The off-season QB drama is finally over! The Eagles and Nick Foles can finally move on in their separate directions. The Eagles and Foles had to break up eventually, but this won’t be one of those bitter break ups. It’s a separation that’s best for all parties involved. The Eagles can finally move on with their franchise QB. Therefore, the Eagles can start preparing for the 2019 season. Nick Foles can finally test the free agent market. Finding a starting gig in the league is something he covets. This is a mutual break-up where all involved will be able to get together in the future and talk about memories they shared together. The 2019 Eagles salary cap situation hangs in the balance of this decision.
The Eagles front office had a few different hands to play regarding the Nick Foles situation. To tag, or not to Tag, that was the question. First, He was due a 20 million dollar option in which the Eagles rightfully picked up to retain his services. Foles was able to buy that option out from the Eagles by returning 2 million dollars of his roster bonus. The Eagles now had a very interesting decision to make regarding this situation. Eagles management could choose to franchise the quarterback, a 25 million dollar value. Alternatively, they could deny the tag, and Nick Foles would become a free agent. Obviously, they wouldn’t be keeping Foles at that salary, but would rather try to trade him to a team under the franchise tag.
We’re not sure if Howie has a heart for Foles, but he decided to let Nick walk away gracefully into free agency. Could Howie not find a dance partner? The 25 million dollar price tag and additional compensation would contributing factors to this decision. Nick Foles will take his accolades and his confidence to Free agency in hopes of landing one last contract for his storied career. Foles deserves the opportunity to test the market and choose his destination. He’s definitely earned this opportunity from his clutch performances for this team. Beating Tom Brady on NFL’s grandest stage, and bringing home a Super Bowl to the city of Philadelphia, should be able to grant you that right.
A look at the Salary Cap
Now that we all know Nick Foles is officially a free agent, let’s take a peek at how that affects the Eagles salary cap as we inch closer to free agency. Howie Roseman will really have his work cut out for him this offseason. He’ll need to figure out how to use his wizardry to create some cap space for both free agency and incoming draft picks.
Declining the franchise tag created a savings of 25 million dollars. With the current state of the eagles cap situation, there’s no way possible they could retain Foles rights under the tag. The roster may need some improvement in a few key areas. Cap flexibility will be helpful in solidifying certain positions on the team. Per overthecap.com, the Eagles cap number sits at just north of 6 million dollars. That number would barely cover the draft picks, so Howie will have to work his magic to create some cap space.
What Would Roseman Do? By doing what Howie does best: Restructuring contracts, and rolling cap money into signing bonuses to create that space. He already started by restructuring Rodney McLeod’s contract. Even the casual fan knows that when it comes to the Eagles salary cap, the Philadelphia Eagles will be just fine. Howie uses Jon Dorenbos magic, and creates money out of thin air it seems!
A few areas in which the Eagles could attempt to shed some salary could come right from some key players on this football team.
What can we say about J-Pete? This man is the heart and soul of this team. He’s been the anchor of the offensive line forever, and his leadership in the locker room as well as on the field is something that goes unnoticed. However, the big man’s not getting any younger, and has broken down a bit over the last few years. As much as I’d love to see him on the field, the restructuring of his contract is definitely in order. The 13 million dollar cap hit needs to be adjusted, or, as hard as it is to say, goodbye Jason Peters.
Nelson Agholor, in the past 2 seasons, has been one of the hardest working guys on this team. After a lot of scrutiny in this city early in his career, he really turned his career around in a big way becoming a good contributor on offense. However, the 9.5 million dollar cap number is a bit high for him. Howie can definitely fix this cap number, and wouldn’t be surprised if they try to deal Agholor for a mid-round pick in the upcoming draft.
The trade for Timmy Jernigan was borderline NFL robbery, and the eagles reaped the benefits from his play on the field. Last off season, the Eagles signed him to a huge 4 year 48 million dollar contract. Locking him up was a good idea, but he experienced an injury, and didn’t see the field much last year. It’s highly unlikely that Howie will exercise the 13 million dollar option for him this year, and he’ll likely need to re-negotiate his contract, or be replaced.
The Philadelphia Eagles front office have a mighty task in front of them throughout the coming months. Howie Roseman needs to hit a home run in the draft having 3 picks in the top 57. That’ll help in saving money on the salary cap. The final piece is going into free agency, finding the right pieces to plug into this team, and carry them back into the playoffs. Hopefully, Howie’s wizardry will propel the Eagles to another Super Bowl run in 2019!