Howie Roseman not as concerned with Eagles' salary cap as you

Howie Roseman not as concerned with Eagles' salary cap as you

INDIANAPOLIS — When you win a Super Bowl in storybook fashion, you want to keep everyone involved. Unfortunately, the NFL is nonfiction and what you want oftentimes pales to the reality of real-world stuff like free agency, salary caps, age and injury. And in assistant coaches cases, promotions. People leave, that's life. 

So Howie Roseman is in a tricky spot. Trying to balance hanging on to a core of players who achieved the ultimate in their sport and had great chemistry while also being excellent teammates.

"It's hard to avoid looking at those guys, guys who have done unbelievable things for your team and have great character and separating it from what we need to do going forward," Roseman said Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine.

Something's gotta give, though. The Eagles are over the projected salary cap and have some decisions to make not only on players who are free agents but ones under contract as well.

Nigel Bradham, Trey Burton, Patrick Robinson and LeGarrette Blount are among the free agents.

Jason Peters will play at 36 coming off a major injury. Brandon Graham has one year left on his deal but wants a new contract. Brent Celek is the longest tenured Philadelphia athlete but he's a third-stringer who's played 11 seasons and is scheduled to make $4 million in 2018.

On Wednesday at the combine, Roseman made it a point to let everyone know cap restrictions will not dictate his approach.

"We're not on short sale, we're comfortable with our roster, our flexibility to make moves we have to make," Roseman said. "We are not going to make decisions, get rid of good players because of our cap situation." 

Balancing the books is Roseman's wheelhouse, so while things may look bleak on that front now, he's been quite creative in the past in maintaining while also filling out roster needs. But this offseason is a little more tricky than years past. Who will stay? Who will go? Only Howie knows.

Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

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Eagles' Super Bowl odds changed by free agency

The Eagles pulled off trades and signed a few free agents after the new league year began on March 14 ... and it's shortened their Super Bowl odds. 

The Eagles' odds to win Super Bowl LIII improved from 9/1 to 17/2 between Feb. 5 and March 22, according to Bovada. Despite beating them in Super Bowl LII less than two months ago, the Eagles still trail the Patriots, who stood pat at 5/1. 

Here's the full top 10: 

1. Patriots: 5/1
2. Eagles: 17/2
3. Vikings: 9/1
4. Steelers: 12/1
5. Packers: 14/1
5. Rams: 14/1
7. Saints: 18/1
8. Falcons: 20/1
9. Texans: 22/1
9. Jaguars: 22/1
9. Raiders: 22/1

As for the rest of the teams in the NFC East, the next closest to the Eagles are the Cowboys, but their inactivity this offseason gave them longer odds, going from 18/1 to 28/1. The Giants' odds stayed at 50/1, while the Redskins' odds went from 50/1 to 66/1. 

And here's a fun prop bet: The over/under for Michael Bennett sacks in 2018 is set at 8. Last season, he had 8½ with the Seahawks. Now, he's playing on a dynamic defensive line but also figures to play less because of the Eagles' rotation.

Chris Long hints at decision on whether to return to Eagles

Chris Long hints at decision on whether to return to Eagles

It seems like Chris Long is going to be back with the Eagles in 2018 — at least he’s leaning that way. 

The Eagles gave Long a significant raise for next season, increasing his base salary from $1 million non-guaranteed to $2½ million guaranteed, but Long was still reportedly thinking about walking away (see story)

After all, money probably isn’t going to be the only deciding factor for a guy who gave all of his salary away last season. 

But after less than a day of speculation, Long’s Waterboys charity had an event in St. Louis on Wednesday night and the veteran defensive end was asked about his future in the NFL. 

“For me, at my age, every year is important to make a decision and to take self-inventory,” Long said. “Is your body there, is your mind in it, do you have the passion? Because it takes a lot. For me, every year I’m one year at a time from here on out. For however long I play. Philly’s been awesome, like I said. They kind of adopted me like family, so that definitely factors into everything. The chance to repeat. 

“I’m still supposedly mulling it over, but I’m leaning on going back and playing. So yeah. I mean, I hadn’t even answered any questions about that, but there you go.”

Here’s the video, clipped by Bleeding Green Nation, to hear Long say it for himself: 

Long will turn 33 on March 28 and clearly has plenty going on outside of football, so it wouldn’t be shocking if the former first-round pick decided to walk away. But if he did, the Eagles would clearly miss him. 

During the 2017 season, Long picked up five sacks in a limited role and helped the Eagles win Super Bowl LII, a year after helping the Patriots win Super Bowl LI. If Long does indeed return to the Eagles this season, he has a chance to make it three in a row.