Just a few short years ago, no one in their right minds wanted to walk in Howie Roseman's size 9 shoes (contextual guess). Fast forward to 2019, and most GM's in the NFL and fantasy football leagues aspire to make moves like Roseman. He has shown over the past two offseasons how well he can craft a team, one that brought home a Lombardi to Philadelphia. With the NFL Scouting Combine beginning this week, and the league year beginning in a few weeks on March 13th, I decided to walk in Howie's shoes through the 2019 NFL offseason. It all begins with Nick Foles.
In a perfect scenario, the Eagles would be able to move Foles for a 2nd or 3rd round pick in this year's draft. However, the team just has no leverage in the matter. This is why I, acting as Howie Roseman, would let Foles walk. Foles' story as an Eagle is a fairy tale, and there is no need to ruin the ending. Allowing Foles to walk allows him to get paid a handsome contract, in turn rewarding the Eagles with a compensatory pick in 2020. That compensatory pick is valuable in 2020, as the Eagles will most likely need to make a decision on Wentz's future with the team - most likely ending in a mega QB contract. The next two offseasons are important for the Eagles, especially with the cap.
Since the Eagles finished 2018 season $6 million under the cap, they are allowed to carry that amount over and add it to the 2019 figure. This will bring the team's salary cap up to a grand total of $197 million. With the deferral of Foles' option and franchise tag - the team saves $18 million. I (Howie Roseman) restructured the deal with Rodney McCleod a few weeks back saving the team an extra $7 million in cap for 2019. With these moves already made, more space can be free'd up.
The first move made will be to cut or restructure Jason Peters' contract. I have nothing but respect for what Peters has brought to this city and team, but a $13 million price tag for a 37-year-old LT who is in and out of games is too high. Ideally, Peters retires and begins his coaching career under Pederson and Jeff Stoutland. This adds about $10.5 million to the picture with a hit of $2.6million in dead cap and 10. To add to the injured birds who need to restructure - Timmy Jernigan. Injured off the field, Jernigan was in and out of the lineup this past season. The Eagles hold the leverage here, so getting him to restructure can save the Eagles cap space. One decision I, (Howie Roseman) cannot control is whether or not Chris Long decides to walk away from the game or not. If Long walks, that will free up $5.3 million in cap space.
OverTheCap.com has the eagles at $189 million spent at this point in time, leaving around $8 million free. This will allow the Eagles to roll into free agency with around $20-25 million to spend.
Remember, Carson Wentz gets a mega QB deal, so carrying money from 2019 into 2020 is an ideal scenario for the team. That being said, it's time to spend some money!
Jay Ajayi - 1 year $2 Million prove it deal
This situation is all about catching lightening in a bottle. Ajayi went from a headache in Miami to a great teammate in Philadelphia. Depending on the health at the time of signing, bringing Ajayi back on a short term deal makes sense, especially with Corey Clement having to overcome a significant knee injury.
Robert Griffin III: 1 year $1 Million
Wentz can learn a lot from a once highly drafted athletic QB in the NFC East who had injuries ruin his once promising career. There is no comparing the two QBs, but adding a guy like RG3 to the QB room can help Carson adapt his game to the NFL.
Vinny Curry: 2 years $9 Million
The Eagles will need to bring in defensive line help in the draft and free agency. Unfortunately, Brandon Graham has made it knownthat he is looking to get paid, and that just isn't in the cards for the Eagles at this point in time. Signing Curry brings a veteran end who understand's Schwartz's system.
Jordan Hicks: 2 year $6 Million, opt-out after first year
Hicks has underperformed the past two years and has been injury prone his entire career. However, with such a weak class of LB in the draft and a free agency pool that is top heavy, bringing Hicks back on another prove it sort of deal helps the Eagles in 2019 and 2020.
Malcom Brown: 3 years $16 Million
Signing Brown would be an insurance policy for Jernigan, and depth for the interior defensive line. Known as a run stuffer, Brown is coming off a down year after a 2017 where he finished top 5 in run-stop percentage, a stat from PFF. Schwartz is looking for a player to line up next to Cox and eat up defenders so the LB can come down and play aggressive. This also allows the team to draft skill positions in the first and or second rounds.
Salary Cap left: $1.5 Million - $5.5 Million
This is also with no other moves made to release other players
Top 2019 NFL Draft Picks
Round 1, Pick 25 - RB Joshua Jacobs (Alabama)
Jacobs is a perfect fit for the offense. A three-down back that can catch the ball out of the backfield, run over a defender in between the tackles, or make a man miss in the open field. Getting Wentz a true RB behind an already solid OL, will be priority one in the draft.
(Marquise Brown WR Oklahoma if Jacobs is off the board)
Round 2, Pick 54 - OT Yodny Cajuste (West Virginia)
This move is to pick up the next franchise LT for the Eagles. While Mailata may still be grooming, Cajuste can come in and start for the team day one.
Round 2, Pick 58 - DT Dexter Lawrence (Clemson)
Drafting Lawrence adds one of the leaders from the best DL in college football last year. A true run stuffer, Lawrence will be a perfect fit with Cox long term. This adds more depth to a defensive line that has proven to be the most integral part of the team's defense.
There you have it, my best attempt at Howie Roseman for the 2019 NFL offseason. Leave your grades, and what you will do differently in the comments.