NFL Free Agency

NFL free agency 2020: Detailing all 9 of Eagles new signings

NFL free agency 2020: Detailing all 9 of Eagles new signings

Since free agency began last month, the Eagles have reached deals with nine players and none of them will have big salary cap hits in 2020. 

In fact, all nine will combine for a cap hit of $20,831,875 in the upcoming season. Here’s an overall look at the Eagles’ current salary cap situation and how much room they have left.

Of the nine new contracts, just three are for longer than one year. 

Here’s a closer look at all of the new deals: 

Javon Hargrave 

Summary: The Eagles got the 27-year-old defensive tackle on a three-year, $39 million contract that includes $26 million in guaranteed money and a signing bonus of $11.75 million. Hargrave has a base salary of $1 million in 2020 but it jumps to $12.75 million in the subsequent two years. 

Notes: The Eagles were able to alleviate some salary cap stress by adding two dummy years at the end of this contract. It’s a trick they like to use to spread out that signing bonus money for cap purposes. The 2023 and 2024 years void automatically but there is dead money left over in 2023 when Hargrave is gone (the remaining prorated signing bonus amounts). 

2020 cap hit: $3,450,000
2021 cap hit: $15,200,000
2022 cap hit: $15,450,000

2023 cap hit: $4,900,000

Darius Slay 

Summary: The Eagles traded third- and fifth-round picks to get Slay and then then gave him an extension. Because Slay had one year left on his deal in Detroit, the Eagles gave him a three-year extension worth just over $50 million. Combined, this becomes a four-year deal worth $60.55 million. There’s a total guarantee of $30.05M, $13 million of which is a signing bonus. 

Notes: While this is technically a four-year contract, it could basically turn into a two-year, $26 million deal. The Eagles could cut slay before the 2022 season; that would save $13.25M in cap space with $6.5M in dead money. If they cut him after the 2022 season, they would save $17.5M in 2023 with just $3.25 million in dead space. 

2020 cap hit: $4,300,000
2021 cap hit: $15,750,000
2022 cap hit: $19,750,000
2023 cap hit: $20,750,000

Rodney McLeod 

Summary: McLeod’s two-year contract is worth $8.65 million but he has the potential to earn $1.7 million more in incentives per year. McLeod got a $3 million signing bonus and a total guarantee of $5.5 million. 

Notes: Because of that guaranteed money, you can expect McLeod to play out this two year deal in Philly. This is another of those “dummy years” contracts. It’s technically a five-year contract but the final three years void for salary cap purposes and the remaining prorated amounts become dead money in 2022. 

2020 cap hit: $2,350,000
2021 cap hit: $5,200,000

2022 cap hit: $1,800,000
 

Jalen Mills

Summary: The Eagles brought Mills back on a one-year, $4 million deal with $2 million guaranteed. That $2 million comes to him immediately in the form of a signing bonus. Mills also has the potential to earn another million in incentives. 

Notes: Because Mills’ guaranteed money is all signing bonus, his base salary in 2020 is technically not guaranteed. But the Eagles didn’t bring him back to cut him. 

2020 cap hit: $4,000,000

Will Parks

Summary: The Philly native got a one-year, $1.5 million contract from the Birds that includes $1.375 million in guaranteed money and a signing bonus of $375K. He has a base salary of $1M in 2020 and per-game roster bonuses that total $125,000. 

Notes: Since Parks played in just 14 games last season, just 14/16ths of his per-game roster bonus money counts toward his cap hit. It doesn’t mean he’ll earn any less, but he counts a little less against the cap.  

2020 cap hit: $1,484,375

Nickell Robey-Coleman

Summary: The veteran nickel corner’s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth $1.35 million, with a cap hit to match. He got a $300,000 signing bonus and $1.05 million guaranteed. 

Notes: He’s 28 now but Robey-Coleman is a good nickel corner and the Eagles got him for a pretty solid price. In his three years with the Rams, NRC earned over $12.5 million, an average of over $4 million per season. 

2020 cap hit: $1,350,000

Jatavis Brown 

Summary: The Eagles got the former Chargers linebacker on a one-year deal worth $1.047 million. He got a total guarantee of $550K and a signing bonus of $50K. 

Notes: This is a Veteran Salary benefit deal — designed to get teams to sign veterans instead of younger, cheaper players — so his $910K base salary will count as $750K against the cap. After that, he has a $50K signing bonus and an $87.5K roster bonus to make up his cap hit. 

2020 cap hit: $887,500

Nate Sudfeld 

Summary: The Eagles brought back their backup quarterback on a one-year deal worth $2 million and a cap hit to match. Sudfeld got a signing bonus of $500K and a total of $1 million guaranteed. 

Notes: This deal is actually a significant pay cut for Sudfeld. Last year, as a restricted free agent, the Eagles tagged him at a second-round level, which paid him a salary of $3.095 million. 

2020 cap hit: $2,000,000

Hassan Ridgeway 

Summary: The Eagles brought back Ridgeway on a one-year deal worth just north of a million bucks. He got a $25,000 signing bonus and that’s his only guaranteed money. In addition to his $910K base salary and his signing bonus, Ridgeway also has a $25K workout bonus. 

Notes: The Eagles like Ridgeway as their fourth defensive tackle but they haven’t married themselves to him. Cutting him would leave just $25K in dead money, so if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.

2020 cap hit: $1,010,000 

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After being on other side, Jatavis Brown ready to show Eagles fans what he can do

After being on other side, Jatavis Brown ready to show Eagles fans what he can do

Jatavis Brown remembers that October 2017 game when the Eagles traveled to face the Los Angeles Chargers at the then-Stub Hub Center and Eagles fans took over the 25,000-seat venue. 

By kickoff, it was basically a home game for the Eagles with about 70 percent of the stands green. 

Brown, who joined the Eagles as a free agent this offseason, played 68 defensive snaps for the Chargers in their 26-24 loss that day. While Brown was diplomatic about his time with the Chargers — he said he loved every moment — he’s clearly looking forward to playing for Eagles fans after three years of playing in front of the smallest home crowds in the NFL. 

“Actually, looking back on it and how they filled that stadium,” Brown said on a conference call Tuesday, “it is exciting for me.” 

The real question is what kind of player are Eagles fans going to see? 

Brown, 26, is coming off his four-year rookie contract with the Chargers. In those four years, he had some ups and downs but ended up playing in 56 games with 23 starts. But in 2019, his role was reduced to the point where he played just 94 defensive snaps. His ProFootballFocus grade has dropped in each of his four NFL seasons. 

The former fifth-round pick showed promise early on but never really became a consistent starter. 

Asked about his play style, Brown wants people to know he’s versatile. He also doesn’t think changing to a new scheme, even amid unusual circumstances, will be a problem for him. 

“Just a playmaker, man,” Brown said when asked about what he’ll bring to the Eagles. “Somebody that’s going to go out and compete every day and give it my all. Find my role on this team and achieve that role the best way I can.”

The one important thing that Brown didn’t mention about himself is something you should know: He’s fast. Really fast. 

Brown is an undersized linebacker even in an age of undersized linebackers — he’s listed at 5-11, 221 — but his speed makes up for it. There’s a reason the Eagles were interested in him before the 2016 draft when he was coming out of Akron. 

While Brown ran a 4.44 at his pro day, that time would have been tops for all linebackers at the 2016 combine. 

Back in 2016, NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote that Brown’s athleticism had “NFL teams feeling some type of way, which means he's likely to go late Day 2 or early Day 3.” But that didn’t happen. Brown ended up being the last pick in the fifth round in 2016 — the Eagles had two fifth-rounders and still didn’t take him. 

