The highest-paid Eagles in history at every position

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The highest-paid Eagles in history at every position

NFL contracts aren’t always what they appear to be.

In fact, they rarely are.

The initial contract numbers get the big headlines. As in … “Eagles sign DeMarco Murray to five-year, $40 million deal."

A year later, Murray is gone after earning $9 million and the contract disappears. 

There are two fundamental numbers when it comes to NFL contracts: How much they’re worth and how much they truly pay.

So when we set out to list the most lucrative contracts in Eagles history at each position, we figured we’d do it two ways:

1. We’ll list the most lucrative contracts at each position based on the initial total potential value of the deal.
2. We’ll also list the most actual cash Eagles players have earned on a single contract, regardless of its length and what the original value was.

Contract numbers are from NFLPA records, Spotrac and OverTheCap. All contracts are rounded to $10,000.

Make sure you’re sitting down. Some of these deals are hard to believe!


The biggest announced contract: Carson Wentz — Four years, $128 million (2019-2022)
Wentz did make just over $17 million this past year, but the big money (relatively) doesn’t start until this coming season, when he’s scheduled to pocket nearly $40 million. Interesting to note that the previous largest announced Eagles QB contract was Michael Vick’s five-year, $80 million deal from 2011, from which he earned $32.5 million in two years.

The real biggest contract: Donovan McNabb — Seven years, $51.69 million (2002-2008) 
The highest-paid quarterback in Eagles history is actually still Donovan McNabb. His 2002 deal was worth $70 million over nine years, and he played seven of those seasons and earned over $50 million before finally getting a restructure after the 2007 season.

Running back 

The biggest announced contract: DeMarco Murray — Five years, $40 million (2015-2019)
Murray only made it through one year of that blockbuster deal, pocketing $9.02 million before the Eagles shipped him to the Titans.

Ther real biggest contract: LeSean McCoy — Three years, $20.48 million (2012-2014)
McCoy is still the highest-paid running back in Eagles history. He got a five-year, $45 million deal in 2012 and made it through the first three years of the deal for just over $20 million before Chip Kelly got rid of him.

Wide receiver 

The bigger announced contract: Alshon Jeffery — Four years, $52 million (2017-2020)
The real biggest contract: Alshon Jeffery — Three years, $35.65 million (2017-2019)

Jeffery's 2017 deal is both the biggest contract in Eagles history and the biggest real contract. Jeffery so far has made over $35 million of the $52 million the original deal called for.

But interestingly, Terrell Owens' 2004 deal isn’t far behind. T.O.’s restructure was worth $48.93 million over seven years, although he only made $11.58 million before getting kicked off the team midway through the 2005 season. DeSean Jackson’s 2012 contract was worth an announced $47 million over five years, but he only earned $18 million of that before Kelly dumped him.

Tight end 

The biggest announced contract: Zach Ertz — Five years, $42.5 million (2016-2021)
The real biggest contract: Zach Ertz — Four years, $31.92 million (2016-2019)

You’d think the Eagles and Ertz would like to work out a new deal, but he’s already made more than any tight end in Eagles history.

The previous high was Brent Celek’s six-year, $29.25 million deal from 2009. Celek wound up playing five years of that deal, earning $21.596 million.


The biggest announced contract: Brandon Brooks — Five years, $56.35 million (2016-2020)
Believe it or not, Brooks’ first Eagles contract — the one he signed when he first got here in 2016 — barely beats out Shawn Andrews’ 2004 deal as the most lucrative. Andrews signed a seven-year, $41.79 million contract and played four years of it, earning $20.58 million. 

The real biggest contract: Brandon Brooks — Three years, $25.750 million (2016-2018)
Brooks has played three years of that previous contract, earning $25.75 million before signing a new five-year, $56.35 million deal last year. He’s “only” earned $9 million so far on his current contract.


The biggest announced contract: Jason Kelce — Six years, $37.5 million (2014-2019)
The real biggest contract: Jason Kelce — Three years, $24.5 million (2014-2018)

Kelce has still made slightly more on his previous contract — $25.64 million over five years — than he’s made on his current deal ($25.5 million over three years), but that will change on opening day. Whenever that is.

