The Eagles brought back tight end Richard Rodgers on a one-year deal last week and it’s quite a bargain.
The 29-year-old’s one-year deal is worth $1,027,500 but carries a lower cap hit as a veteran salary benefit deal, according to a league source.
Here are some details of his deal:
Base salary: $990K
Cap hit: $887,500
Total value: $1,027,500
Roster bonus: $37,500
Veteran salary benefit deals are designed to get teams to sign veterans instead of younger and cheaper players. That’s why Rodgers’ veteran minimum base salary is actually more than his cap hit in 2021.
Rodgers’ incentives for playing time and receiving yards are “not likely to be earned,” which simply means he didn’t reach those targets last year.
While the rest of the Eagles’ offense was in tatters in 2020, Rodgers had a bounce-back season. In 2018 and 2019 with the Eagles, he played in just 8 games and had 1 catch for 7 yards. But in 2020, he caught 24 passes for 345 yards and 2 touchdowns. Still, he’s getting paid just veteran minimum.
Rodgers was the Eagles’ fifth-leading receiver and was 30th in the NFL in receiving yards among tight ends, just ahead of Zach Ertz at No. 31.
By comparison, this new deal makes Rodgers the 71st highest-paid tight end, according to OverTheCap.
Right now, Rodgers is technically the third tight end on the Eagles’ depth chart behind Ertz and Dallas Goedert, but there’s still a very high likelihood Ertz won’t be on the team by the start of the season. That will bump Rodgers up to second on the depth chart with Jack Stoll, Caleb Wilson, Tyree Jackson, Jason Croom and Hakeem Butler battling it out for the third spot, either on the active roster of the practice squad.
Bringing Rodgers back made plenty of sense for the Eagles. He doesn’t offer much as an in-line blocker but he has good hands and can make plays as a receiver. And if the Eagles do deal Ertz, they needed another tight end outside of Goedert with some kind of experience.
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