Eagles early offseason outlook: Is an overhaul on the cards?


Trades/ Cuts

The next decision Philadelphia’s front office will need to decide is just how deeply this roster needs to be rebuilt. If they are satisfied that they can right the ship using draft picks and spending in free agency, then $30M should be enough. If the roster shuffle goes beyond that, the team will have to decide who is expendable.

Because of the heap of restructured contracts littering the Eagles budget, there are very few players on the current roster that can be cut or traded without taking on a chunk of their salary. If Philadelphia does decide that players need to be moved to create space for new additions, their options will be limited.

Below are the most viable candidates for cut or trade this upcoming offseason. Included is the money the Eagles would save, or owe in the event of a cut or trade. The Birds are in a hole for 2021, but will likely look to save by restricting either or both of Carson Wentz’ or Brandon Graham’s new contracts. This would then bring their cap number for 2022 back down to earth. While it’s not egregious, it is something to keep an eye on.

Money Saved202020212022
Estimated Cap Space
(before rollover)
Nigel Bradham$4.5M$9.8M$11.8M
Malcolm Jenkins$4.8M$1.5M$1.5M
Zach Ertz($1.4M)$12.5M$1.8M
Malik Jackson($4.2M)$12.4M$2.4M
DeSean Jackson($4.0M)$10.9M$4.8M
Alshon Jeffery($10.7M)$18.5M$2.5M

At what cost?

If the Eagles do decide that a larger scale rebuild is necessary, they’ll truly have to consider moving one of the players above. There’s simply no way around it. Looking at just the numbers, the recouped cash looks enticing, but is it worth it?

Nigel Bradham is the first name on the list for good reason. Roseman and co. already have a club option in place and could choose not to exercise it without much kerfuffle. The team wouldn’t lose any money and would recoup around $25M over the next three years. However, they would lose their defensive play-caller, most experienced and most versatile linebacker. The Eagles were happy to let Jordan Hicks seek out greener pastures and have never really put a premium on the linebacker position. With TJ Edwards in tow and Nate Gerry’s playing time increasing, is this the year to let Bradham walk?

Malcolm Jenkins’ name did not make it on this list without some consideration for the blasphemous nature of his inclusion. The fact of the matter is, his contract is one of the few on the docket that would not incur a lump of dead money. It’s been mentioned that the Eagles need to get younger at the secondary position and 2020 could be the year. It seems silly to consider the Eagles cutting ties with one of their most beloved players, but at the end of the day it is a business. Jenkins still has plenty of trade value and Howie isn’t oblivious to that fact.

Diving deeper into the rabbit hole of hypothetical recourse, the Eagles could generate some real capital if they put Zach Ertz on the trade block. The cons seriously outweigh the pros, but it is an option. Trading away your young franchise quarterback’s favorite target seems like a fool’s errand, but if an overhaul is to happen, the Eagles will need picks. Trading Ertz would cost the Eagles about $1M in dead cap this season, but would save them a heap in 2021. Dallas Goedert has shown flashes of just how lethal he can be and maybe that is enough for the front office. It would be a head-shaking decision, but it’s not completely out of the realm of possibilities.

The next two names on the list were new additions to Philadelphia just this year. Both Jacksons were injured early on in the season and were never really able to make their presence felt. With Malik and DeSean both rounding the hill of their respective careers, improving health isn’t necessarily a given. The Eagles could decide to cut their losses and allow the vets to look for work elsewhere. They would have to pay for their mistakes, however. Spending $4M this year to recoup $14M over the next two seasons seems less rational than just waiting it out and hoping both players return with a clean bill of health. On the other hand, the Eagles could draft successors with much cheaper price tags which would render both Malik and DeSean somewhat dispensable.

Alshon Jeffery brings up the rear on this list simply because of the sheer amount of money the Eagles would lose if they were to part with him. 2019 was essentially a lost season for the former Bear, but his time on the field reinforced the notion that he is still much better than any of the other options on the roster. He may be one of the few players that cemented his value by not playing. When Philadelphia spent a second-round pick on Stanford alum J.J. Arcega-Whiteside some believed the writing was on the wall for Alshon. Even with extended playing time late in the year, JJAW has only registered eight receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown this season. Personally, I think Arcega-Whiteside will surprise some people next season, but so far he’s only helped Jeffery become a necessity for 2020.


So, is a rebuild on the horizon? If so, it looks as if the Eagles will have to get creative with how they manage their roster this offseason. If anything major is to happen, it will not come without a price. Realistically, Philadelphia could apply a fresh coat of paint without ruffling too many feathers, but it will depend on how this season finishes. Making the playoffs would sugarcoat was has been a vastly disappointing season in the City of Brotherly Love.

It seems as if the Eagles are somewhat limited in terms of a considerable pivot, but will have a reasonable amount of cap space to play with and a full portfolio of draft picks — including a solid number of compensatory selections. 2020 may be the most important draft of Howie Roseman’s career.

Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports