— Howie Roseman could not guarantee an aggressive approach to free agency this offseason.
On the other hand, the Philadelphia Eagles' general manager could not deny how well his team is positioned to attack. In fact, he could barely keep his poker face on Thursday after executing two more extremely salary cap-friendly contracts, opening up endless possibilities for the organization coming off an encouraging 10-6 season under first-year coach Chip Kelly.
Simply put, the Eagles are in so much better shape than most of their NFL peers, including cap-challenged NFC East rivals Dallas and Washington, to add without subtracting that it's almost unfair.
Roseman has succeeded in slanting the playing field at almost a 90-degree angle sloping toward Philadelphia.
Safety upgrade(s)? In play.
A bigger nose tackle? No obstacles.
The best veteran quarterback available to serve as a backup? Absolutely.
Any and all avenues the Eagles could choose to pursue in fortifying the on-field product are open, with little congestion and absolutely no speed limit.
Give center Jason Kelce, who may have deprived himself a much more serious payday down the road when he locked himself in through the 2020 season, and equally comfortable wide receiver Riley Cooper credit for helping them get to this point.
By restructuring and extending the contract of star left tackle Jason Peters on Wednesday, the Eagles cleared around $2 million more in cap space to bring their 2014 figure to nearly $30 million under the projected ceiling of $133 million. They followed that up on Thursday by extending Kelce, a sixth-round pick in 2011 who will earn just $645,000 this season, for seven years, and re-signing Cooper for five.
The combined guaranteed money for both over the combined 12 years of their deals is a staggeringly low $23 million, keeping the dream, err, the vision, very much in focus.
"Dream" is still technically an obscenity at the NovaCare Complex, particularly when followed by "Team."
The term unfairly has become synonymous with the lavish spending spree of 2011, when the Eagles landed many of the perceived top free agents on the market, only to fail so miserably over the next two seasons. None of them are around anymore.
Nevertheless, attempting to assemble a Bleep Bleep II remains an option with all the resources at their disposal.
That Roseman will approach with much more caution this time doesn't mean he's so rigid that he can't make exceptions to the general guidelines of allocating only so much money for each position group and limiting spending on individual free agents.
"Ideally you want to stay within that framework," Roseman said. "But I think there are exceptions to those rules. You've got to be willing, for the right kind of player, the right kind of talent, to go outside that and be willing to give it up somewhere else.
"We've had that discussion with our coaches, with Chip, about some positions where maybe we don't have to put as many resources in. So I think we have a good sense of how we want to build it in the next few years, and that complete picture may not come now, at this moment. But we have an idea of what we want to do in this offseason, and obviously these signings are a part of it."
The money is there. The flexibility is there.
But so is the discipline.
"It's almost like the [NFL] Draft, where you don't want to force something," Roseman said. "As much as we want to do things to improve things in any way we can, we also don't want to force anything. So we … just try to grade the players as they are, not do it because we need a particular position.
"We have some flexibility. Obviously this affects it — what we've done here the past couple of days. But we're going to go out and try to do things that make sense for our football team … and add the kinds of players that, based on our research, fit into what we're doing on and off the field."
Still, it should be comforting to Eagles fans to know that if a player is out there that the team feels it has to have, money theoretically will be no obstacle in the pursuit.
This, as opposed to the Cowboys and Redskins, who are severely restricted with every move they make.
Something to keep in mind if the Eagles repeat as division winners in 2014, which begins with an uneven playing field that could continue to slant in their favor for years to come.