With the Eagles' season currently living on a prayer, most fans have started to look towards the offseason and the 2019 season. For those fans who have moved on from this season, news broke on Tuesday that is sure to make them happy.
The salary cap will rise to a staggering $187.0-191.1 Million for the 2019 campaign, which is a significant increase from this year's salary cap.
With all teams now knowing they'll have an additional $10-14 Million to use this offseason, it's time to think about how the Eagles might use the money:
The Eagles currently have 21 players scheduled to become Free Agents in March. That sounds like a lot, but that includes role players who don't make much money and could easily be replaced, as well as players who have claimed that they will be retiring after this season (Darren Sproles, Chris Long, Corey Graham).
If you're looking at it realistically, there are about 10-12 players that the Eagles might want to bring back. The Eagles could decide to give extensions to players like Nelson Agholor, Brandon Graham, Golden Tate, and Jordan Hicks. With Ronald Darby and Jay Ajayi both suffering season-ending injuries in their contract year, Howie Roseman might try to use this extra cash to bring both players back on one-year "prove it" deals so they can earn a big contract after the 2019 season.
There are also question marks about players like Nate Sudfeld and Jake Elliott. Nick Foles is currently projected to be a $20.6 Million cap hit next season, by far the most on the Eagles. There is no way the Eagles go into next season keeping that, so the team might want to trade Foles this offseason and sign Sudfeld to a cheaper deal and go into 2019 with Carson Wentz fully healthy and Nate Sudfeld backing him up. Jake Elliott has had his ups and downs, and with that in mind there is no way of telling what Howie Roseman is thinking when it comes to a new contract for Elliott.
Bring in Free Agents - Land Le'Veon Bell?
The Eagles went on their Super Bowl run in 2017 thanks in part to a few key Free Agent signings. Nick Foles, Alshon Jeffery, LeGarrette Blount, Torrey Smith, Patrick Robinson, and Chris Long all contributed in different ways to bring home the Lombardi Trophy to Philadelphia for the first time ever. So maybe Howie Roseman will want to go on a shopping spree this spring to bring in some new veterans to make another run.
The extra money could be used in many different ways for Free Agents. One Free Agent who will be talked about a lot is Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell. The "Bell(e) of the Ball" stated earlier this season that he believes the Eagles would go after him in Free Agency, so there will definitely be a lot of talk connecting the Eagles to Bell until he decides where he wants to play. The team may decide to address two or three of their roster holes through Free Agency, and then try to fill the rest with their draft picks.
Don't Use it, Let it Roll Over - Carson Wentz Extension
The Eagles might pull off a shocking move and decide not to use any of that money at all in 2019. Any extra cap space in the NFL is able to roll over to the next season. With an extra $10-14 Million in their laps, the Eagles might want to hold onto that and combine it with the extra money they will get when the cap increases again in 2020. This extra money could be rolled over and then used towards the Carson Wentz mega-contract that is creeping up on us. If he doesn't end up giving the Eagles some sort of discount so the team can use that money on others (which is highly unlikely), Wentz's new contract will likely end up commanding anywhere from $30-40 Million a season. Keeping their franchise quarterback happy will be priority #1 for the foreseeable future.
There are many different ways Howie Roseman and company can spend money this offseason. Since most fans trust him, it will be fun to watch exactly what he does with his newfound cash.