Free agency is still a little over one month away, but there’s no questioning that the Eagles will already be thinking several steps ahead. They may have a fair amount of cap space at the start of an offseason for a change, but there are some interesting names to keep an eye on who could be in line for a new deal.
We all know the infamous quote by now. Malcolm Jenkins won’t be back with the Eagles unless it’s on a new deal. Unfortunately for fans of one of the most consistent players on the entire team, that may hold more weight than we think.
The value Jenkins has to this defense needs no explanation. He somehow didn’t miss a single snap (again) in 2019 and has been the glue keeping an unstable secondary together at the best of times.
Jenkins will be entering a ‘club-option’, where the Eagles can opt to decline the 2020 year of his contract. That $10.3M cap-hit would be the third most expensive at the Free Safety position, but only $1.5M of that is guaranteed, hence Jenkins putting his foot down.
The 10-year veteran isn’t getting any younger, but if the Eagles want a year of luxury to groom a potential replacement, then perhaps declining the option and signing a new deal with far more guaranteed money makes sense here. The Eagles have around $42M in cap space, so it’s certainly doable. But will they be willing to finally give Jenkins the money he deserves, or will the free agency market drive his price out of reach?
Back in 2016, the Eagles made a concerted effort to sign cornerstone players to long-term deals, providing a solid foundation for years to come. Over the past 2 years or so, many of those players have gone on to sign new deals with the team. Lane Johnson, Brandon Brooks, and Fletcher Cox have all received new paydays. But there’s a notable absentee from that list…
Ertz may still be one of the most underrated players in the NFL. Thanks to George Kittle and Travis Kelce, it’s rare to see Ertz listed in conversations that rank him at the top of his position, but still, he continues to plow through record after record, proving to be the ultimate security blanket for his quarterback.
The issue here is that the backloaded nature of the deal is now going to bite, and it’s going to bite hard. Ertz will have a cap hit of $12M in 2020, which is $6M more than it was in 2019.
The signing bonus was set to prorate over the first five years of his deal, and that cycle will end in 2020.
It seems highly unlikely that the Eagles would want to part ways with Ertz, but signing him to another team-friendly deal that resets the cycle may be in the interest of both parties. It guarantees long-term security for Ertz, and would provide the Eagles with more immediate cap flexibility.
I know what you’re thinking. Jackson has only been with the team for a year and missed the entire season due to injury. How could he possibly receive a new deal?
Ask Rodney McLeod and Timmy Jernigan.
Jackson’s cap hit in 2020 may only be $4.5M, but it quickly escalates to $13.6M in 2020. Timmy Jernigan lost a huge bag because of an injury and Rodney McLeod saw his swept away for a similar reason.
Re-structuring Jackson’s deal may be in the team’s best interests as a way of shaking off a monster 2021 cap hit.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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