So maybe it would be a bit much to expect Brown to become a strong rotational player, let alone a starter in Philadelphia. But there is opportunity here for him. The only returning linebackers are Nathan Gerry, T.J. Edwards, Duke Riley and Alex Singleton. 

It seems like Brown still has some potential, but if it doesn’t work out, the Eagles haven’t invested much in him. 

Brown’s one-year contract with the Eagles is worth $1.047 million but it’s a Veteran Salary Benefit deal so he’ll count just $887,500 against the cap. With just $500K of his base salary guaranteed, there’s really no guarantee he’ll even make the roster. This is an even cheaper deal than L.J. Fort got last season and is more on par with what the Eagles paid guys like Paul Worrilow and LaRoy Reynolds in recent seasons. 

The Eagles have neglected to use top resources on the linebacker position for years now and most of their gambles haven’t paid off. Maybe they’re due. And maybe Brown is the guy who will change all that. 

That would make his new fanbase happy. 

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Eagles announce several new jersey numbers for 2020 season 

Eagles announce several new jersey numbers for 2020 season 

We have a long way to go before the start of the 2020 season but we have some jersey number updates from the Eagles. 

Most of these new numbers are for new players, but Jalen Mills is also switching out of the number he’s worn for the first four years of his career. 

Here they are in numerical order: 

Jalen Mills: 21

Mills spent the first four years of his career in No. 31. But his rookie contract is over and he’s returning as a safety in 2020. So new position, new number. 

“It’s just recreating myself,” Mills said this week. “Recreating that Green Goblin, that monster. It’s a new position, it’s a new feel, and it’s going to be new energy.”

Mills said he admires guys like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, who each changed their jersey numbers throughout their NBA careers. 

The No. 21 became available after Ronald Darby left in free agency to head to Washington. Darby wore 41 back in 2017 when he arrived in a training camp trade; Patrick Robinson had the 21 on his one-year deal.

Complete Eagles history at 21: James Zyntell, Les Maynard, Paul Cuba, John Kusko, Herschel Stockton, Allison White, Chuck Cherundolo, William Boedeker, Al Pollard, Jim Carr, Joe Scarpati, Ray Jones, Jackie Allen, Wes Chesson, Al Clark, John Sciarra, Evan Cooper, Eric Allen, Bobby Taylor, Matt Ware, William James, Joselio Hanson, David Sims, Roc Carmichael, Jerome Couplin, Leodis McKelvin, Patrick Robinson, Ronald Darby

Darius Slay: 24 

In Detroit, Slay wore No. 30 during his rookie season back in 2013 but had the No. 23 in the next six years. But in Philly, Rodney McLeod has 23, so Slay is happily changing to 24 to honor the late Kobe Bryant.

“I’m going Kobe mode,” Slay said. “Black mamba. Rest in peace to the  One of my favorite players. I will look good in 24.”

Last season, Jordan Howard wore the No. 24 during his one-year stint with the Eagles. 

Complete Eagles history at 24: Howard Auer, Joe Carpe, Dick Lachman, Jack Knapper, Herman Bassman, Joe Pilconis, Rabbit Keen, Bill Schneller, Dom Moselle, George Taliaferro, Don Schaefer, Nate Ramsey, Artimus Parker, Henry Monroe, Zac Henderson, Ray Ellis, Russell Gary, Reggie Brown, Alan Reid, Alan Dial, Corey Barlow, Tim McTyer, Darnell Autry, Rod Smart, Blaine Bishop, Sheldon Brown, Joique Bell, Brandon Hughes, Nnadmi Asomugha, Bradley Fletcher, Ryan Mathews, Corey Graham, Jordan Howard

Will Parks: 28 

During the first four years of his NFL career, Parks wore No. 34 in Denver as a sixth-round pick. But that number is owned by Cre’Von LeBlanc in Philly. 

So Parks will hop into the No. 28 that was vacant for most of last year until Jay Ajayi was signed during the season. 

