Eagles

Most likely to least likely top 5 Eagles salary cap casualties

Most likely to least likely top 5 Eagles salary cap casualties

Thanks to the nearly $8 million of salary cap carryover from the 2016 season, the Eagles have just under $11 million in salary cap room to work with this season. Among that, about $4.5 million needs to go to rookies in 2017. 

So the Eagles might need to get creative. 

“Yeah, it's unusual, certainly since I've been here, to have a more challenging situation,” vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said after the season ended in January. “But part of our job in the front office is to look at this over a long period of time. So as we sit here today, it isn't like the first time that we are looking at that situation, and we'll do whatever's best for the football team.”

What's best for the football team this offseason might be to release some veterans with big contracts in order to free up some cap space.  

Here's a look at five guys who cutting would save the team $28.45 million in cap space. The list goes from most likely to least likely: 

Ryan Mathews
To me, this one is a no-brainer. Mathews is 29 and will turn 30 during the 2017 season and is now coming back from a significant neck injury he suffered late this season. When healthy in Philly, Mathews was actually a good running back, but he had trouble staying healthy, which has been a problem throughout his career. 

Looking at the money, Mathews is set to have a $5 million cap hit in 2017, the final year of the three-year deal he signed with the Eagles before the 2015 season. The Eagles would save his entire base salary ($4 million) by cutting him. 

The Eagles will need to find someone to replace Mathews as their bell cow back, but that's exactly what they should do. 

Connor Barwin
Barwin, 30, has said he's willing to take a pay cut to remain with the Eagles, but it would probably have to be a really big pay cut. He just wasn't productive enough in the new defense and still seems like a better fit in a 3-4 defense. 

It's a shame that the team will probably part with Barwin, because he's a great guy who does a ton of incredible charity work within the city. But football is a business and the numbers dictate a lot of moves. Barwin is set to have a cap hit of $8.35 million in 2017 and the Eagles can save $7.75 million by cutting him. 

Leodis McKelvin
McKelvin's first season with the Eagles didn't go as well as anyone would have hoped. He suffered a hamstring injury early in the year and it never went away. And then his play wasn't great either. It was a season of ups and downs for the veteran but too often he was on the wrong side of a big play. 

McKelvin, 31, is set to have a cap hit of $3.45 million in 2017 and the Eagles can save $3.2 million if they cut him. 

The only chance is if Jim Schwartz really goes to bat for his player and the Eagles really think that hamstring was to blame for his subpar play. 

Jason Kelce
Kelce, 29, is coming off his second-career Pro Bowl, but even he wouldn't try to convince anyone he had a Pro Bowl season. In fact, he said earlier in the year that he needed to play better or would become expendable. 

While Kelce wasn't great in 2016, he wasn't terrible either and he probably played better than most people realize. If nothing else, he would be a constant for Carson Wentz as the quarterback enters his second NFL season. 

Kelce is set to have a $6.2 million cap hit in 2017, which isn't awful. But the Eagles would save $3.8 million if they decided to cut him. 

Jason Peters 
I don't think this one is happening, but it's at least worth talking about. At 35, Peters at left tackle and Lane Johnson at right tackle is still probably the best offensive line the Eagles can put together. But Peters is expensive. After hitting another Pro Bowl escalator in 2016, his 2017 salary cap number is $11.7 million, which means the Eagles would save $9.7 million if they cut him. 

Nearly $10 million in cap savings would be a huge deal, but then they'd have to find a player to spend it on and they might not get as good a return than if they just stick with Peters. 

Forbes' highest-paid athletes list highlights Carson Wentz's lucrative year

Forbes' highest-paid athletes list highlights Carson Wentz's lucrative year

Forbes released its annual list of the highest-paid professional athletes in the world earlier this month, and a surprising name popped up on the list: Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Considering Wentz signed a four-year, $128 million contract last summer that currently ranks sixth among all NFL players in average annual salary, it was odd to see Wentz as the second-highest-paid football player on the list, behind only Kirk Cousins at No. 9.

It's not like Wentz is raking in money from some astronomical contract, so what gives?

It turns out, Wentz's place on the list is thanks in large part to perfect timing.

Forbes' list takes into account all earnings, winnings, and endorsements between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020, which helps Wentz's numbers enormously: he signed his current deal with the Eagles on June 6, 2019, and earned a $16.3 million signing bonus.

On top of that, Wentz was paid a sizable $30 million player option this past March.

While both the signing bonus and the player option are spread out across multiple years against the Eagles' cap, Wentz was awarded both figures in one-time payments. Very, very big one-time payments.

When you add that $46.3 million to his base salary ($1.38 million) and his roster bonus ($8 million), and then you tack on roughly $4 million in endorsements, you arrive at Forbes' estimation that Wentz brought in $59.1 million between June 1, 2019, and June 1, 2020.

That'll buy a lot of diapers!

Forbes notes that Wentz has endorsement deals with Nike, NRG, Bobcat, Amazon, Sanford Health, Bose, Scheels and BlackRidge Bank.

Tennis legend Roger Federer ($106.3 million), soccer legend Cristiano Ronaldo ($105 million), and soccer legend Lionel Messi ($104 million) took the top three spots on the list.

We probably won't see Wentz back here any time soon.

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles

Chris Long was moved by Carson Wentz’s tweet about George Floyd

usa-chris-long-eagles.jpg
USA Today Images

Chris Long was moved by Carson Wentz’s tweet about George Floyd

Chris Long was moved on Thursday night when his former teammate Carson Wentz posted a tweet calling out “institutional racism” in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. 

Long, who was Wentz’s teammate for two seasons, has been on the forefront of social and racial issues for years. But it was certainly noteworthy to see the Eagles’ franchise quarterback speak up. 

On his podcast, The Green Light, Long was joined by Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and one topic the two discussed was the role of white coaches, athletes and influencers in subjects like racial inequality and injustice. 

Even Long admitted he sometimes finds himself “tiptoeing” on these subjects but he said Wentz’s public statement gave him chills. 

It think that’s something white players, white coaches, influencers, should hear. I just had this conversation with Carson Wentz. I shared with you that tweet. I was very moved by that. You heard Shannon Sharpe talk about that this week. He said, ‘Who’s gonna step up? We need Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers. It’s great that we’ve got X, Y, Zs of the world but we need the big-name quarterbacks’ and that sort of thing. 

“So to see that happen and [Wentz] said ‘institutional racism.’ He typed those words out. That was really important to me. I got chills thinking about it. It’s so bare minimum, but that’s all we need. We just need guys to address it.

In addition to Wentz, Zach Ertz and Julie Ertz also tweeted a statement about Floyd on Thursday evening. 

Here’s the clip of Sharpe that Long referenced: 

Kerr was a particularly well-timed guest for Long’s podcast. The former NBA player and Warriors head coach has also been very outspoken on social issues, especially ones of racial injustice. The two discussed the importance of white people of influence raising their voices. Kerr spoke about finding a next step beyond public statements. 

Kerr said he typically reaches out to his friends immersed in the battle for racial equality and Long said he texted Malcolm Jenkins at 10:07 p.m. on Thursday night to ask what he can do to help. 

“I understand to a degree why some guys don’t (speak out),” Long said. “Because it’s a minefield.” 

He seems very proud of Wentz for doing so. 

Subscribe and rate the Eagle Eye podcast:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Stitcher / Spotify / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Eagles