Offensive tackle 

The biggest announced contract: Lane Johnson — Four years, $72 million (2019-2025)
So far, Johnson has played only one year on his current deal, earning $14.10 million last year.

The real biggest contract: Tra Thomas — Six years, $29.6 million (2000-2005)
Thomas still claims the most lucrative contract for an offensive tackle in Eagles history, having played the entire six years of the deal he signed 20 years ago — before the 2000 season. Johnson is just behind him, having earned $29.08 million over the first three years of his previous deal, and Jason Peters isn’t far back with $28.87 million on the first three years of his 2014 contract.

Defensive tackle 

The biggest announced contract: Fletcher Cox — Seven years, $102.6 million (2016-2022)
The real biggest contract: Fletcher Cox — Four years, $63.4 million (2016-2019)

Nobody is close to Cox, who’s already earned nearly $65 million on the first four years of his record-setting deal, which he signed in 2016.

Defensive end 

The biggest announced contract Trent Cole — Four years, $48.525 million (2012-2015)
The largest announced contract belongs to Cole but Vinny Curry is just behind with a five-year, $47.25 million deal back in 2016.

The real biggest contract: Brandon Graham — 4 years, $26.78 million (2015-2018)
Cole earned $21 million over two years of that deal he signed in 2012, and Curry earned $18 million over two years. The most money an Eagles defensive end has actually made on one contract is the $26.78 million that Graham made over the four years of his 2015 deal. 

Outside linebacker 

The biggest announced contract: Mychal Kendricks — Four years, $29 million (2015-2018)
The real biggest contract: Mychal Kendricks, Three years, $17.033302 million (2015-2017)

As we all know, the Eagles haven’t devoted a lot of resources to linebackers, but Kendricks did earn some decent money from 2015 through 2017, the first three years of that four-year contract.

Inside linebacker 

The biggest announced contract: Nigel Bradham — Five years, $40 million (2018-2022)
Bradham only earned $11.691176 million over two years of that $40 million contract before the Eagles cut ties with him after last season.

The real biggest contract: DeMeco Ryans — Three years, $18.5 million (2012-2014)
The most money an Eagles inside linebacker made on a single contract is from a contract he didn’t even sign with the Eagles. Ryans signed a six-year, $46.8 million contract with the Texans in 2010, then was traded to the Eagles after two years. He then earned $18 ½ million over the next three years.


The biggest announced contract: Byron Maxwell — Six years, $63 million (2015-2020)
Although Nnamdi Asomugha’s five-year, $60 million deal was worth slightly more per year, Maxwell’s six-year, $63 million contract was the most expensive cornerback deal the Eagles ever wrote. Asomugha pocketed $21 million for two years of his deal and Maxwell $13.52 million for just one year’s work. Darius Slay’s restructure is worth $50.05 million over three years in new money, and before he’s played a snap he’s already earned $13 million on that deal.

The real biggest contract: Asante Samuel — Four years, $37.4 million (2008-2011)
Back in 2008, the Eagles signed Samuel to a six-year, $59.475 million contract, and he played the first four years of that deal, totaling over $37 million.  


The biggest announced contract: Malcolm Jenkins — Four years, $32.95 million (2016-2019)
The real biggest contract: Malcolm Jenkins — Four years, $32.95 million (2016-2019)

It might be a while until anybody tops Jenkins' last deal.


The biggest announced contract: Jake Elliott — Five years, $19.3081 million (2019-2023)
Elliottt won’t start realizing the big money until this coming season. So despite that $19 million number, he’s not the highest-paid Eagles kicker … yet.

The real biggest contract: David Akers — Five years, $8.79 million (2005-2008)
Yep, Akers is still the highest-paid Eagles kicker ever, even though he hasn’t been here in a decade. He played four of the five years on that deal, earning about $6.55 million.


The biggest announced contract: Donnie Jones — Three years, $5.5 million (2016-2018)
The real biggest contract: Donnie Jones — Two years, $4 million (2016-2017)

Jones still has highest-paid honors, but only until — presumably — the Eagles sign Cameron Johnston to his next contract. 

