It’s been a busy off-season for the Philadelphia Eagles and whilst today marks the latest in a string of extensions and new contracts, it gives us hints as to what direction The Eagles are moving in. Here’s what we can take from the five-year extension of Malcolm Jenkins.
The Financial gain
If reports are correct, the NFL base salary cap is set to move to $155 million, previously seeing the Eagles have $26.1m to spare. The Malcolm Jenkins extension sees a saving of $1.5m in 2016 which will give the Eagles roughly $27.6m in cap space based off of the $155m reports.
The Eagles cap situation isn’t pretty, and neither is their free agency situation at the end of next season. Malcolm Jenkins was one of the big names entering what would have been his final season in Philadelphia and with minimal room to work with, this kind of move can only be applauded.
Then of course, there’s this years cap situation and the impending Sam Bradford decision that is keeping Eagles fans on the edge of their seats. It certainly seems as though the bids are trying to free up cap room. They saved $3m with the move to secure the career of Brent Celek and a further $1.5m today. The question is, is it Bradford they’re trying to free up room for…or is there another reason?
The foundations of a Franchise
The Chip Kelly era is over in Philadelphia and with it all of the head scratching moves and constant controversies. Kelly didn’t exactly set the world on fire with his acquisitions in his final season as a Head Coach and his first as a GM and the monster contracts have left the Eagles stranded with big cap dents and players from a three year span that may not be in Pederson’s or Roseman’s vision for the future. So what are the birds doing?
It COULD be interpreted as the Eagles building a solid foundation as opposed to a purge like last season. They’re signing the playmakers, the younger guys with big ceilings, the impact players who can become a face for the team..all to long term deals. The reason behind this is that over the next five years (which conveniently is also the length of Doug Pederson’s contract in Philadelphia), Pederson has the foundations of a team to work with and build upon.
It’s almost like being asked by your friend to paint their 53 room mansion. Your friend has already painted the biggest rooms to take the load off of your shoulders and if they’re all painted the same color, it doesn’t make sense to paint the remaining rooms in a completely different one..
Pederson has weapons now on both sides of the ball for ideally what would be the duration of his contract in Philadelphia, it’s no longer a blank canvas or a team with mixed styles of play. The focal points on both Offense and Defense are now going to remain that way for five years..leaving Pederson some flexibility when it comes to deciding on who will be”the guy” to lead his team.