Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC East [Print without images]

Sunday, November 25, 2012
Could Roseman be poised to lead Eagles?

By Dan Graziano

Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer takes a look this Sunday at Philadelphia Eagles GM Howie Roseman and the extent to which his power in the organization has been increasing over the past couple of years. Jeff points out that Roseman is one of just nine NFL general managers who handle both player evaluations and contract negotiations, and that Roseman got a contract extension of either four or five years this past June when then-team president Joe Banner stepped down.

Now, no one but (maybe) team owner Jeffrey Lurie knows what will become of the Eagles' power structure at the end of this second straight disappointing season. It is widely assumed that coach Andy Reid will be fired after 14 years with the team, but there's been less public speculation about the future of Roseman (a less public individual who occupies a less public role):
But Lurie has made a point since the end of last season to separate Roseman from Reid and the ultimatum he made about the Eagles' needing to show "substantial improvement" on last season's 8-8 record. In Lurie's statements, it's fair to decipher that he believes this is Reid's 3-7 team.

When Lurie spoke at the June news conference announcing Banner's departure, he spent as much time talking about the young "stars" he had in Roseman and new president Don Smolenski as he did about the end of an 18-year partnership with his childhood friend.

To Lurie, the transition from the old to the new was "seamless." Roseman and Smolenski - an "outstanding next generation of executives," as Lurie called them -- would lead the Eagles into their next phase.

So Roseman likely isn't going anywhere. The front office "succession plan" that was announced in June was established to give the Eagles some stability in case Lurie had to fire Reid, which appears all but certain now.

This leads you to believe that Roseman would emerge from a likely Reid firing even more powerful, possibly in a position to select the next coach and assume some measure of the control over player personnel decisions that currently rests exclusively with Reid. It's also possible that Lurie would just clean house and replace Roseman, since Roseman's stamp is on the current flop of a roster along with Reid's. But the signs point to Roseman being considerably safer than Reid, and perhaps poised to become the most powerful individual on the football operations side of the Eagles.