Howie Roseman might be the best general manager in the NFL at working the salary cap to fit the team's budget. After trading for, and extending, a star corner as well as bringing in a stud defensive tackle, and signing almost everyone on the defensive back market - the Eagles are still sitting with $23 Million in cap room for this year. More on that figure in a bit.
Knowing that Howie can work the cap in his favor - a lot has to do with players accepting the deals to restructure their own contracts. The thing that makes this work is that Howie gives a win-win. Typically, what we have seen is that Howie and Co. offers players more money up front, and guaranteeing a portion of the money. It's always important to look at how much guaranteed money a player is getting, and how much they will be making each year. This strategy that Howie uses leaves salary cap in later years for the team to use. With that being said, let's take a look at the monster the Eagles will be facing next offseason.
Right now, according to OverTheCap.com, the Eagles are set to be OVER the cap by $42 Million. Now, we just got through saying that Howie was a cap wizard, right? How can the Eagles be looking at a $42 Million hole heading into 2021? The better question is, what is Howie going to do to get out from under that enormous hole?
As mentioned, the Eagles have been moving money around for the past few years, restructuring deals in order to get out of cap hell - and sign other guys to help the team. Has this come to bite them, much like it has the Rams? I don't think so, and the reasoning is because the Eagles have built a roster and cap structure where even if a player does not agree to restructure their deal, they can get out of the contract. Here are a couple of players that would make sense to walk on from or trade in order to get the cash to make up for the $42 Million deficit.
Derek Barnett - While the Eagles recently just picked up his 5th-year option, for $10 Million - the Eagles can move on from him without any dead cap space.
Zach Ertz - Rumors have already begun to swirl that Ertz was on the trade block, mostly due to the contract negotiations. If the Eagles cannot get Ertz inked to a deal, and the team would be able to save roughly $5 Million - you can see the Eagles moving on from one of the franchise's cornerstones.
Alshon Jeffery - Next season Alshon Jeffery would cost $18 Million against the cap if he was kept on the roster. However, releasing him would create $10 Million in dead money, meaning the Eagles could save $8 Million if they decided to move on from the aging receiver.
While the Ertz move would be a tough pill to swallow, the Eagles would greatly benefit from the newly available cap space. Without Ertz being moved, Barnett and Jeffery moving on would still help out the 2021 cap space dilemma. This is granted the team rolls the full $23 Million left from this season over into the next year.
One thing every Eagles fan knows is that when it comes to the cap, no need to fear, because Underdog is here.