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Roseman: Roster Is Built For Long Term

Posted Apr 28, 2014

On a day when head coach Chip Kelly and Chairman/CEO Jeffrey Lurie both addressed the Eagles' decision to part ways with wide receiver DeSean Jackson earlier this offseason, general manager Howie Roseman also addressed the topic, focusing on the organization's long-term vision of roster building.

"It's about building our football team going forward, and obviously we've got a lot of things coming up moving forward and we've always talked about not just one year, but building it for the long haul," said Roseman at the 18th annual Eagles Playground Build. "Every decision that we make is not only for present day, which obviously you want to keep and you want to win right now, but also building something and keeping something together."

The Eagles will address the future of the roster in a mere 10 days when the NFL Draft kicks off. But in planning for future, Roseman said the decision to release Jackson became apparent not on a whim.

"Everything we do is planned out and thought about," Roseman said. "We don't do anything spur of the moment. That's now how any of us roll. We're thinking about a lot of things, so every decision we make we've thought about and that's what we'll continue to do as we make free agency and draft decisions.

"I think that when you sit down after the season, you try to formulate  game plans and your offseason plan, and obviously we're still two weeks out from the draft, so that hasn't totally come in to play yet … We're still trying to improve this team. We're still trying to get better, and we're trying to build something that lasts, and with that comes some hard decisions and we've had a couple this offseason."

Roseman was asked if the roster, at the moment, is suited to replace Jackson's departed production.

"When you look at our offseason and some of the players that we brought in here, obviously we are very excited about Darren Sproles, and then getting (Jeremy Maclin) back and Mac not being part of it last year, so you got no production out of Jeremy because of the injury," said Roseman. "(He is) a first-round pick and a guy that we're really excited about. (Riley Cooper) is in year two of our program, and then you talk about some of our younger players, Zach Ertz and guys like that. When we look at the skill positions, we look at the groups as a whole, so we take the running backs, we take the receivers, we take the tight ends, and fortunately for us, the draft still hasn't come yet. There are still opportunities to add players."

Throughout the offseason, Roseman has discussed the relative strength of this year's draft class at the wide receiver position. The team, though, remains committed to taking the best player available.

"Obviously you have to factor in the talent in the draft," Roseman said. "We will not be in a situation in this draft where we're going to force something. We're going to go by our board and I think we're fortunate, I've said it a couple of times, that when you look at the wide receiver position in this draft, it's unique. It's unique as you look back at draft classes. I think we'll be in every round and there will be a draft prospect that we look at and we'll say, ‘Man, that guy's still on the board.' I think that's exciting."

As Kelly explained earlier in the day, the team's decision to release Jackson was made after they explored trying to trade the wide receiver. Once no offers were made, the decision to move forward became clear. But Roseman was asked if he regretted the lack of compensation for Jackson.

"I'm comfortable with the process," he said. "It's never perfect here in the offseason. The plans never go exactly how you want, unfortunately, and through that we've got to look forward and look towards what we're trying to do here and what we're trying to build. Again, we're not trying to build something for one year, we're trying to be a good football team over a period of time, and with that, we're trying to put pieces of the puzzle together, and unfortunately when you are managing a team in the NFL and the amount of resources that you get in terms of salary cap and the players who come up in terms of contracts, you have to make decisions and you have to figure out how you're trying to build the team and where you are going to put resources. Our offseason is part of that.

"I think that for us, again, it's about resources and resource allocation at each position and factoring in the draft and everything that comes around it. We continue to keep our eyes open at every position really even when the roster is set when get to the 53-man, we're going to look to improve the roster and look for the best ways to do that."

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