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Eagles bringing back veteran DE Vinny Curry on a 1-year deal

Eagles bringing back veteran DE Vinny Curry on a 1-year deal

The Eagles are bringing back a familiar face to bolster their defensive line depth, signing Vinny Curry to a one-year deal, sources confirm to NBC Sports Philadelphia. 

Curry, 32, played in all 16 games last season with two starts and finished the season with five sacks. Curry also had 27 tackles, 5 TFLs and 12 QB hits last season. 

Curry’s one-year deal is worth up to $2 million, with $1.3 million guaranteed, a source confirmed. NFL Network first reported the news. Curry was also weighing an offer from the Browns, according to our own Derrick Gunn. 

That 5-sack total was the second-highest in his career and the most he had in a single season since 2014, when he had 9.0. 

With Curry back in the mix, the Eagles will go into 2020 with Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett as their starters at DE. Curry and Josh Sweat will be the primary rotational players. And then we’ll see which players out of Genard Avery, Shareef Miller, Joe Ostman and Casey Toohill make the roster. 

Curry was a 2nd-round pick out of Marshall back in 2012 and while he’s never really lived up to that draft status, he’s put in a lot of solid seasons in an Eagles uniform. After the 2017 season, he cashed in on a big deal with the Buccaneers but lasted just one year in Tampa Bay. Curry signed a one-year deal with the Eagles for the 2019 season too. 

While Graham and Barnett led the way in snaps for the Eagles last year with 791 and 712, respectively, Curry was next with 397 snaps. He played more than Sweat. 

We’ll also see what this means for Malik Jackson. The Eagles’ defensive tackle has the ability to play defensive end and likely would have if the Eagles needed depth there. But signing Curry might take care of that. 

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Detailing Jason Peters’ bargain 1-year deal with the Eagles

Detailing Jason Peters’ bargain 1-year deal with the Eagles

The Eagles brought back Jason Peters last month and will start the nine-time Pro Bowl tackle at right guard in the 2020 season, replacing the injured Brandon Brooks. 

Peters, 38, signed a one-year deal to return to the Eagles and now we have all the details on that contract. 

Peters’ one-year deal includes $3 million guaranteed but can be worth up to $6 million, according to a league source. Peters’ salary cap hit in 2020 is $3 million. 

Here’s how his contract breaks down in 2020, according to a source: 

Base salary: $1.8 million 
Signing bonus: $1 million 
Per-game roster bonus: $200,000 total 

In addition to that, his contract also includes $3 million in incentives for playing time, Super Bowl, All-Pro and Pro Bowl in different combinations. Since Peters didn’t accomplish those things last year, all of those are considered to be “Not Likely To Be Earned” incentives, which is why they don’t count against the cap. 

Getting Peters at a $3 million cap hit is a bargain. His renegotiated one-year contract in 2019 came with a base salary of $3.5 million and a cap hit of $8.67 million. His $3 million cap hit in 2020 is his lowest cap hit since the 2007 season, his fourth year in the NFL, when he was still with the Bills. According to OverTheCap, there are 18 right guards around the league with higher cap hits in 2020. 

With Peters’ cap number known and after removing Marquise Goodwin — Goodwin opted out of the 2020 season — to replace him with the 52nd highest paid player (the top 51 count for cap purposes), the Eagles have $23,804,112 in cap space for the 2020 season. 

But before you get visions of Jadeveon Clowney or another high-priced free agent still available, you have to remember that the Eagles probably need to carry this cap amount into next season. 

Last week, when I looked at the 2021 cap situation, I estimated by carrying over $23 million and it looks like I was pretty close. Even with carrying over that much, the Eagles are still nearly $60 million over the salary cap if it hits the floor of $175 million in 2021. It could be higher, but that’s the floor based on the expected revenue drop this season. 

So the Eagles will need to carry over all (or at least most) of their cap space in 2020 into 2021. Getting Peters for a bargain this season will only help. 

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More on the Eagles