Howie Roseman has had a tough go in the court of public opinion over the last six months, as the Eagles underperformed and the organization lost its Super Bowl-winning head coach and franchise QB in quick succession while Roseman surprisingly survived the purge.
And the hits just keep coming.
In a deep-dive published Friday in the Inquirer, insider Jeff McLane examined Roseman's relationship with Lurie in great detail - the whole thing is worth your time - and described an extremely wild snippet about a dust-up between Roseman and veteran offensive lineman Lane Johnson back in 2018.
After a tough outing for Johnson early in the 2018 season, Roseman ribbed him in the cafeteria about his performance, but the joke landed poorly, according to McLane, and Johnson left the Eagles' facility.
Later that season, when the Eagles flew to London to face the Jaguars, Johnson wasn't sure he could play as he dealt with a high ankle sprain, which for some reason Roseman didn't appreciate. Roseman "berated" Johnson, according to McLane, and then this wild scene reportedly unfolded:
"The tackle finished suiting up and as he walked by Roseman, the GM said, according to sources, 'Good, you have your mouthpiece in, now you can’t say anything stupid.'
"The last comment, which a source close to Roseman said was intended to be playful, set Johnson off. 'I can’t play for this [expletive],' he said, according to a source. He took off his equipment and went to the showers and missed pregame warmups. Left tackle Jason Peters went to Pederson's office for help defusing the situation.
"Defensive end Chris Long, right guard Brandon Brooks, and others talked Johnson into playing. He lasted seven plays. Johnson further aggravated his ankle injury and sprained a knee ligament.
"The Eagles still won. Roseman sought counsel on how to apologize to Johnson and did so on the plane ride home, sources said. Johnson sat out the next game, but he returned in Week 11 and played through injury the rest of the season. (Johnson did not respond to a request for comment, although a source said his relationship with Roseman is good.)"
It's good to know Johnson and Roseman have apparently repaired their relationship since then, but can you imagine if Johnson had been closer to the end of his contract when that went down? Constantly needling a guy who seems to be tired of your jokes isn't the best way to show him he's liked and wanted within the organization.
Also, if McLane is right (his track record suggests he is) and Roseman indeed did berate Johnson for having concerns about playing through an ankle injury... that's not good. That might actually be the bigger problem.
There will always be some back-and-forth between players and GMs, and it might not always be friendly, but there's no reason for anyone from the front office to have influence over whether or not a player dealing with an injury suits up. That should be exclusively a team doctor/training staff discussion, since they're the ones who are actually paid to evaluate how bad injuries are and whether or not it's safe to play.
Roseman has been roasted this offseason by fans who think he's lost his talent evaluation touch, and aren't happy with the lack of cap space as we head into free agency. Most of the criticism has been fair.
And now we're adding dashes of interpersonal problems to the cauldron of Eagles fans' angst? Yeah, that isn't going to do Roseman any favors with the fan base.
Maybe Howie should spend a little less time ragging on guys in the locker room and a little more time focusing on not picking the worst wide receiver available in every NFL Draft until the end of time.
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