Roseman: ‘It’s About Building Your Team’

 NFL: Combine
Howie Roseman
joined Mike Missanelli on Thursday and spoke on a variety of topics, ranging from the level of organizational support for Nick Foles to the expectations for first-round pick Marcus Smith.

Also of note was the general manager’s explanation of the DeSean Jackson move from a financial perspective.

“We have to build our team. And going forward, we have a lot of faith in the guys that we drafted over the last couple years. We’re trying to get some continuity with our young players, being able to re-sign them. Obviously we want to be a championship-caliber team this year and every year going forward, but we also have to build it and sustain it…If we want to keep our team together, we’re looking at a situation where going forward that was going to be a challenge for us, and so how are we going to do that?” said Roseman.

“When you look at our cap situation going forward, after the season it was very tight. We have a lot of young players — look at the 2012 draft, hopefully we get an opportunity to extend those guys just like we did [Jason] Kelce and [Jason] Peters and [Jeremy Maclin] and [Riley Cooper] and keep our own guys. And when you do that, you have to make tough decisions. In this league, you see it: the Seahawks lost a bunch of players this offseason. You have to make tough decisions. You are going to lose good players, and hopefuly that’s because you’re having some success. It doesn’t make it any easier because you bring guys in for a reason, you like them, but in this league that’s what the salary cap is all about.”

So I think what you’re telling me is that was a money decision, even though Chip [Kelly] said it was a football decision.

“That is a football decision. It’s about building your team. And it’s about how we wanted to reconfigure the wide receiver position,” he replied. “You’re talking about two different coaching staffs, and what Coach Reid is looking for in his system is not the same as what Coach Kelly is looking for…For us it’s about getting Coach the pieces that fit, what he’s looking for at each position.”

Some other highlights:

On the decision not to draft Johnny Manziel. Was he the best available player on their board at 22? 

“I don’t think that’s necessarily right,” Roseman replied. “But I think it’s an ever bigger philosophical question when it comes to quarterbacks. We’re big Nick Foles fans and supporters of Nick. We think it’s incredible what he did in his first year in a new system, throwing 27 touchdowns, having only two interceptions. I think when you look at his quarterback rating, maybe the third-highest in the history of the NFL…in his second year in the league. When you have a young quarterback, everybody has to be committed to that guy. I think it’s the same thing when you draft a quarterback high: It’s hard when you draft one to not be totally committed to that player because it’s the most important position, it’s the guy that everyone has to be behind — and that’s ownership, front office, coaching staff — and when you do that, you have to go in that direction and support that player; at least that’s the philosophy that we have with the Eagles.”

On the view that Smith is a developmental pick who will be  a situational player to start.

“Well we look at the draft as a long-term decision for our football team,” he said, “and we had the ability to get a pass rusher with tremendous upside who has been productive in college football and fit our system, with great character.

“I think as you get better as a football team you’re not forced to throw all those rookies into the mix and have to have them start immediately. But these are guys that you want to be big contributors to your football team as you get through this process, and certainly not discounting that from Marcus in Year 1, either.”

Listen to the entire interview here.