Philadelphia Eagles

How Eagles Differ From Other Philly Teams on Brink of Title

We've seen championship runs in this town that we knew were very likely one and done.

The 1993 Phillies jump to mind. The Allen Iverson-led 2001 Sixers would fall into that category. The 2010 Flyers perhaps. These were teams that were either aging in some key spots, were marginally talented but caught lightning in a bottle, or were carried by one transcendent star who didn't have a lot of help around them.

The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles don't appear to be one of those teams.

If you look at their roster, with a few exceptions, this team is built for the long haul with its age and contractual setup. 

The fate of the Birds' Super Bowl hopes in large part lie in the hands of Nick Foles next Sunday in Minneapolis. But Carson Wentz is the engine, the paint job, the GPS, and the tricked-out rims of this ride going forward. He's 25 years old and entering the third season of his four-year rookie deal. Wentz's relatively low cap hits of $7.2 and $8.8 million the next two seasons have and will allow the Eagles a great deal of flexibility with the rest of their roster moving forward.

Wentz's offensive skill position players are a mix of youth and favorable deals. Two-thirds of the team's three-headed running attack, Jay Ayaji and Corey Clement, are 24 and 23, respectively. Alshon Jeffery is 27 and locked up long-term. Nelson Agholor is 24 and under contract next season with a fifth-year option in 2019. Zach Ertz is 27 and under contract until 2021.

While Jason Peters' age (36) and injury history make him a major question mark moving forward, the current Eagles O-line boasts just one player that's older than 30: Jason Kelce, who turned 30 in November.

On the other side of the ball, you can identify three major contributors over the 30-year-old threshold: Malcolm Jenkins (30), Patrick Robinson (30) and Chris Long (32).

Aside from Robinson, the Eagles are particularly young at the cornerback spot. Ronald Darby, Jalen Mills, Rasul Douglas, and Sidney Jones are all 24 and under.

Their centerpieces in the middle, Fletcher Cox (27) and Tim Jernigan (25), are both locked up long term. Derek Barnett can just barely drink legally. And Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry are still in their 20s. 

Age is one thing. Talent, coachability and heart are another. And this team, as witnessed by this season, has all of the boxes checked. Football more than any other sport can be impacted by injuries, so it goes without saying that one serious injury could change things quickly. But as we also saw with this magical run, quality depth and good coaching can overcome quite a bit. 

The Eagles are deep at most spots. And young. Enjoy the long ride.

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