Well, now that Super Bowl 53 is in the rear view mirror, it’s time to take a look at what lies ahead. For the Eagles, this may be the most important offseason since the drafting of Carson Wentz and naturally, they will act with a sense of urgency. But what will the next three moves be as the race to the Draft begins?
The Nick Foles Dilemma is resolved:
This is hardly the most surprising prediction here, but one way or another, we will finally come to the end of the road. After a recent report from Ian Rapoport suggested that the Eagles are likely to pickup the option on Nick Foles’ contract and seek to trade him, the 87th media frenzy on this topic has begun. But while it all sounds very intense, the reality may be far from it. If Nick Foles wants to decide his own destiny, buying himself out of that option, a ‘tag and trade’ move just isn’t likely. It would be way too much of a gamble for the Eagles to literally force the market not once, but twice into a potential trade and teams are wise enough to avoid giving away assets for a player who just days before could’ve been signed as a free agent…probably.
Nick Foles will probably end up in Jacksonville or Miami, but I don’t think the Eagles will have much of a presence on that front. The team will receive a 2019 compensatory pick for letting Foles dictate his own fate and if this recent ‘leak’ hasn’t drummed up a market, then that will be the wisest move.
Next up, the cap battle. Although Howie Roseman does his absolute best to somehow convince us the cap is just a myth, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work to be done. The Eagles are roughly $14M over the cap (depending on where you look) and there are a few names who carry a lot of weight with them. Rodney McLeod was one of them, Jason Peters is another and Timmy Jernigan is a third. Do not be surprised to be some big names agree to contract restructures as Roseman continues to backload every deal possible in order to create some kind of stability while ensuring the long-term security of franchise cornerstones.
Nelson Agholor would be the one name I would recommend keeping an eye on. Carrying a $9M cap hit is one thing, but doing so in a spot where Jordan Matthews and Golden Tate will both presumably cost you far less on a new deal, is another. It will be very interesting to see what the Birds do on that front.
A big free agent returns:
And finally, with the sudden cap relief from the two moves above, the Eagles can bring back a name who may not have otherwise been salvageable. Could a player like Jordan Hicks or Ronald Darby be greeted with a long-term deal that’s loaded with incentives? Absolutely. What about Brandon Graham getting that well-deserved payday? Potentially. The Eagles won’t be comfortable losing so many key cogs to free agency and they won’t want to let them walk without a fight…but the question is, who will be the name worth fighting for?
I can honestly see Jordan Hicks being the main beneficiary of this offseason. The Texas product has been an excellent asset when healthy and if the Eagles can find a way to bring him back on a deal with a heavy a snap-based incentive, it wouldn’t just bolster the linebacker depth, but give another young stud for Roseman to build around.
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