With the season now over heads are turning to the huge offseason that lies ahead for the Philadelphia Eagles. A new Head Coach with potential for more personnel changes and a lot of players who have ran out their contract in Philly..Walter Thurmond alluded to the unlikelihood of him being resigned just yesterday and it brought up an interesting point..the Eagles need to be extremely careful.
When looking at their current contract situation, the birds will have 13 players who could be heading to free agency if a deal is not constructed. (Picture below)
Of those 13 players, five are on the Offense and seven are on Defense. If we’re to be really cynical..here are the players that the Eagles could realistically cut without much consequence.
Purely because the concept of an Offensive Line restructure is almost too obvious to ignore and cutting a backup Quarterback isn’t going to harm the team too much.
And now the problems begin to surface. By cutting Biggers who has actually been fairly solid this season as well as the undrafted rookie Randall Evans, it’s re-opening a wound that has only just been very un-neatly stitched up. Steven Means also adds some good depth and will likely compete for a spot in training camp if retained.
IF the Eagles were to cut those players, they would have to find deals for:
Vinny Curry is reported to have already been offered a new deal so for now he’s almost eliminated from this list. But as of today, the Eagles are projected to have around $17 million in cap space.
Sam Bradford has an agent who is obviously going to demand a big deal. In fact, Sammy B’s recent run of good form may have hurt the Eagles going forward because both himself and his agent will be aware that he has played well enough to attract attention from other teams. The Eagles rank 21st in projected cap space and if the new Head Coach doesn’t see the upside in Bradford and lets him walk, it would free up cap room to sign other players sure..but then you have to find a new Quarterback and address the issues already mentioned.
Cedric Thornton is perfectly happy to test the waters of free agency according to reports and Thurmond is already aware that his chances of a return are slim down to how minimal the Eagles leniency for contracts really is at this present times.
Nolan Carroll will likely need to be re-signed after impressing prior to his injury but again that could be another deal that the Eagles will struggle to negotiate.
The players mentioned for the most part have all been big contributors. Bradford ended as one of the top four most accurate Quarterbacks in the league despite 43 dropped passes, both Thornton and Curry have been imperative to the Eagles pass rush, Ajirotutu has been excellent as always on special teams and the Secondary pieces have saved Billy Davis a job…(for now).
Because of their impressive performances, finding more money won’t be much of a problem. Other teams will be looking to strengthen their depth chart whilst the Eagles are frankly trying to stop theirs from falling apart.
IF the Eagles let the likes of Bradford, Thornton, Thurmond and Carroll walk..it’s essentially going to see a complete restructure of those areas. The Eagles would be searching for their 13th starting quarterback since 1999 whilst the Secondary would see its second rebuild in as many years. Then there’s the huge holes in the Offensive Line which calls the previous predicted cuts into question.
It is a complete headache trying to work out how to dig the Eagles out of this financial hole they appear to be in and the contract negotiations that are set to unfold in the coming weeks/months will likely become a minefield. The Eagles cannot afford to bring in another monster contract like they did this season with both Maxwell and Murray, but at the same time letting these players walk could be a costly mistake…the Eagles have to tread very lightly this offseason.
photo credit: Elsa/Getty Images