As we have suggested here over the past few weeks, all the hand-wringing and angst over the personnel challenges of the 2021 Eagles were greatly exaggerated….
Howie Roseman may be a bookworm who shoots and misses on occasion, but once again he has navigated a tricky cap situation to revive the Eagles roster.
This past week, Roseman somehow nudged an extra 7th round pick out of the limbo into which Marquise Goodwin’s career had plummeted.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin is no longer on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, after his contract reverted back to the San Francisco 49ers. This is unique: Goodwin has now reverted back to the 49ers from the Eagles per terms of the trade made last year. The Eagles traded for Goodwin during the 2020 NFL Draft, when they moved back 19 spots in the sixth round with the Niners to acquire him. Goodwin subsequently was a COVID opt-out for the 2020 season. The 49ers must send the Eagles their original seventh-round pick this year.
Did Howie know that was going to happen? EYE think so— Cool Hand Howie. The Eagles will also save $4,281,250 on their cap, with no dead money. Talk about a win-win-win!
Then the Eagles released veterans Alshon Jeffery and DT Malik Jackson.
Jeffery was a good addition in 2017 at WR when a strong market didn’t materialize for him in free agency, and the Eagles were able to sign him to a reasonable one-year deal worth under $10 million. After a productive start to the 2017 season, Jeffery was rewarded with a four-year extension worth $52 million, and he helped the Eagles win a Super Bowl.
Jeffery will be released with a June 1 designation. He will count for $5,590,735 in dead money against the 2021 cap, and $5,435,706 in 2022. But overall it is a big cost-saving move.
Malik Jackson signed a three-year deal worth $30 million during the 2019 offseason. He was solid but not spectacular at his position. Like Jeffery above, Jackson will be released with a June 1 designation. He’ll count for $3,611,000 against the cap in 2021, and $9,033,000 in 2022.
Meanwhile Howie was busy restructuring a bunch of contracts to get under the cap. He restructured CB Darius Slay’s contract to create $9.14M in salary cap room. Prior to the restructure, Slay already had a total of $40.5 million in scheduled cap charges over the two remaining years of his deal ($19,750,000 in 2022 and $20,750,000 in 2023).
With DE Brandon Graham set to count for $17,928,000 against the cap this season, the final year of his contract, there was some thought that the team would look to move on from him this offseason, perhaps paving the way for some younger players to get added reps as the team begins its rebuild — they could’ve saved $13 million against the cap by designating him a post-June 1 cut (or trade), but only $716,000 if they made a move before June 1.
Welp, Howie found a way. Graham’s restructure move, according to OverTheCap.com, will save the Eagles just under $9 million against the cap right away. Last season, Graham started all 16 games for the Eagles, and despite coming short of his first 10-sack season, the 11-year vet was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, a sign that his age isn’t necessarily a concern.
Another veteran, center Jason Kelce, is taking Howie’s restructure offer. It’s a new deal worth up to $12 million ($9 million guaranteed) to return to Philly in 2021. Kelce, 33, announced his return on Instagram, with a new contract coming for the upcoming season, his 11th in the NFL. He will be getting around a $4 million raise. It will lower his cap number, but is essentially a deal just for this season.
There is also buzz that right tackle Lane Johnson may be the next to restructure/get extended.
All of these moves combine to create a very manageable salary cap going into the Draft, with even enough left to make a splash free agent signing if it makes competitive sense. They also prove that Howie has had a very busy few weeks and he knows what he’s doing.
As the Eagles look to replenish the roster with young talent in the upcoming NFL Draft, here is an overview of the team’s selections. In all, the Eagles currently have 11 draft picks. The first round of the 2021 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday, April 29.
Round 1: No. 6 overall
Round 2: No. 37 overall
Round 3: No. 70 overall
Round 3: No. 84 (From Indianapolis)
Round 5: No. 150 overall
Round 5: No. 156 overall (From Dallas)
Round 6: No. 188 overall
Round 6: No. 223 overall (Compensatory selection)
Round 6: No. 224 overall (Compensatory selection)
Round 7: No. 233 overall
Round 7: No. 239 overall (From San Francisco)