June 18, 2016
As we noted on Thursday, the Philadelphia Eagles have handed out more guaranteed money than any team in the NFL this offseason, by a wide margin. To date, they have given out $280,254,834 in guaranteed money since January 1, which is just under double the next closest team, the New York Giants, who have given out $140,873,332.
Estimating a salary cap of $166,000,000 in 2017 (it is $155,270,000 in 2016), overthecap.com has the Eagles with $177,270,225 in active cap spending in 2017, which would put them well over 2017 salary cap estimates. (See chart via overthecap.com to the right).
In 2018, overthecap.com has the Eagles with $169,163,783 in active cash spending, which is over $33 million more than the next closest team.
To recap, this offseason the Eagles re-signed a number of their own players to multi-year deals, including Zach Ertz, Brent Celek, Lane Johnson, Vinny Curry, Malcolm Jenkins, Sam Bradford and Fletcher Cox. They also signed a number of players away from other teams in free agency, including CB Leodis McKelvin, OG Brandon Brooks, S Rodney McLeod, CB Ron Brooks, LB Nigel Bradham, and QB Chase Daniel.
There are two main conclusions to make here:
1) If the Eagles get this offseason right (and if Carson Wentz pans out), they'll have a nice core of players with which to build around, which could make them yearly contenders. If they don't, the next few years will be a waste, and it'll be a while before they can attempt a new re-build.
2) They are going to have to part with some players next offseason to give them room under the cap.
On "conclusion number two," there are three obvious contenders:
• Sam Bradford: As Bradford himself acknowledged, his time as the "the guy" in Philly is short after the Eagles traded up and selected Carson Wentz with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. His cap number is $22,500,000 in 2017, $13,000,000 of which the Eagles will save if he is released, $17,000,000 if he is traded. On the financial end alone, it is extremely unlikely Bradford will be on the team in 2017.
• Jason Peters: Peters is a borderline Hall of Famer, but he'll be 35 years old during the 2017 NFL season and his play is in decline. Peters' cap number in 2017 will be $11,200,000. The Eagles would save $9,200,000 if they released or traded him next offseason.
• Ryan Mathews: Mathews is a good runner, but isn't a player adapt at moving around the formation and creating mismatches in the passing game, which is something Doug Pederson prefers in his offense. If the Eagles release or trade Mathews next offseason, they will save $4,000,000.
And then there's Connor Barwin, who will have a cap number of $8,350,000 in 2017, $7,750,000 of which the Eagles could save if Barwin were released or traded. The Eagles may have to either make a tough decision there or try to restructure his deal.
At any rate, the Eagles future is extremely dependent on the moves made this offseason and they're going to have to create salary cap space in 2017.