Eagles cap space

How Howie Roseman made $47 million disappear

How Howie Roseman made $47 million disappear

Remember when the Eagles were in cap trouble? 


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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More on the Eagles

NFL salary cap set, a look at Eagles' situation in 2017

NFL salary cap set, a look at Eagles' situation in 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- We’re starting to get a clearer idea of what the Eagles’ salary cap situation will look like when free agency opens at 4 p.m. on March 9. 

On Wednesday morning, the NFL’s 2017 salary cap was officially set at $167 million, a significant increase from last year, but a little on the lower side of what was expected. 

With their salary cap carryover from 2016 ($7,933,869), the Eagles’ adjusted salary cap number for next year in $174,933,869, according to the NFL Players Association. 

That sounds good, but the Eagles still don’t have a ton of room. 

Thanks to just over $7 million in dead cap space (owed to players who are no longer on the team) a part of $157 million in money owed for the season, the Eagles will have about $12.5 million in cap room when free agency opens. 

Of that $12.5 million, around $4.5-$5 million will go toward the rookie class. Now, they’re down to $8 million to spend. And that’s after they already cut cornerback Leodis McKelvin. 

The good news for the Eagles is that there’s still an opportunity to create more cap room. The news completely stopped after McKelvin, in terms of cutting players, but will likely pick up soon as free agency approaches. 

Cutting or trading Connor Barwin would save $7.75 million, Mychal Kendricks $1.8 million, Jason Kelce $3.8 million. Some of those decisions are expected to be made in the coming week as the Eagles’ brass meet with player agents in Indy.  

Another move would be cutting Ryan Mathews. That would save the team around $4 million in cap space, but that move could be held up by his neck injury that landed him on IR at the end of the 2016 season. 

No matter what the Eagles do, this is where vice president of football operations Howie Roseman thrives. He has the ability to manipulate the salary cap better than many throughout the league. 

"Yeah, it's unusual, certainly since I've been here, to have a more challenging situation," Roseman said in early 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."

This year he has his work cut out for him. 

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

The Eagles are getting salary cap help. Just not quite as much as they expected.  

The NFL Players Association announced the official 2017 salary-cap carryover figures on Wednesday, and the Eagles will receive $7,933,869 in extra cap space this coming year on top of the unadjusted salary cap figure that every team begins the offseason with.

The NFL’s official 2017 salary cap figure hasn’t yet been announced, but it’s expected to be somewhere in the $166 to $170 million range, up from a record-$155.3 million in 2016.

Under terms of the CBA, teams can receive credit in each year’s salary cap for cap space that went unused the previous season. This creates an adjusted cap figure that can vary by tens of millions of dollars per team.

The Eagles under former team president Joe Banner were the first to use this once-obscure technique in the late 1990s. Today, every team uses it to some extent.

The more carryover money a team gets, the more it has to spend relative to the combined cap figures of players under contract the coming year.

The NFLPA originally estimated in the fall that the Eagles would receive $8.25 million in carryover money, so the new figure is about $316,000 less than originally expected.

It’s also the ninth-highest of the 32 teams, although below the average of $9.18 million. That’s because the top few carryover figures are so much ridiculously higher than the average (Browns $50.1 million, 49ers $38.7 million, Titans $24.0 million).

According to salary cap data tracker Spotrac, the Eagles have 52 players under contract for 2017 with a total combined cap figure of $158,040,710.

With an $168 million unadjusted cap, the Eagles would have an adjusted cap figure of $175,933,869.

They have $7,055,933 in dead money, mainly from trading Sam Bradford ($5.5 million) and Eric Rowe ($904,496) but also from departed players such as Andrew Gardner ($250,000), Josh Huff ($138,986) and Blake Countess ($98,678).

Subtract the 2017 contract obligations – the $158,040,710 figure – along with the dead money – the $7,055,033 figure – and that leaves the Eagles with roughly $10.84 million in cap space.

That figure may not include some 2016 bonuses that have not yet been made public. And it doesn’t include, for example, a $500,000 pay raise Peters got by triggering a contract escalator.

So that reduces the $10.84 million figure to $10.34 million.

From there, about $4 ½ million or so will go to the 2017 rookie pool.

So that leaves the Eagles currently with somewhere in the ballpark of $6 million in cap space.

Now, the Eagles will obviously be able to increase that number by releasing players.

They would more than double their cap space just by releasing Connor Barwin, who has a $8.35 million cap number but would cost only $600,000 in dead money for a cap savings of $7.75 million.

Jason Peters ($9.2 million), Jason Kelce ($3.8 million), Ryan Mathews ($4 million), Leodis McKelvin ($3.2 million) and Mychal Kendricks ($1.8 million) would also clear large amounts of cap space.

So for example by releasing Barwin, Kelce, McKelvin and Mathews, they would increase their cap space by a whopping $18.75 million. 

Of course, then the Eagles have to think about replacing those players with cheaper versions while still trying to build a playoff roster.

Whatever happens, the Eagles are in a unique position as they enter the 2017 offseason, with far less cap flexibility than other years.

“Yeah, it's unusual, certainly since I've been here, to have a more challenging situation,” vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said earlier this month.

“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.”