The Eagles are in awfully good shape this year, sitting at 10-2 with four games left. Just as importantly, they’re in pretty good for the future, as well.
In fact, you can make a case that they’re better positioned for the future than any other NFL team.
Thank Howie Roseman for that.
With Alshon Jeffery signing a four-year contract extension last weekend, the Eagles now have 19 players under contract through the 2020 season. That means at least three more years with the current nucleus that's been so impressive so far this year.
No other NFL team has more players signed for the next three years. The Browns and Redskins are close. Both have 18 players signed or with a team option through 2020, but both also have very serious quarterback questions.
The Browns haven’t been settled at quarterback since the days of Bernie Kosar, and the Redskins still don’t have Kirk Cousins under contract beyond this season. Carson Wentz is under contract through only 2019 under the terms of his four-year rookie deal, but it’s only a matter of time before Roseman has him locked up long-term.
The Eagles also have 32 players signed through 2019 and 44 through next year.
Among those signed through 2020 are the hearts of both lines: Lane Johnson, Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks on the O-line; and Fletcher Cox, Tim Jernigan, Vinny Curry, Chris Long and Derek Barnett on the D-line.
Also locked up for at least the next three years behind this season are key guys such as Jeffery (2021), Zach Ertz (2021), Malcolm Jenkins (2020), Rodney McLeod (2020), Sidney Jones (2020) and Rasul Douglas (2020).
Since his return from Chip Kelly exile nearly two years ago now, Roseman has done a masterful job of navigating through salary cap challenges to re-sign key players to long-term deals while trading away undervalued assets to clear cap space.
Right now, the only starters due to hit free agency after this season are LeGarrette Blount, Patrick Robinson and Nigel Bradham. Blount and Robinson have both been very good, but both are in their 30s and play positions where the Eagles are very deep, so the Eagles could certainly move on from both.
Bradham, now in his second year here, most likely will be one of the Eagles' top offseason priorities.
Also up are guys like Trey Burton, Kenjon Barner, Corey Graham, Jaylen Watkins and Beau Allen. That group falls into the category of contributors the Eagles value but who are ultimately replaceable depending on their contract demands.
Kicker Caleb Sturgis, who has been very good since replacing Cody Parkey, is also up but Doug Pederson has already said the team plans to let him go via free agency and retain Jake Elliott.
Darren Sproles, who has spent the last few days with the team in Los Angeles, is also scheduled to become a free agent. That's a complicated situation because as popular and productive as he's been, he's 34, he's currently rehabbing, and he plays a position that's very crowded right now.
The Eagles currently have just over $5 million available under their adjusted 2017 cap figure of $174,933,869, according to Spotrac.com, which tracks NFL salaries, contracts and cap figures.
They're also already over their projected 2018 and 2019 cap figures, according to Spotrac. So there's no question they'll have some difficult decisions looming over the next couple offseasons.
This is why it's so important to draft well. When you're forced to cut ties with proven veterans because of cap issues, you need younger players to capably replace them.
That all sounds alarming, but Roseman has proven to be adept at juggling contracts, restructuring deals and shuffling the roster to create cap space, and the addition of Joe Douglas to the scouting department seems to have made a difference when it comes to talent evaluation and acquisition.
Here's a look at the Eagles' current roster and how long each player is signed for:
Signed through 2017 (14)
Signed through 2018 (12)
Signed through through 2019 (13)
Signed through through 2020 (12)
Nick Foles (club option in 2019 and 2020)
Signed through through 2021 (6)
Derek Barnett (club option in 2021)
Signed through through 2022 (1)