The Eagles Can Remain Super Bowl Contenders for Years to Come

Brad Gagnon@@Brad_GagnonFeatured Columnist IVOctober 28, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 16: Philadelphia Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman looks on prior to the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 16, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The rich got richer this week when the NFL's only undefeated team, the Philadelphia Eagles, acquired veteran edge-defender Robert Quinn from the Chicago Bears as they gear up for a Super Bowl run under the tutelage of MVP-contending quarterback Jalen Hurts.

Philadelphia leads the NFC by a wide margin when it comes to DVOA (defense-adjusted value over average), per Football Outsiders, and the team's average margin of victory (9.3 points per game) is more than double that of the conference's next-highest-ranked squad (Dallas Cowboys, 4.2 PPG).

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 16: Jalen Hurts #1 of the Philadelphia Eagles passes the ball against the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field on October 16, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

With A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders working with Hurts at the skill positions and Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce anchoring the offensive line for the league's fourth-highest-scoring offense, and with Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Darius Slay and James Bradberry all starring for the league's fourth-ranked scoring defense, nobody is doubting the 2022 Eagles—especially now that the veteran Quinn is on board.

But what's got to scare the rest of that division, conference and league is that this Eagles team looks built to last well beyond 2022 and 2023, when Hurts' rookie contract expires.

Obviously, Hurts' future will have a tremendous impact on how competitive Nick Sirianni's team is as we enter the middle of the decade, but the franchise tag will of course remain on the table if he's a superstar. And still, the Eagles aren't a team that went all-in for a year or two. General manager Howie Roseman has done a masterful job rebuilding an organization that won just four games two years ago, and plenty of critical pieces are in place for long-term success.

As ESPN's Adam Schefter pointed out, even after this week's trade that sent a fourth-round draft pick to Chicago, the Eagles possess six selections in the 2023 draft—including two in the first round as a result of a deal with the New Orleans Saints. That trade with New Orleans also gives them an additional second-round pick in 2024, and they have the Minnesota Vikings' fifth-rounder that year as well.

Per Spotrac, right now, only three teams have more salary-cap space than the Eagles, who don't technically have to worry about paying a quarterback premium until at least 2024. They're not projected at the moment to be in any sort of cap purgatory this or next offseason, and Brown, Smith, Goedert and Johnson are all under contract through at least the 2025 campaign.

That doesn't mean there isn't a lot of work to be done. Graham, Fletcher Cox and Jason Kelce are all in contract years in their 30s, and Bradberry and Sanders are also scheduled to hit free agency this coming offseason. But Roseman has proved he's developed a Midas touch with recent offseason/in-season moves involving Hurts (who wasn't widely viewed as a long-term NFL starter entering the league as a second-round pick), Slay (who appears to be getting better with age) and Bradberry (who's having a ridiculous season on a cheap one-year contract), as well as Smith, Reddick, Brown and pleasant preseason addition C.J. Gardner-Johnson.

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 16: Darius Slay #2 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after a play during the first half of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 16, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Roseman's guidance alone should instill confidence in Eagles fans that the window is wide-open and will remain that way for longer than teams that understandably sacrifice the long term while chasing short-term glory.

Besides, there's already plenty of younger talent on the roster to be excited about in the event those veterans move on. Landon Dickerson, Jordan Mailata, Jordan Davis, Gardner-Johnson, Milton Williams and Quez Watkins are all factors and no older than 25.

Of course, so much of it comes down to Hurts himself. If the third-year breakout star can continue down this path, there's almost no way he won't remain an Eagle for at least three or four more seasons. Likely more because 20-something-year-old franchise quarterbacks rarely move, but beyond that window, he could of course become so expensive that the remainder of the roster would take a hit.

That's always been a catch-22 with star quarterbacks, but the important thing right now is that the barely-24-year-old is the NFC's second-highest-rated passer while ranking second in the NFL with six rushing touchdowns. The Eagles offense has been tailor-made for his unique skill set, but he's also developed a much better ability to make big throws in big moments within the structure of that offense.

The Buffalo Bills remain the favorite to win this year's Super Bowl. The Eagles could absolutely change that, but even if they don't, it won't be doomsday for this team anytime soon.