Jeffrey Lurie Wants Younger Roster, Possibly Putting Some Veterans in Jeopardy

Here are some scenarios that could play out as the Eagles try to retool their roster
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Jeffrey Lurie wants youth and draft picks.

That does not bode well for the 30-somethings currently on the roster.

Right now, the Eagles have seven picks in the draft, after having 10 last year.

Those picks are: No. 6 overall (first round), 37 (2), 70 (3), 134 (5), 140 (5), 165 (6), and 198 (7). Expect them to add more, and the best way to do that would be to trade some of the veteran players, if they can, and shed some salary in the process as the try to dig out of salary cap holes as deep as potentially $70 million.

“We've got to get younger and we have to have a lot more volume of draft picks and we have to accumulate as much talent as we possibly can that is going to work in the long run with a focus on the mid-term and the long term and not on how to maximize 2021,” said the Eagles owner.

That right there, in a neat and tidy package is why Doug Pederson is no longer the Eagles’ head coach.

Pederson wanted to run it back, bring back most of the same coaches and as much of the same personnel as possible and try to get back to the playoffs again. Lurie didn’t think it possible and did no share that vision.

This, in the owners' eyes, is a rebuild. He said his franchise is in “a retooling period, a real transition period.”

The days of running back the same mindset with hopes of duplicating the 2017 world championship are over once and for all.

Change is afoot and, while it’s not easy to make trades in the NFL, GM Howie Roseman has found ways. Granted, the return may not be more than a middling pick for most, but Lurie wants picks in any shape or form, so Roseman has his marching orders.

So, it is veterans beware.

Here are some scenarios that could play out:

Zach Ertz gets traded. This is a forgone conclusion. Now 30, Ertz will depart as arguably the best tight end in team history. The question is what will another team be willing to part with to get him? The guess here is no higher than a fourth-round pick, and the Eagles would be happy to get that.

Other foregone conclusions are good-byes to receivers Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson.

Jason Kelce retires. The veteran center is 33 and has made 104 straight starts. He hasn’t missed one of those since 2014. He would be going out on top. He needs to seriously ask himself if he wants to be part of this transition period.

Brandon Graham gets traded. Is there a better time to part with Graham than after he put together one of the best seasons of an 11-year career which led to his first Pro Bowl, and a player who is in the final year of his contract?

It would be difficult to part with the heart-and-soul of this team, but as Lurie said, “My vision (is) how can we get back to the success we've had and what we're used to in the next two, three, four, five years?”

If the Eagles get what they think is a fair value for Graham, expect them to bite.

Fletcher Cox gets shopped. Having just turned 30 last month, Cox still offers plenty of value, but has a steep salary, one that could be difficult to move. A longshot, but one that cannot be discounted.

Either Brandon Brooks or Lane Johnson gets traded. The Eagles seem to be positioned well on the offensive line because of all the need for young guys to step and play due to injury, players such as Jordan Mailata, Nate Herbig, and Jack Driscoll.

Andre Dillard is still young, but unknown, and the same can be said for last year’s sixth-round pick, Prince Tega Wanogho.

Right tackle is more a premium position, so perhaps Johnson would bring the best return. Both players have big contracts and that will factor into the return on the Eagles’ investment.

Malik Jackson released. The Eagles can get out from under the defensive tackle’s contract easily enough, and he hasn’t really brought the bang for his buck.

Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out anything you may have missed pertaining to the Eagles by going to www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.