Last week, ESPN reported that the Eagles restructured Fletcher Cox’s contract and now we have the full details.
The Eagles converted just over $7.1 million of Cox’s 2020 base salary into per-game roster bonuses, according to a source. Those roster bonuses act like a signing bonus for salary cap purposes.
So with the move, the Eagles ended up saving around $5.7 million in cap space for the 2020 season. Cox’s previous cap hit was $22,847,000 and his current cap hit is $17,120,413.
After this restructure, the Eagles have $22,937,081 in cap room in the 2020 season.
While you probably noticed the Eagles restructured this contract just before the trade deadline, I wouldn’t read too much into that. The Eagles already had plenty of cap space to fit in a player if they wanted to for this year. Instead, look at this as a way to clear space to carry it over into next season, when the Eagles are in a more precarious situation with their salary cap.
Converting base salary to bonus money is a pretty common practice in the NFL, especially with the Eagles. Cox’s base salary went from $11.2 million down to $1.05 million for the rest of the season (he already got five game checks before the restructure). In a way, this is a kick-the-can method, but traditionally salary caps rise over time.
The Eagles also added on an extra dummy year to Cox’s contract to spread out that bonus money. The longest they can go with dummy years is five, so technically Cox’s contract now runs through 2024 but the last two years aren’t real.
Here’s a look at the salary cap figures on the remaining years of Cox’s contract, after and before the restructure:
2020: $17.1M / $22.9M
2021: $23.9M /$22.5M
2022: $23.8M / 22.3M
2023: $5.0M / $3.6M
2024: $1.4M / $0