Examining Commanders’ NFC East rivals after frenzied start to free agency

(Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports) Darius Slay
(Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports) Darius Slay /
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(Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) Miles Sanders /

Philadelphia Eagles

Key Losses:

  • Miles Sanders, RB
  • Isaac Seumalo, G
  • Javon Hargrave, DT
  • D.J. Edwards, LB
  • Kyzir White, LB
  • Marcus Epps, S
  • C.J. Gardner-Johnson, S

Key Additions:

  • Marcus Mariota, QB
  • Rashaad Penny, RB

Nobody in the entire NFL has lost as much as the Philadelphia Eagles this off-season. The seven names mentioned above were all starters. Isaac Seumalo, T.J. Edwards, and Marcus Epps played almost every down. And by the way, the Washington Commanders’ fierce rival also lost both its offensive and defensive coordinators.

It could have been much worse. Philadelphia pulled multiple rabbits out of hats in retaining both its elite cornerbacks, Darius Slay and James Bradberry. They convinced the heart and soul of both lines – Jason Kelce on offense and Fletcher Cox on defense – to stick around for another season.

Defensive end Brandon Graham and running back Boston Scott also re-upped. This is further proof that the Eagles are the best-run franchise in the NFC East. The younger guys who were looking to cash in on big paydays may have left. The older veterans all wanted to stay.

Because of that quality management, many of the replacements are already on the roster. Jordan Davis will step into Javon Hargraves’ shoes – though I suspect they will need to be a bigger size. Nakobe Dean should take over for Edwards. Kenneth Gainwell will get a shot at Miles Sanders’ spot, and newly-signed Rashaad Penny is on hand along with Scott to help out.

Replacing Seumalo will not be easy, but the Eagles have the best offensive line in football, and this draft is chock-full of talented interior linemen. Replacing both safeties and finding another linebacker to pair with Dean will be a bigger challenge.

The Eagles will enter 2023 with more than half of their defensive back seven being new. That will pose a major challenge for new defensive coordinator Sean Desai.

Still, the Eagles return a potent offense with a budding superstar at quarterback, an imposing defensive line, and the best cornerback tandem in the league. No team has repeated as NFC East champion since 2004, so I would not guarantee anything. But at this early stage of free agency, Philadelphia certainly looks like a good bet to break that streak and leave the Commanders out of luck.

light. Must Read. Carving out the Washington Commanders 2023 NFL Draft blueprint