It was the most serendipitous move of Howie Roseman's tenure in his former role as Eagles general manager.

With the Eagles staging a placekicker battle that neither man seemed qualified to win last summer, Roseman said he spent about five minutes on the phone in mid-August with his former colleague and current Indianapolis Colts general manager, Ryan Grigson. Before they hung up, the two men had consummated a trade for a couple of players who were going to be waived by their respective teams.

The Colts got running back David Fluellen, who has not played a game in the NFL and was just cut by the Tennessee Titans. The Eagles acquired kicker Cody Parkey. Alex Henery's days in Philadelphia were numbered.

The team's new rookie kicker was about to embark on a Pro Bowl season. Parkey, 24, converted 32 of his 36 field-goal attempts, including all four from 50 yards and beyond. He made all 54 of his extra-point attempts. His 150 points set an NFL rookie record and broke the franchise's single-season record. His 46 touchbacks on kickoffs were tied for 10th in the league.

Kicking problem solved.

When you made a list of reasons that the Eagles had the best special teams in the NFL last season, Parkey's preseason addition belonged at the top. The only downfall was that all his good work did not lead to a place in the postseason.

The thing about kickers, however, is that they are a lot like relief pitchers and golfers. One good season is not always followed by another. Minnesota's Blair Walsh, for example, hit on 35 of 38 field goals as a rookie in 2012, including 10 of 10 from 50 yards and beyond. Last season, however, he made only 26 of 35 kicks.

Parkey's preseason, at the very least, provided some cause for concern. Late in his rookie season, the former Auburn star was bothered by a groin injury. Two of his four misses in 2014 came in the season's penultimate game, a loss at Washington, and his kickoffs also lost some distance late in the year.

Whatever Parkey did in the offseason did not prevent a recurrence of the groin injury in the preseason. He made three kicks from 40 yards and beyond in the preseason opener against Indianapolis, but he also sailed a 34-yard attempt wide right and missed right again from the new extra-point distance of 33 yards after the Eagles' second touchdown.

Parkey's leg was strong in the following game against Baltimore as he connected on a couple of short field goals and three extra points while booming all six of his kickoffs to the goal line or deeper. Seven of his 14 preseason kicks resulted in touchbacks.

But the Eagles turned over the kicking duties to Kip Smith in the middle of the third quarter of the game against the Ravens and Parkey sat out the final two preseason games with a sore groin. All we learned for sure about the kicking situation in those last two preseason games was that Smith has a better knuckleball than R.A. Dickey and he will not be called upon should the Eagles need a replacement for Parkey.

Both the kicker and coach Chip Kelly insist the decision to keep Parkey out of the last two preseason games was a precautionary move and that he could have kicked if needed.

"I feel good going into Week 1 and I'm excited," Parkey said after Thursday night's preseason game against the New York Jets. "I got plenty of reps in those first two games."

He did get a lot of work in the first two games and it's quite possible everything will be fine this season. Maybe there is too much overreaction to his absence because Smith's fill-in work was so unattractive and ineffective.

As was stated in this space last week, the Eagles appear to be good enough to make a deep playoff run, but in order for that to happen it is going to be vital to have a kicker as good as Parkey was last season. With extra points moved back to a challenging distance, the kicking game is going to be more important than ever.

The last time the Eagles made a deep playoff run was during the 2008-09 season. They shook off their wild inconsistencies during the regular season and made it all the way to the NFC championship game, where they lost by seven points on a day when David Akers missed a field goal and an extra point. It was a rare bad game for the best kicker in Eagles history, but those are the kinds of things that can make the difference between winning a lot of games and winning it all.

Anybody who watches the NFL understands the importance of the kicker. Parkey could be the difference between home playoff games, a deep postseason run and even a shot at winning that elusive Super Bowl.