After signing Joe Flacco yesterday, the Eagles are left in a tricky spot when it comes to preparing for the remainder of the offseason. Here is everything you need to know about the cap, remaining needs, and what the short-term future holds in store for Philadelphia.
How much cap space do the Eagles have?
The NFLPA updated their official salary cap report yesterday and stated that the Eagles had around $3.3M in cap space. Approximately 8 hours later, they signed veteran QB Joe Flacco to a one-year deal worth $3.5M guaranteed. Lovely.
The good news is that just like any move the team makes nowadays, there are loopholes that work in Howie Roseman’s favor. Firstly, the team released Deontay Burnett with a non-injury designation, which in theory frees up around $800k. The other loophole is that only 51 of the highest-paid players count towards the cap, meaning that Flacco’s hit will likely replace one of the UDFA’s from last year, shaving a further $850K off of the tab.
Either way, the picture is still anything but pretty and the Eagles have minimal cap space after their first three free agency signings.
Biggest remaining needs
Signing a pair of safeties to negate losing a pair of safeties is all well and good and it’s nice to know that the team finally has a QB2 they can lean on, but the most pressing needs remain. CB2 is the most obvious while a lack of depth at defensive end can arguably be aligned with the same desperation felt at wideout.
Hassan Ridgeway’s return should go some way in bolstering the interior pass-rush if he can stay healthy, but there is still a huge question mark on the other side of the line. The Eagles still need to find a long-term heir to Jason Kelce’s throne and if we look a few spots to the right, potentially Zach Ertz at TE, who despite endless trade rumors, remains firmly on the roster.
What comes next for the Eagles?
Before the Eagles can even think of doing anything else, they will need to free up some more cap space…that’s if they do want to be aggressors in the free-agent market. The obvious candidate here is Zach Ertz, who would relieve a $4.4M cap burden if traded. The rumors have slowed somewhat in recent days, but with Hunter Henry now in New England, he may be among the top remaining candidates for TE needy teams.
The team could also explore a Derek Barnett extension/trade now that his $10M cap hit is guaranteed for 2021 but he isn’t the only lineman who may have a contract tweaked. Fletcher Cox is the last of the heavy cap-hitters and carries a $22m cap hit. A restructure seems likely given how Roseman has journeyed around the locker room trying to shave money from as many 2021 hits as possible.
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