April 03, 2020
The Eagles are likely done in free agency, at least when it comes to making any of the moves the fanbase at large is hoping the team makes. They're likely out of the trade market too — and, yes, that almost certainly includes big-name options like Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
Why? Because they're almost out of money.
Well, not technically. According to OverTheCap.com, they still have $27,107,478 in salary cap space. And while that seems like a lot, it's basically the minimum amount Howie Roseman likes to keep in his piggy bank at this point in the offseason, as Reuben Frank of NBC Sports Philadelphia explained recently.
[NOTE: Roob has a slightly different number for the Eagles' current cap space — he has them with about $862K more to work with — but the point remains. His in-depth breakdown of the Eagles' cap situation and where they have the most money allocated is great and I highly recommend checking out the whole thing.]
Here's how Roob sees it:
The basics: The Eagles as of Thursday morning had $27,869,777 in cap space under their adjusted 2020 cap figure of $222,776,734, which includes a carryover from 2019 of $21,484,051. The Eagles have 66 players under contract, but only their 51 highest cap figures count against their cap. From that, approximately $9 million will be set aside to cover rookie wages. Roseman likes to keep at least $15 million in cap space going into the season, so they are right where he likes to be. [nbcsports.com]
In other words, Roseman is running out of money in his checking account and doesn't want to have to dip into his savings.
Obviously, if you do the math in your head and put aside that $9 million for incoming rookies and $15 million in his rainy day fund (i.e. money he can use to sign in-season free agent or pay players acquired in trades), that's $24 million. And if you subtract that from the money the Eagles have left, there's somewhere between $3.1 million and $3.9 million left for Howie to play with in free agency. So there could be a couple of smaller signings left for the Birds, but they could just as easily carry that money into the season — which, given the current uncertainty around the NFL, sports and life in general, might not be the worst idea.
Still, it doesn't seem like the Eagles will be making any splashy moves this offseason.
That being said, the Eagles could still use upgrades at a few positions, like wide receiver, cornerback and running back. Sammy Watkins went off the board on Thursday night, but Brandin Cooks might still be available on the trade market. However, his contract — he carries a $16.8 million cap hit — likely prohibits the Eagles from acquiring him based on the above situation. And that doesn't even factor in the cost to acquire him. At running back, there are still players like LeSean McCoy available, although he would have to be willing to come in as a backup on a cheap, short-term contract.
And at cornerback, there are still some options out there for the Birds if they're looking to add some depth at the position — although, they likely still need a starting outside corner, unless they feel confident in Avonte Maddox starting opposite Darius Slay. And Ngakoue, who we mentioned earlier and was previously hit with Jacksonville's franchise tag, appears to come with a first-round price tag in addition to paying him and working out a new deal. So that likely prices them out, no matter how badly he wants out of his current situation and hints that he wants to play in Philly.
As you can see, it's going to be the smaller, depth moves that Roseman will make as he continues to fill out the roster. Stay tuned for all the latest in our live free agency tracker...
Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin
Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports