Eagles salary cap

Eagles' salary cap highlights biggest assets

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Eagles' salary cap highlights biggest assets

The strength of the Super Bowl champion Eagles is their two lines, and their salary cap certainly reflects that. 

The Eagles in 2018 project to spend more on the offensive and defensive line than every other position combined and far more than any other NFL team.

Thirteen of the Eagles’ 23 highest-paid players this coming year — in terms of cap allocations — are linemen.

Of the other 10, three are wide receivers, two are quarterbacks, two are safeties, two are linebackers and one is a tight end.

According to the website Spotrac, the Eagles rank fourth among all NFL teams in projected 2018 salary cap dollars for both the defensive line ($49.7 million) and the offensive line ($42.6 million).

That adds up to $92.3 million, or more than half of the Eagles’ adjusted 2018 cap figure of $175,987,555.

Just defensive lineman Fletcher Cox and offensive linemen Brandon Brooks and Jason Peters alone — the Eagles’ three highest-paid players — have a combined 2018 cap figure of $37.7 million, which accounts for more than 20 percent of the Eagles’ total 2018 cap.

The second-highest combined offensive-defensive line cap figure belongs to the Cowboys at $80,765,140, according to Spotrac.

So the Eagles are spending $11½ million more than any other team on their two lines.

According to figures compiled by Spotrac, the average NFL team projects to have a combined offensive-defensive line cap figure of $59.1 million in 2018. So the Eagles are more than $30 million higher than average when it comes to paying linemen.

You can’t spend that much money on two position groups without going light at others.

And Spotrac stats show the Eagles aren’t even in the top 16 at any other position.

They’re 27th in running back spending, 24th in wide receivers and linebackers, 23rd at tight end, 21st at quarterback, 17th in the secondary and 31st in special teams.

Their highest-paid running back, Jay Ajayi, is the Eagles’ 26th highest-paid player. Their quarterbacks, Carson Wentz and Nick Foles, are the 27th and 28th highest-paid QBs in the NFL. And none of their wide receivers are in the top 50 among wideouts when it comes to 2018 cap figures.

Listed below are the cap figures of every player currently on the Eagles’ active roster along with a list of every player who is no longer on the roster but still counts against the 2018 cap.

The Eagles have an adjusted cap figure of $177,682,445 in 2018, and these salary cap figures add up to about $8 million more than that.

That’s because the NFL’s “Rule of 51” states that from the start of the league year, which is in early March, through the day before opening day, only the 51 highest-paid players count against a team’s salary cap.

Cap figures
$17,900,000 … Fletcher Cox, DT
$11,136,397 … Brandon Brooks, G
$10,666,666 … Jason Peters, OT
$10,100,000 … Malcolm Jenkins, S
$  8,406,250 … Rodney McLeod, S
$  8,000,000 … Brandon Graham, DE
$  7,600,000 … Mychal Kendricks, LB
$  7,600,000 … Nick Foles, QB
$  7,275,365 … Carson Wentz, QB
$  7,200,000 … Jason Kelce, C
$  5,650,000 … Michael Bennett, DE
$  5,000,000 … Tim Jernigan, DT
$  4,982,206 … Lane Johnson, OT
$  4,937,500 … Zach Ertz, TE
$  4,000,000 … Mike Wallace, WR
$  3,975,000 … Alshon Jeffery, WR
$  3,208,333 … Stefen Wisniewski, OL
$  3,100,000 … Chris Long, DE
$  2,983,709 … Nelson Agholor, WR
$  2,920,679 … Derek Barnett, DE
$  2,725,000 … Haloti Ngata, DT
$  2,070,183 … Jordan Hicks, LB
$  2,031,250 … Chance Warmack, OL
$  2,000,000 … Chris Maragos, S
$  2,000,000 … Nigel Bradham, LB
$  1,907,000 … Jay Ajayi, RB
$  1,600,000 … Corey Nelson, LB
$  1,395,470 … Sidney Jones, CB
$  1,058,139 … Ronald Darby, CB
$     955,000 … Steven Means, DE
$     854,966 … Isaac Seumalo, OL
$     756,572 … Rasul Douglas, CB
$     725,000 … Taylor Hart, OT
$     713,917 … Mack Hollins, WR
$     691,145 … Wendell Smallwood, RB
$     686,281 … Halapoulivaati Vaitai, OL
$     670,000 … Daryl Worley, CB
$     649,214 … Jalen Mills, CB
$     640,000 … Bryce Treggs, WR
$     632,668 … Destiny Vaeao, DT
$     630,000 … Marquess Wilson, WR
$     630,000 … Kamu Grugier-Hill, LB
$     630,000 … Rick Lovato, LS
$     630,000 … Nate Sudfeld, QB
$     623,972 … Donnel Pumphrey, RB
$     619,312 … Shelton Gibson, WR
$     586,803 … Elijah Qualls, DT
$     570,034 … Joe Walker, LB
$     558,333 … Corey Clement, RB
$     555,000 … De’Vante Bausby, CB
$     555,000 … Jake Elliott, PK
$     555,000 … Nate Gerry, LB
$     555,000 … Joshua Perkins, TE
$     490,000 … Billy Brown, TE
$     487,500 … Cameron Johnston, P
$     485,000 … Dominque Williams, WR
$     483,750 … Aziz Shittu, DT
$     483,750 … Greg Ward, WR
$     481,250 … Adam Zaruba, TE
$     480,666 … Randall Goforth, CB
$     480,000 … Elie Bouka, CB
$     480,000 … Winston Craig, DT
$     480,000 … Rashard Davis, WR
$     480,000 … Darrell Green, G
$     480,000 … D.J. Killings, CB
$     480,000 … Tre Sullivan, S
$     480,000 … Jon Toth, C

