Reports came out this last week that the Eagles were in talks with the Bears about the likens of Pro Bowl receiver, Alshon Jeffery during the 2016 season. Obviously the trade never fell through, but the interest is there and where there is smoke there is fire. Howie Roseman has said in the past that the team needs to get Carson Wentz weapons and signing a Pro Bowl type receiver who will only be 27 is a move that makes sense and the Eagles should do by no means pull the trigger. Here’s the thing though, the Eagles have cap space problems. As of right now the Eagles have around $6.5 million in cap space after the release of Leodis McKelvin. Singing Alshon would cost anywhere from $11-14 million annually so the Eagles need to free up money quickly. Here’s a few players that make sense to move.
Barwin is the first that comes to mind. Connor Barwin is almost a lock to be cut this offseason as it would free up $7.5 million on the cap. While cutting Barwin would be detrimental to the locker room as he has been a leader on this team since he signed here in 2013. However, the Eagles have came out and said that they don’t want to make cuts personal they want to make this team better going forward. That to me sounds as if Barwin and other experienced players are on the way out.
Mathews was brought in in 2015 to be the complementary back to DeMarco Murray. Things obviously didn’t pan out, but Mathews is a good back in this league when he on the field. Mathews has missed six games in the last two years, but has been a able to find the endzone 16 times to go along with that. With that comes his contract. He is owed $5 million in 2017, but if cut the Eagles can save $4 million on the cap. Expect that to happen soon.
As reported earlier by Jimmy Kempski the Eagles are expected to cut ties with Jason Kelce this offseason. Kelce has been a big part of the team since being drafted in the sixth round in 2011. Kelce was a full time starter since he entered the league and made two pro bowls in his six year career, but the last two years we have all seen Kelce’s play fall due to being undersized and playing with injury. Cutting or even trading Kelce will free up $3.8 million on the cap which is a move that should be considered as the Eagles seem to have the replacement in Isaac Seumalo already on the team. While cutting Kelce will hurt the depth of the offensive line the Eagles need to get younger and prepare for the future and cutting ties with a player like Kelce might seem early, but it is the best for the team.
Earlier this week reports came out that the Eagles would look to trade Kendricks this offseason. The Eagles signed Kendricks to a four-year/$29 million deal in 2015, but ever since has seen a drastic decrease in playing time while going through two defensive coordinator changes in that time. Kendricks is a good player and he excels at blitzing the quarterback, but ironically Jim Schwartz, Eagles defensive coordinator, doesn’t like to bring the pressure as he likes to preferably have the defensive line do that. So having Kendricks is nice, but he isn’t ideal for this system. Trading Kendricks makes sense for both sides and he could definitely help another team out. Market value would be somewhere around a fourth round pick, but the Eagles could use Kendricks to trade up in the first round. Trading him would account to $4.8 million in dead money and would free up $1.8 million as well.
The most unlikely on this list is Peters who is still playing at a high level. However, Peters is 35 and his cap hit is a hefty one with a $11.2 million this year. Cutting Peters makes no sense with the Eagles current state and protecting Wentz should be the number one priority. Peters is currently the seventh highest paid left tackle in the league so restructuring is unlikely. Reports came earlier this month that the Eagles have had conversations with Peters about a restructure. What that means is the Eagles have actually thought about playing next year without the likens of Peters on the left side of the line. If the Eagles were to cut/trade Peters that would free up $9.2 million in cap space allowing a signing of Alshon feasible and could be a reality. If that were to happen the Eagles would certainly need to draft a tackle in this years draft early. First name that comes to mind is Ryan Ramczyk from Wisconsin. Sliding Lane to the left and having Ramczyk on the right would allow the Eagles to have the quarterback, left tackle and right tackle of the future for the years to come. Not to many teams can seriously say that. Will Peters be back next year? Probably, but I would think about moving on and possibly getting a pick in return for the Pro Bowler.