Eagles

How Howie Roseman made $47 million disappear

How Howie Roseman made $47 million disappear

Remember when the Eagles were in cap trouble? 

Ha! 

Come on. This is Howie Roseman running the show. 

We should know by now there’s no such thing as cap trouble.

A little over a month ago, the Eagles were $19 million over their projected 2019 cap figure, as my colleague Dave Zangaro wrote (see story).

They had until the start of the official league year in mid-March to become cap compliant, and not only have they done that, they’ve cleared so much space that they now have one of the best cap situations in the NFL.

Through a series of moves — contract restructures, player releases, disappearing years in new deals — the Eagles have gone from $19 million over the cap to more than $24 million under the cap.

To be exact, the Eagles have $24,190,641 available under their adjusted 2019 cap figure of $197,508,046.

That’s the 11th most currently in the NFL and most among NFC East teams. The Cowboys have $19.1 million, the Redskins $12.8 million and the Giants $10.9 million.

The Eagles’ adjusted cap figure is higher than the NFL salary cap figure of $188,200 because the Eagles carried over $6,101,096 in cap space from 2018 to go with $3,206,950 in cap adjustments.

Add the $6.1 million, $3.2 million and $188.2 million and you get the Eagles’ 2019 cap figure of roughly $197.5 million.

Just by cutting ties with Tim Jernigan, Stefen Wisniewski and Nick Foles, trading Michael Bennett and restructuring Nigel Bradham and Rodney McLeod, the Eagles cleared out over $47 million in cap commitments. 

Additionally, Roseman was able to structure new contracts so the 2019 cap hits were manageable. 

DeSean Jackson’s cap hit this year is only $3.16 million, Malik Jackson’s is $2.8 million, Ronald Darby’s is $2.83 million and Brandon Graham’s is $3.5 million.

If the Eagles want to get a Carson Wentz deal done? They could easily do it today.

Like most teams, a huge chunk of the Eagles’ salary cap is allocated to a small number of players. Their top nine cap figures add up to $95.6 million — more than half of the $173 million the Eagles currently are on the books for.

When looking at the figures below, remember that during the offseason only the 51 highest cap figures on a team’s roster count against the cap. 

The Eagles have over $12½ million in dead money currently counting against their cap, about half of it from releasing Jernigan. 

Why are some players currently on the roster also on the list of dead money? Because if a player is released and then re-signed, his dead money from his original signing bonus still counts against the cap. 

League-wide, the Colts ($74.7 million), 49ers ($37.3 million), Browns ($35.4 million), Bills ($33.1 million) and Titans ($31.2 million) have the most cap space as of Wednesday.

Here is a look at the current salary cap figure of everybody on the Eagles’ roster:

$14,725,000 … Alshon Jeffery
$12,047,500 … Zach Ertz
$11,978,397 … Brandon Brooks
$11,902,000 … Fletcher Cox
$11,387,000 … Malcolm Jenkins
$  9,387,000 … Nelson Agholor
$  8,666,668 … Jason Peters
$  8,487,926 … Carson Wentz
$  7,056,206 … Lane Johnson
$  4.843,750 … Rodney McLeod
$  4,635,000 … Nigel Bradham
$  3,933,333 … Chris Long
$  3,504,815 … Derek Barnett
$  3,500,000 … Brandon Graham
$  3,164,000 … DeSean Jackson
$  3,095,000 … Nate Sudfeld
$  2,825,000 … Ronald Darby
$  2,800,000 … Malik Jackson
$  2,444,000 … Jason Kelce
$  2,187,500 … Vinny Curry
$  2,081,281 … Halapoulivaati Vaitai
$  2,039,214 … Jalen Mills
$  1,739,966 … Isaac Seumalo
$  1,674,564 … Sidney Jones
$  1,410,416 … L.J. Fort
$  1,300,000 … Andrew Sendejo
$  1,278,246 … Dallas Goedert
$     846,572 … Rasul Douglas
$     803,917 … Mack Hollins
$     781,145 … Wendell Smallwood
$     726,478 … Avonte Maddox
$     720,000 … Tyreek Burwell
$     720,000 … Kamu Grugger-Hill
$     720,000 … Deiondre’ Hall
$     720,000 … Josh Hawkins 
$     720,000 … Cre’von LeBlanc
$     720,000 … Rick Lovato
$     720,000 … Will Tye 
$     719,398 … Josh Sweat
$     709,312 … Shelton Gibson
$     648,334 … Corey Clement
$     645,000 … B.J. Bellow
$     645,000 … Jake Elliott
$     645,000 … Anthony Fabiano 
$     645,000 … Nate Gerry
$     645,000 … Daeshon Hall
$     645,000 … Treyvon Hester
$     645,000 … Johnny Holton
$     645,000 … Braxton Miller
$     645,000 … Josh Perkins
$     645,000 … Paul Worrilow
$     603,196 … Matt Pryor
$     592,348 … Jordan Mailata
$     570,000 … Josh Adams
$     570,000 … Carlton Agudosi
$     570,000 … Bruce Hector
$     570,000 … Kaleb Johnson
$     570,000 … Boston Scott
$     570,000 … Chandon Sullivan
$     570,000 … Tre’ Sullivan 
$     510,000 … Joe Ostman
$     497,500 … Alex Singleton
$     495,000 … Asantay Brown
$     495,000 … Michael Marken
$     495,000 … Mercy Masto
$     495,000 … Jeremiah McKinnon
$     495,000 … Dorren Miller
$     495,000 … Donnel Pumphrey
$     494,380 … Cameron Johnson

