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3 ways the Philadelphia Eagles can become Super Bowl contenders this offseason

Vincent Frank

The Philadelphia Eagles did not belong on the same football field as the defending champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Sunday’s NFC Wild Card Game.

Jalen Hurts and Co. found themselves down 31-0 in the second half before scoring two garbage-time touchdowns in what was ultimately a 31-15 loss.

So ends a pretty darn successful first season for head coach Nick Sirianni. But it seems rather apparent that these Eagles are nowhere near Super Bowl contenders.

Below, we look at three things Philadelphia must do in order to take that next step and battle for the Lombardi Trophy.

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Philadelphia Eagles add to the pass rush

philadelphia eagles sign dante fowler jr.
Jan 2, 2022; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. (6) prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This past regular season saw Javon Hargrave and Josh Sweat tie for the team lead with 7.5 sacks. Outside of that, not a single member of the Eagles’ defense recorded as much as four sacks. That was a big down fall for respected defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon.

The time is now for Philadelphia to add to this pass-rush group. Set to have roughly $15 million to spend under the salary cap, general manager Howie Roseman has some work to do here. That could include releasing or trading franchise stalwart Fletcher Cox. Either way, adding someone like Dante Fowler Jr., Jerry Hughes or Jason Pierre-Paul in free agency should be in the cards.

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Philadelphia Eagles add to wide receive core

philadelphia eagles sign allen robinson
Jan 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA;Chicago Bears running back Damien Williams (8) reacts with wide receiver Allen Robinson (12) after catching a 23 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Andy Dalton (not pictured) against the Minnesota Vikings during the second quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

DeVonta Smith is coming off an absolutely brilliant rookie season. The former Heisman winner definitely seems to be a true No. 1 option moving forward. Unfortunately, the Eagles don’t have much behind him on the depth chart. Jalen Reagor simply has not panned out after Philadelphia made him a first-round pick back in 2020.

In order for these Eagles to take the next step, they must find a No. 2 option behind Smith. The good news? There’s a ton of options in free agency. That includes Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster and even Chris Godwin. Adding another top-end pass catcher to the mix would be huge for these Eagles.

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Philadelphia Eagles pull off Deshaun Watson blockbuster

Deshaun Watson landing spots
Dec 20, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) during warmups before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

This isn’t necessarily a knock on Jalen Hurts. The young quarterback more than lived up to the billing as a sophomore this past regular season. Rather, it’s all about Philadelphia using the draft capital it has acquired to find a truly elite signal caller.

Flush with three first-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, Philadelphia can afford to exhaust two of them and change to bring in Deshaun Watson. The team was linked to the Pro Bowler prior to sexual misconduct allegations being levied against the quarterback. Depending on how that situation plays out, these Eagles might show interest in Watson during the offseason.

On the field, this would represent a dramatic upgrade at the most important position in football. Just imagine Watson teaming up with Smith and Miles Sanders. That’d make for an elite unit under an offensive-minded head coach. Perhaps, Philly entices the Houston Texans with Hurts, two 2022 first-round picks, a future first-rounder and change to bring in one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL.

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