Complete Eagles history at 28: Dick Thornton, Guy Turnbow, Algy Clark, Joe Pilconis, Max Padlow, J. “Stumpy” Thomason, Harry Klopenburg, Ray Keeling, Bob Jackson, Paul Dudley, Jim Gray, Bill Bradley, Lou Rash, Greg Harding, Don Griffin, Mel Gray, Clarence Love, Amp Lee, Correll Buckhalter, Ramzee Robinson, Marlin Jackson, Dion Lewis, Earl Wolff, Wendell Smallwood, Jay Ajayi

Nickell Robey-Coleman: 31

As an undrafted player, Robey-Coleman came into the league and wore No. 37 for his first three seasons in Buffalo before he got a big-time improvement and took over 21 in 2015. For the last three seasons, he wore 23 with the Rams but that’s taken by McLeod here. 

So he’ll be in the 31 that Mills wore for the last four years. 

Complete Eagles history at 31: Joe Carter, Tom Graham, Irv Kupcinet, William Brian, Bob Masters, Emmett Mortell, Jerry Ginney, Phil Ragazzo, Jim Castiglia, Ted Williams, Art Macioszczyk, Dan Sandifer, Ebert Van Buren, Ron Goodwin, Tom Bailey, Wilbert Montgomery, Troy West, Tyrone Jones, Brian O’Neal, Derrick Witherspoon, Al Harris, Daryon Brutley, Dexter Wynn, Ellis Hobbs, Curtis Marsh, Shaun Prater, Byron Maxwell, Jalen Mills

Trevor Williams: 41

You might have forgotten the Eagles signed Williams back in January, but the cornerback and Penn State product has 39 NFL games and 27 starts to his name with the Chargers and Cardinals. 

He has previously worn 42, 24 and 22. 

Complete Eagles history at 41: Ted Schmitt, Foster Watkins, Buist Warren, Gil Steinke, Frank Ziegler, Jerry Norton, Bob Freeman, Howard Cassady, Harry Wilson, Richard Harvey, Randy Logan, Earnest Jackson, Keith Byars, Alvin Ross, Fred McCrary, Johnny Thomas, William Hampton, Thomas Tapeh, Stephen Spach, Tanard Davis, Antoine Harris, Jarrad Page, Emil Igwenagu, Randall Evans, Ronald Darby, De’Vante Bausby

Jatavis Brown: 53

Everyone pretty much understood that Nigel Bradham wasn’t going to return to the Eagles in 2020 but now they went ahead and gave his number away. Bradham wore 53 for the last four seasons in Philly. 

During his first four NFL seasons with the Chargers, Brown was No. 57 but that’s occupied in Philly by second-year linebacker T.J. Edwards. 

Complete Eagles history at 53: Walt Masters, Alex Wojciechowicz, Ken Farragut, Bob Pellegrini, John Simerson, Bob Butler, Harold Wells, Fred Whittingham, Dick Absher, Dennis Franks, Fred Smalls, Jody Schulz, Dwayne Jiles, Maurice Henry, Ivan Caesar, John Roper, Bill Romanowski, N.D. Kalu, Hugh Douglas, Mark Simoneau, Moise Fokou, Ryan Rau, Najee Goode, Nigel Bradham

Javon Hargrave: 93

Not long after news broke that Tim Jernigan was heading to Houston, Hargrave got his jersey number. 

A switch was necessary for Hargrave, who wore 79 during his first four seasons in the NFL with the Steelers. The Eagles already have a No. 79 who is pretty good in right guard Brandon Brooks. And Hargrave wore 97 in college but that number in Philly is owned by Malik Jackson. 

Complete Eagles history at 93: Tom Strauthers, John Dumbauld, Ray Phillips, David Bailey, Greg Townsend, Daniel Stubbs, Darion Conner, Pernell Davis, Levon Kirkland, Marco Coleman, Jevon Kearse, Trevor Laws, Jason Babin, Brandon Bair, Tim Jernigan

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