Here’s a list of all the players whose dead money counts against the Eagles’ 2019 cap: 

$  6,000,000 … Tim Jernigan
$  2,800,000 … Nick Foles
$  1,600,000 … Mychal Kendricks
$  1,200,000 … Michael Bennett
$     708,334 … Stefen Wisniewski
$     287,944 … Donnel Pumphrey
$       63,606 … Elijah Qualls
$       16,667 … Josh Adams
$       15,034 … Joe Walker
$       10,667 … Chandon Sullivan
$       10,000 … Bryce Treggs
$       10,000 … Billy Brown
$         6,667 … Joe Ostman
$         6,667 … Jeremy Reaves
$         6,667 … Toby Weathersby
$         5,000 … Aaron Evans
$         3,750 … Greg Ward
$         3,334 … Asantay Brown
$         3,334 … Bruce Hector 
$         1,667 … Ryan Neal
$         1,667 … Ian Park
$         1,250 … Adam Zaruba
$            668 … Randall Goforth

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Are the 2019 Eagles better or worse at linebacker?

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Are the 2019 Eagles better or worse at linebacker?

The Eagles let a promising-yet-oft-injured potential star walk in the offseason, though the team was not idle, adding two quality players to mix. Will the linebackers be better off as a result in 2019?

Key additions: L.J. Fort (free agent, Steelers), Zach Brown (free agent, Redskins) 

Key departures: Jordan Hicks (free agent, Cardinals)

Why they could be better: Depth

Last summer, the battle for the Eagles’ third linebacker job was between Kamu Grugier-Hill and Nate Gerry, neither of whom played much up to that point, and Corey Nelson, who didn’t even make the team. Grugier-Hill and Gerry are still in the mix here, though the competition for spots two through seven behind Nigel Bradham will be much stiffer.

Jordan Hicks’ departure does create another hole in the starting lineup, one likely to be filled by either L.J. Fort, Zach Brown or Grugier-Hill. But that trio all bring experience to the table — Brown has been to a Pro Bowl — plus Paul Worrilow returns from a torn ACL, offering another veteran presence. Gerry got some opportunities last year, and even he’ll be pushed by CFL star Alex Singleton and undrafted rookie/ All-American T.J. Edwards. How much deeper is this group? In 2018, the guys behind LB4 Gerry were all exclusively special teamers.

Why they could be worse: Down a playmaker

How much will the Eagles miss Hicks? Hard to say. They won a Super Bowl without him in 2017, and after missing more time last season, he eventually returned to find Bradham had taken over as the defense’s No. 1 linebacker. Can’t blame the club for its unwillingness to match $36 million over four years for somebody who’s injured so frequently.

