Have the Eagles Become the Patriots of the NFC?
3/14/18 – Acquired Michael Bennett and a 7th round pick from the Seattle Seahawks.
3/14/18 – Traded WR Torrey Smith to the Panthers and received CB Daryl Worley.
3/15/18 – Signed DT Haloti Ngata.
3/22/18 – Agreed to terms with WR Mike Wallace.
Above you see a list of some of the most recognizable moves the Super Bowl Champion Eagles have made this offseason. After winning the Super Bowl last month, the Eagles have yet to rest. They’ve been making move after move, only improving their roster.
Led by Fletcher Cox, the Eagles defensive line was already dominant. Now they’ve added Michael Bennett and Haloti Ngata to that mix. They’ve filled their hole at WR by signing Mike Wallace, who has been productive over the last two seasons by putting up 1,765 receiving yards and 8 TD’s with the Ravens. They also added depth at corner by trading for Daryl Worley.
The moves made by the Eagles this offseason remind me of a certain AFC team who has dominated the league for the last decade+. The New England Patriots. Below is a list of the most notable moves the Patriots have made this offseason so far.
3/15/18 – Traded for DT Danny Shelton.
3/15/18 – Traded for CB Jason McCourty.
3/17/18 – Signed DE Adrian Clayborn, RB Jeremy Hill, and OL Matt Tobin.
3/19/18 – Traded for WR Cordarrelle Patterson.
Let’s also look at what they did in 2017.
3/9/17 – Traded for TE Dwayne Allen.
3/10/17 – Signed CB Stephon Gilmore.
3/11/17 – Traded for WR Brandin Cooks and DL Kony Ealy.
3/14/17 – Signed RB Rex Burkhead.
4/24/17 – Signed RB Mike Gillislee.
One of the reasons why the New England Patriots have been the best team in the AFC and NFL for the past 10+ years, is because they always have productive offseasons. No matter how good they already were, Super Bowl or not, the Patriots have found free agents and traded for players who make them better. To have their level of consistency, they’ve done the only thing they could do. That is getting better when all the other teams are getting better too. This is exactly how the Patriots have dominated season after season.
While the Patriots have dominated the AFC for quite some time, the NFC has been a different story. From 2001 to present, the Patriots have represented the AFC in the Super Bowl 8 times. Outside of the Patriots, the AFC has only been represented by 5 other teams in that time frame. If we look at the NFC during the same time frame, there have been 12 different teams representing the conference. There have been 4 teams who’ve made it multiple times, but there hasn’t been a team that’s come even close to the success the Patriots have had in the AFC.
Well, that might be changing soon. If we refer back to the above transactions listed for the Eagles and Patriots, they look very similar. The names and player positions are different, but the level of players being acquired are about the same. As I mentioned earlier, the Patriots have had success because they always find a way to get better when others teams are getting better too. This is exactly what the Eagles are doing this offseason. A team like the Los Angeles Rams has made some good additions this offseason, which has made them better. An NFC contender got better, but so did the Eagles.
To stay in power you have to continually improve. If you look at a team like the Dallas Cowboys, there’s a reason why they can’t consistently have good contending seasons. It’s because every offseason, they don’t make moves in free agency. When all the NFC contenders are getting better, they’re not. They either stay the same or get worse.
It might be unlikely the Eagles will replicate the Patriots success. 5 Super Bowl wins and 8 Super Bowl appearances is extremely hard to do. Even though the Eagles may end up not being as successful as the Patriots, they are setting themselves up to have a run of dominance in the NFC. Their offseason so far tells me they know the formula for repeated success. So are the Eagles bound to become the Patriots of the NFC? It sure is looking that way.