January 25, 2017
According to a source, the Eagles are expected to free up quite a bit of cap space prior to the start of free agency this year. Of course, any close observer of the team would deem that to be common sense for many players, however, the team may have more available spending money by free agency than is presently perceived by many.
Here is a list of players the Eagles could look to make actionable moves on to add to their cap space (all dollar figures via overthecap.com):
• DE Connor Barwin: $7,750,000 savings if cut or traded. Barwin wants to stay in Philadelphia and has stated that he would be open to a pay cut, but even a pay cut is unlikely to keep him on the roster.
• RB Ryan Mathews: $4,000,000 savings if cut or traded. Mathews was likely to be released even if he didn't sustain a career-threatening neck injury late in the season. If Mathews had finished the season healthy, the Eagles might have found a trade partner for him, but that is no longer an option. Mathews will be almost certainly be released.
• C Jason Kelce: $3,800,000 savings if cut or traded. Previously, we reported that the team is considering moving on from Kelce, whose trade value is questionable. A team in need of a short-term fix at center could have interest, but compensation is not likely to be robust.
• CB Leodis McKelvin: $3,200,000 if cut or traded. McKelvin is a near 100 percent certainty to be released.
• OL Allen Barbre: $2,100,000 savings if cut or traded. In addition to Kelce, we can report via a source that Barbre is not safe either. Barbre proved to be a versatile player in 2016, playing multiple positions along the offensive line. At a minimum, he is a competent reserve. However, he has a history of injuries, he'll turn 33 in June, and his quality season last year has not been the norm over his career.
• LB Mychal Kendricks: $1,800,000 savings if cut or traded. Kendricks is a flawed player, but his positive traits were not maximized in Jim Schwartz's defense. He has trade value, and the Eagles are likely to explore interest in him around the league.
• CB Ron Brooks: $1,600,000 savings if cut or traded. Brooks suffered a serious ruptured quadriceps last season, and may have been something of a "band-aid" when the team signed him last offseason.
Add it all up, and you get $24,250,000 in added cap space if the Eagles moved on from all of the above players.
• OT Jason Peters: The Eagles want Peters to return, so they are unlikely to release or trade him. However, with a cap number of $11,700,000 (highest on the team in 2017), the Eagles could ask Peters to take a pay cut or restructure. Despite a high number of false start penalties in 2016, Peters had a good season, and remains a high quality left tackle who will likely not be agreeable to a pay cut. The Eagles, however, could push the impact of his cap hit into future years with a restructure.
• LB Nigel Bradham: $3,000,000 savings if cut, $4,000,000 if traded. With two legal cases still to be litigated, Bradham could eventually face discipline from the league. While Bradham had a good season in 2016, if the team believes that he is likely to miss time in 2017, they could cut bait with him and add another $3,000,000 to their savings, although that would leave them dangerously thin at linebacker. Obviously, no sane team would trade for a player with two court cases pending.
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