Philadelphia Eagles 2024 NFL offseason primer: More changes ahead for NFC contender that soured quickly

Philadelphia Eagles' 2023 season: 11-6, lost in wild card

Overview: The Eagles collapsed hard in trying to return to the Super Bowl, starting 10-1 with some notable victories but finishing 1-5 with some equally ugly losses. Long considered one of the top teams in the NFC, they blew the inside track to the NFC East title on multiple occasions in December, and then everything looked bad in a wild-card round loss at the Buccaneers.

That led to a pretty sizable shakeup. Head coach Nick Sirianni kept his job, but both coordinators lost theirs in January with OC Brian Johnson being replaced by Kellen Moore and DC Sean Desai — who himself had lost play-calling duties late in the season to Matt Patricia — being dumped in favor of Vic Fangio.

The top priorities for team owner Jeffrey Lurie, general manager Howie Roseman, and Sirianni and his staff? Helping Jalen Hurts rediscover his franchise quarterback self after a step backward in 2023, as well as returning the defense to among the league's best, not to mention fixing the apparent chemistry issues that led to that ugly night in Tampa. A few big signings will help as Philadelphia reached deals with star running back Saquon Barkley and ace pass-rusher Bryce Huff.

The Eagles also updated their QB depth chart by trading for the Steelers' Kenny Pickett.

(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)
(Taylor Wilhelm/Yahoo Sports)

Key free agents

DE Brandon Graham (re-signed)
LB Zach Cunningham
LB Shaquille Leonard

Who's in/out: All-Pro center Jason Kelce is officially retired, as is defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, and they were two of the biggest names to watch with the Eagles. Graham, meanwhile, signed a one-year deal in what is expected to be his final one in the NFL. D'Andre Swift is off to the Chicago Bears, though the team likely upgraded at running back by adding Barkley. And Huff's signing only continues the team's defensive revamp.

Key free-agent needs


Why the holes? Kelce's retirement leaves a gaping void at center, as he's destined for Canton in five years. The Eagles' offense has the personnel, if not the scheme and coaching at the moment, to be strong again in 2024. So the investment must go to the defense, particularly in the back seven, where the Eagles chose not to spend last spring and lived with the consequences this past season. Some regression was to be expected, but there's plenty of work to do — including decisions on whether to keep pass rusher Haason Reddick, who may or may not have asked for a trade — in improving this side of the ball.

Do they have the money?

The Eagles have $39.8 million in salary cap space, according to Spotrac, which gives them some flexibility.

Notable cuts

S Kevin Byard

Why he is gone: Byard had minimal impact after being acquired a week before the trade deadline and his release saved the team $13 million against the cap. Meanwhile, the Eagles are reportedly releasing cornerback Avonte Maddox to clear nearly $2 million in cap room.

2023 NFLPA report card

(Yahoo Sports)
(Yahoo Sports)

Draft picks

1st round: No. 22
2nd round: No. 50 (from Saints)
2nd round: No. 53
4th round: No. 120 (from Steelers)
5th round: No. 160 (from Buccaneers)
5th round: No. 170 (compensatory)
5th round: No. 171 (compensatory)
6th round: No. 186 (from Falcons)
6th round: No. 210 (compensatory)

Good draft fit

Graham Barton, OG/OT, Duke

Why him? As much as the defense needs help, Jason Kelce is the biggest individual spot to fill after his retirement. Barton will likely play inside at either center or guard in the NFL, and according to Yahoo Sports NFL Draft expert Nate Tice, he has the quickness and hand placement to hang against better athletes, along with enough bend and strength to hold up against more powerful rushers.

What can move the fantasy football needle this offseason?

Dropping Saquon Barkley into this offense makes for a tantalizing fantasy proposition. Any gifted back tethered to a good offense is appealing, especially one that could trend run-heavy under new offensive coordinator Kellen Moore.

I’ve gone back and forth on my opinion of Moore, but overall I think some of his wrinkles in player deployment and conceptual design can bring the necessary tweaks to the Eagles, especially now that Barkley is in the mix. These skill-position players will all likely come at a premium in drafts this season. Barkley should end up being a nice second-round selection this summer. — Matt Harmon