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Is Eagles GM Howie Roseman a "yes" man?

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Unlike the San Francisco 49ers’ front office foibles, the Philadelphia Eagles’ executive hierarchy is well-defined. Photo: nj.com

General Manager Howie Roseman is nothing more than a glorified administrative assistant while head coach Chip Kelly has final say on who is on the roster.

It’s the only logical conclusion based on the Eagles spending money like it’s coming from the trees along Broad Street.  

Inking Jason Peters to a new deal made sense because he’s a top-tier left tackle and offenses cannot function without one of those.  

Riley Cooper’s transformation from racist, middling 4th receiver, to a player of real value, is impressive, so the argument to give him a re-up has merit.  

But wide receiver Jeremy Maclin’s 1-year, $5.5 million dollar deal is exactly the kind of contract that ought to make fans nervous.  

Generally, public reaction to signings like Maclin’s usually falls somewhere between “that’s a strange deal, but it’s not my money,” and “it’s nice to see the Eagles trying to win!”  Both are reasonable reactions from the masses.  

Maclin is trying to return from a torn ACL, so his contribution in 2014 is uncertain. Still, if he makes the team and is active for every game, the Eagles will pay the receiving group about $20 million dollars.  

In my view, that is the kind of decision a good, respected general manager wouldn’t make. Especially, when you consider the Eagles need not one, but two safeties and a few other defensive essentials.  

If May’s draft is as deep as advertised, doesn’t it make more sense to offer Maclin the league minimum and apply more funds to the defense?  

Regardless of title, Kelly is clearly the man and Roseman is around to deal with agents and take care of the paperwork. If Kelly eyes talent like Bill Walsh, Jimmy Johnson or even Pete Carroll, the Eagles are in great shape.  

If he evaluates talent like his predecessor, the Eagles are in serious trouble.

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Speaking of front office structure, former Oakland Raiders head coach and NFL color analyst John Madden offered this when asked about the friction in San Francisco: “It’s a lot easier to get a suit than it is to get a coach.”  

That’s an interesting perspective coming from a man who worked for Al Davis for 13 years (two as linebacker’s coach and 11 as the head man).

Since Davis’ involvement in player acquisition is well-documented, we must assume Madden considers him a mere suit as well.  

But from 1967-1979, Madden coached 11 eventual members of Pro Football’s Hall of Fame.  And that’s not counting Raiders legends like Cliff Branch, Jack Tatum, John Matuszak, Phil Villapiano and Ken Stabler.  

Perhaps no coach in modern NFL history benefited more from a savvy group of “suits” than Madden.  He ought to know better.  

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Jason Collins’ participation in NBA games for a couple of weeks is commendable. And former Missouri linebacker Michael Sam’s attempt to make it in the NFL is valiant, especially since he has more to lose than Collins. But it’s going to take a player with more skill than either of them to move the conversation forward.  

It bears repeating, Jackie Robinson is not a ceremonial member of baseball’s Hall of Fame because he broke the color barrier.  His plaque is in Cooperstown because he could play and he changed the narrative.  

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Good NBA teams today have a Batman, Robin and some Wonder Twins mixed in.  If you look around the league, it’s the formula for success.  

Some team is going to draft Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins with the idea he is Batman. He isn’t. He isn’t even Robin, he’s Andre Iguodala.   

He’s a nice looking player, but he is far too comfortable letting others do the heavy lifting while he contributes within the flow of the game.  

His passivity is going to drive his next coach crazy.  Unless of course, you believe his current coach—Bill Self—is shackling him much like former North Carolina Tar Heels coach Dean Smith shackled Michael Jordan.

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area.  He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention.  His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

Contact Earl at emyersiii@hotmail.com

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Howie Roseman photo: nj.com

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