The method behind the madness: Eagles new contracts part of bigger plan


This week the Eagles have been very busy when it comes to extending deals and offering new ones. With Zach Ertz and Brent Celek enjoying lengthy new deals and Lane Johnson signing a new six year contract today, it’s clear that the Eagles are trying to lock down their young talent as soon as possible. The birds have also reportedly offered a deal to Vinny Curry, but the deal was “not what he expected”. (Read the entire piece here)

So what’s the connection? Is it just as simple as the Eagles locking down their future talent to build a solid foundation for Pederson? It could be…but then there’s the salary cap. When you think Eagles and Salary Cap, you think of the current anxiety that fills th hearts of fans as they worry if the birds will have enough to re-sign the likes of Bradford, Carroll and Thurmond..but not many think of the year after.

This season, the Eagles could potentially lose a couple of big names to Free-Agency, but next season…the damage could be much more impactful.

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Over 20 players could well be playing their final season in Philadelphia and not only that..but some of the teams biggest assets. The engine in the Eagles Secondary Malcolm Jenkins, Darren Sproles, special teams ace Chris Maragos, Mufasa himself and Kiko Alonso..not to mention a LOT of depth players and even players on the fringe of something great.’s a pretty tough pill to swallow that we’re only seeing the rain and yet to witness the hurricane and earthquake that could shake the Eagles core to its foundations. But this is where it gets interesting..

The initial reaction is “It must be to bring Sam back on a short-term deal”..but what would that achieve? With the Eagles losing so many players next season or having to restructure and negotiate with so many, they don’t have the funds for a short 1-3 year deal with doesn’t make financial sense. The only way Bradford is resigning is if he’s franchise tagged or signs a 3-5 year deal.

What the Eagles are doing is meeting the problem head on. As Zach Berman implies, by offering Johnson a new deal, it actually lowers the base salary of both next season and the season after..the same goes for Ertz and the same goes for Celek. The Eagles are tying down players with bigger overall numbers, spread out over more time..thus giving them less now, keeping them longer and having more funds to address the time bomb that is the Free Agency of 2017.

Fletcher Cox is reportedly very close to a new contract. Cox is set to make $7m next year and is deservedly the fourth highest paid player on the roster..however, his contract expires in 2017. Under Schwartz and an attacking 4-3, the current Man-Dog could turn into a monster..and that’s worrying. He already enjoyed a career season this year, Cox is looking to emerge as the best in the NFL at his position..and if that season happens to be next year, the Eagles are going to struggle massively in giving him the contract he deserves.

By increasing his overall salary, spreading out over a five year deal and having maybe one or two years where the base salary is less than what it is now, it not only keeps arguably the most dominant Eagles player on Defense since Brian Dawkins to stay in Philadelphia, but takes a huge weight off of the Eagles shoulders..and of course gives them more immediate funds to address the impending Free-Agency storm.

It’s a very smart gameplan by the Eagles. Every player they have signed (or looking to) so far loves the city. Both Celek and Ertz said in their press conferences claimed that they want to end their careers here, Cox claimed he’s “in for the long haul” and Johnson we all know bleeds nothing but green. Partner that with more money available straight away, an advantageous contract based on the expected form of these players and their futures secured in Philadelphia and what we’re left with is a round of applause for Howie Roseman and the Eagles Personnel department….