That being said, there’s no denying Hicks seemingly has a nose for the football. He played only 43 games over four seasons, yet managed to amass 19 pass breakups, 7 interceptions, 5.0 sacks, 1 forced fumble, six fumble recoveries and 12 tackles for loss. Only a small handful of players even come close to matching that big play production during the same span – none with at least as many of each, and all in at least 10 more games. When he’s on the field, Hicks is a difference-maker, an ability as difficult to replace as it can be to quantify.

The X-factor: Who takes Hicks’ spot?

It was kind of surprising Brown was still on the street in May. Sure, he turns 30 this year, coming off a season in which he lost his starting job in Washington and is nowhere near the impact player he was earlier in his career. He still posted over 200 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 22 tackles for loss over the last two years.

Brown may be best suited for LB3 snaps in the Eagles’ defense. There’s not a lot of blitzing, minimizing one of his best attributes of rushing the passer, and as he’s aged, his coverage ability has seemingly diminished. Yet, he’s still stout against the run, and who else is it going to be? This could wind up becoming more of a platoon role, with Brown seeing first- and second-down snaps, then either Fort or Grugier-Hill in the nickel. There’s potential in such an arrangement. The question is whether opponents will be able to attack the shortcomings of Hicks’ part-time replacements.

Are the Eagles’ linebackers better or worse?

There’s a chance the Eagles let a special one go in Hicks, but the bottom line is he’s seldom available anyway — an issue that issue dates back to college, by the way. On paper, you probably take Hicks over the field, including Bradham. However, in reality, having a bunch of competent, experienced players who will actually be in uniform might be the safer route at this point. BETTER

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The real reason this Kansas City radio host's attack on Andy Reid was out of line

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The real reason this Kansas City radio host's attack on Andy Reid was out of line

I get why people are so outraged by the comments made Monday by a Kansas City radio host who linked Tyreek Hill’s off-the-field issues with the death seven years ago of Andy Reid’s son Garrett.

The guy tried to make a case that Big Red’s inability to be a strict disciplinarian as both a parent and a coach was responsible for both. 

“It did not work out particularly well in his family life,“ is what Kevin Kietzman of Sports Radio 810 WHB said. “He’s had a lot of things go bad on him, family and players. He is not good at fixing people. He is not good at discipline.”

Of course, these sort of remarks are irresponsible, hurtful and off-base. But you consider the source and they're probably not all that surprising.

And let's be honest. We all understand you don’t record the eighth-most wins of any NFL head coach in history and the seventh-most playoff wins without being able to discipline players when it’s necessary. We’ve all seen coaches who truly are bad at this stuff, and they don’t have three losing seasons in 20 years. They don’t last three years.

So yeah, this isn’t about that. Andy doesn’t need to be defended. Not about this.

And outrage distracts us from the real point. The real shame of Kietzman’s comments is that he connects a lack of discipline with heroin addiction.

Garrett Reid, Andy’s oldest son, died during training camp in Bethlehem seven years ago from a heroin overdose after a long battle with addiction, and the notion that his death somehow was the result of his father not disciplining him enough shows such a lack of understanding of addiction and substance abuse.

Addiction is a mental health disorder. It’s a disease.

It’s not a weakness. It’s not a character flaw. It’s not a lack of discipline.

Treatment can help, but it’s a long and difficult process. The changes substance abuse cause in a person’s brain, the addictive traits of heroin and other opioids, make recovery difficult and in some cases impossible.

Garrett was a good kid, a smart kid, and he and his family battled his addiction for years.

Here’s part of Andy’s statement the evening Garrett died:

“We understood that Garrett's long-standing battle with addiction was going to be difficult. He will, however, always have our family's love and respect for the courage he showed in trying to overcome it.”

This guy doesn’t know Andy and the battle he and his family fought to try and help Garrett through that battle.

Addiction and substance abuse have become such an epidemic in our communities. Big city. Small town. Everywhere. All of us know someone who’s lost a family member. All of us have either directly or indirectly felt that pain.

What Kietzman said is wrong in so many ways, but worst of all is how he trivializes addiction by implying that a little parental discipline would have saved Garrett Reid’s life.

This was a horrible thing to say for a lot of reasons, and it’s been nice to see so many of Andy’s former players rallying behind him on social media.

No parents should have to go through what Andy and his family went through seven summers ago at Lehigh. No parents should have to go through this either.

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