Dead money
$  6,000,000 … Vinny Curry
$  1,000,000 … Brent Celek 
$     250,000 … Ron Brooks
$     250,000 … Donnie Jones
$     175,000 … Jon Dorenbos
$     151,461 … Nate Gerry
$       35,684 … Alex McCalister 
$       25,000 … Justin Hamilton
$       25,000 … Dallas Thomas
$         9,375 … Dexter McDougle 
$         8,750 … Mitchell White
$         6,667 … Bill Brown
$         5,000 … Tre Sullivan
$         3,334 … Craig Winston
$         3,334 … Dillon Gordon
$         3,334 … Cameron Johnston
$         3,334 … Tyler Orlosky
$         3,334 … Greg Ward
$         3,334 … Jomal Wiltz
$         1,334 … Victor Salako

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. 

Connor Barwin: 'Yes, I would take a pay cut' to stay in Philly

Connor Barwin: 'Yes, I would take a pay cut' to stay in Philly

Connor Barwin didn't try to talk around it on Tuesday. He wants to be back in Philadelphia next season, even if that means working out a new deal with the Eagles

On TCN's Breakfast on Broad, Barwin was asked flatly if he'd be willing to take a pay cut to return to the Eagles next season. 

"Yes, I would take a pay cut," he said. "I mean, my plan is to stay here. You know, people talk about my contract and I think, I like to think, I'm a reasonable person and I feel like I'll work with the Eagles and we'll restructure and make some kind of deal that works for everybody."

Before the end of the 2016 season, Barwin talked pretty openly about his frustrating year and his future with the team but stopped short of admitting he'd take a pay cut. With one game left to play, he said he wanted to focus on the Cowboys (see story).

It's not hard to figure out why questions about Barwin's future keep coming up. Since his 14½-sack year in 2014, he had seven sacks in 2015 and just five in 2016 as the Eagles switched to a 4-3 defensive scheme.  

Then, there's the contract. Barwin, 30, is set to have a salary cap hit of $8.35 million in 2017 and cutting him would save the Eagles $7.75 million in cap room. Plus, there's the fact that Vinny Curry, to whom the team just handed a big extension last year, played just 43 percent of defensive snaps in 2016. 

"Well, I'd like to be back here," Barwin said. "Obviously, I like playing in Philadelphia. But it's up to the coaches and management to decide."

Aside from just enjoying playing for the Eagles, Barwin has made Philadelphia his home and has been incredibly philanthropic since his arrival in 2013. 

Barwin said he expects that the Eagles will review their situation and put a plan together in the next couple of months. He expects to know their plan by March when free agency is set to begin. 

Had Barwin had a big year, this talk wouldn't be going on. But the production just wasn't there. That frustrates him too. 

"It was frustrating for me to not have the production I've had in the past," he said. "And then it was frustrating for me to not be in the playoffs again this year. In my career as a starter, I've been in the playoffs every year except for the last two years, so that was even more frustrating."