We answered half of your questions in the first mailbag this week (see story).
But there are plenty more to go.
With free agency just around the corner, let's not waste any time jumping into today's questions:
@CSNPhilly any way they can restructure Barwin's contract. He says he would take pay cut. We need to keep true Eagles!— Dicky P (@rmpugliese) February 21, 2017
I don't think so.
Yeah, moving on from Connor Barwin is going to be tough. He's a great guy and has been a tremendous asset in the community. His foundation is amazing. But on the field, his production dropped while his price tag soared. That's a problem.
Barwin has said publicly that he'd be willing to take a pay cut to stay in Philly. He's a smart guy and knew there's no way the Eagles are going to keep him around with an $8.35 million cap hit, especially when they can save $7.75 million of that if they cut him. ... So maybe they would keep him at a reduced rate. There's logic in that, but it's time to move on. I don't think Barwin would really want to stay for the pay cut it would probably take.
Right now, Barwin is blocking Vinny Curry from seeing significant playing time. And while Curry didn't have a good year in 2016, he's getting paid a lot, so it's time to see if he can live up to that contract.
And for Barwin, while he loves Philly and has made this his home, he deserves to be in a defense that fits him better.
when do you expect the eagles to make more cuts— Daniel Tashman (@Tashyy_906_) February 21, 2017
I'm a little surprised more haven't come already. To me, this likely means the Eagles are trying to exhaust any trade options first. Why cut a guy if you can get some kind of return, even a late-round or conditional pick?
There's no real harm in waiting right now, and maybe the team will find a trade partner for one of their players on the chopping block.
If there was an expansion draft and the Eagles could only protect 5 guys, which 5 guys would you protect?— Drew (@DrewTweetsNow) February 21, 2017
I always like these hypotheticals from Drew. Basically, I'd keep the youngest and most-talented players:
Carson Wentz, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson, Jordan Hicks, Malcolm Jenkins.
Wentz, Cox and Johnson were pretty easy. Then I really struggled. Jenkins is the oldest guy on the list, but he's so important to the team. I left off Brandon Graham and Zach Ertz and Brandon Brooks and Jordan Matthews, which I'm not so sure about. This was harder than I anticipated.
Will A.Barbre be ready to play in the fall?— (((@peacebw/u🆘️))) (@lbridges1212) February 21, 2017
I guess you're talking about Allen Barbre's hamstring injury. Yeah, barring something I don't know about, he should be completely healed and ready to go.
Here's something to think about, though: Barbre will be 33 when the 2017 season starts and I wouldn't put him down in pen as the starter at left guard next year. If Jason Kelce is still on the team, he'll be the center, but why not let Isaac Seumalo battle for the left guard job?
If Seumalo wins the spot, then Barbre is still a relatively inexpensive and really good backup option.
Are people underestimating how important Jason Kelce is in calling the protections at the line?— Eagles [2019 NFC East Champs] Monkey (@EaglesMonkey) February 21, 2017
I honestly think Jason Kelce is better than most fans in this city think. People see him get blown up a few times in a year — really blown up — and think he's an awful player. He's not. No, he can't go 1-on-1 with nose tackles, but he's still great at getting downfield and into the second level.
And then there's the importance of the center. I don't know exactly how important he is in terms of calling the shots on the line, but he didn't miss a single snap in 2016. I know cutting or trading Kelce would save significant cap space, but I wouldn't do it. The Eagles have shown they'll do whatever it takes to develop Wentz; I think keeping his veteran center for a second year would help.