The Eagles are staying creative as they work through a difficult salary cap situation in 2018.
After already restructuring Lane Johnson’s contract earlier in the week to save $7.5 million in cap space, the Eagles have reportedly done it again, this time with Zach Ertz.
The Eagles created over $5.4 million in cap space this year by reworking Ertz’s contract, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Just like Johnson, Ertz isn’t taking a pay cut. The Eagles turned $7.21 million of his $8 million base salary into a guaranteed bonus. This is another move that will spread out Ertz’s cap hit over the remaining years of his contract.
Ertz agreed to restructure his contract in a similar way last March, too. The nice thing about Ertz’s contract, from the Eagles’ perspective, is it wasn’t insanely back-loaded. That’s probably why they feel better about adding more money to the last three years.
As NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Reuben Frank wrote Wednesday, it’s foolish at this point to question Howie Roseman’s mastery of the salary cap. Every year there are questions and every year Roseman finds a way to make it work.
But there are reasons teams don’t do this more often. In a way, these types of moves just push the problem off to future years to help in the present day, but it’s likely Roseman’s plan extends well beyond this year.
For now, the Eagles have gotten themselves out of salary cap hell. They were under for the start of the league year and these moves will allow them to fit in Nigel Bradham and Haloti Ngata. They could still use some extra room to sign more free agents and eventually pay their draft picks.
The next possible moves that would create more space would be to cut or restructure Vinny Curry’s contract. On Wednesday, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn reported the Eagles asked Curry to restructure and if he doesn’t, it might force them to release him. And Mychal Kendricks is reportedly being shopped for the 256th straight offseason. Cutting Curry would save $5 million in space and trading Kendricks would save $4.4 million.
Another option would be to offer an extension to Brandon Graham, who is entering the final year of his contract with a cap hit of $8 million, but we haven’t heard much about that recently.
It’s never boring with Roseman around.