agent, Kerryon Johnson, RB – Free Agent, Le’Raven Clark, RT – Free Agent, Andrew Adams, Safety – Free Agent, Josiah Scott, CB – Free Agent, Nick Mullens, QB – Free Agent

Key Losses: Carson Wentz – QB, Alshon Jeffery – WR, Malik Jackson – DL, DeSean Jackson – WR, Marquis Goodwin – WR, Jason Peters – LT, Jalen Mills – Safety, Nate Sudfeld, Nickell Robey-Coleman- CB, Vinny Curry – Edge, Cre’Von LeBlanc – CB, Duke Riley – LB, Corey Clement – RB, Cameron Johnson – P


QB: Jalen Hurts

RB: Miles Sanders

WR: DeVonta Smith

WR: Jalen Reagor

WR: Travis Fulgham

TE: Dallas Goedert

LT: Andre Dillard

LG: Isaac Seumalo

C: Jason Kelce

RG: Brandon Brooks

RT: Lane Johnson

LDE: Derek Barnett

LDT: Javon Hargrave

RDT: Fletcher Cox

RDE: Brandon Graham

OLB: Alex Singleton

MLB: Eric Wilson

OLB: Shaun Bradley

CB: Darius Slay

CB: Avonte Maddox

SS: Rodney McLeod

FS: Anthony Harris

K: Jake Elliott

P: Arryn Siposs


The strength of this time remains its core from that Super Bowl unit, including a defense that should be much stouter than it was last year. Hurts will have every opportunity to succeed and this team could finish anywhere from right under .500 to contending for the No. 1 pick in the draft with its schedule. Philly’s opening month is brutal and I’m looking at an 0-4 start with the reprieve coming on Oct. 10 with a visit to the Sam Darnald-led Carolina Panthers.

By the time they reach the “easy” part of their schedule, they’ll be playing both New Yorks two months into the season (when they might have themselves together) as well as the Washington Football Team twice in the final four weeks. None of those outcomes is predictable.

And any trade for Watson at the deadline, instead of, say, before training camp, negates any real impact on the year until that final stretch.

Final Record Prediction: 5-12 (with Hurts), 7-10 (with Watson)

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