Stefan Wisniewski

An updated look at Eagles’ salary cap situation and possible cap casualties

An updated look at Eagles’ salary cap situation and possible cap casualties

As we get closer to the start of the new league year, which begins at 4 p.m. on March 13, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the Eagles’ salary cap situation and some moves they could make to create more space. 

First, it’s important to know the 2019 salary cap hasn’t yet been officially set, but it’s estimated to be around $191 million. The Eagles will carry over around $6 million in cap space from the 2018 season, so their adjusted cap will be around $197 million. 

For now, according to OverTheCap, the Eagles have around $210 million tied up with their top 51 players, which is what counts toward their salary cap figure. As you can see, the Eagles are obviously set to be over the cap, but they won’t be that way for long once Nick Foles comes off the books. 

The Eagles exercised the option year on his contract, but Foles immediately told them he’d buy his way to free agency for $2 million. It’s a confusing contract, but know the Eagles will be cap compliant if Foles simply walks as a free agent. 

But if the Eagles really want to try some tag-and-trade scenario, things get even trickier. In that event, if Foles signs the tag, they would need to make sure around $25 million is cleared for Foles. Because even if they trade him, the Eagles still need to fit that salary under the cap by the start of the league year. They can’t trade him unless he’s officially on the team at 4 p.m. on March 13. 

So here’s a closer look at some work that’s already been done and some that might be yet to come: 

Nick Foles
We already said it, but it’s worth repeating. If Foles simply walks, it will clear up around $20 million with his salary. It would be awfully tough for the Eagles to create the necessary $25 million in space to possibly trade Foles, but not impossible. It is, however, just one of many hurdles on that route. 

Rodney McLeod
The Eagles’ safety, who is coming off an ACL tear, was set to have a cap hit of over $9.9 million, which simply wasn’t going to work. That’s why McLeod agreed to a restructure a couple weeks ago that took his cap hit from $9.9 million to $4.8 million. That’s a cap savings of over $5 million. Howie Roseman is good at this stuff. 

Jason Peters
The Eagles’ aging offensive tackle is set to have a cap hit of just over $13 million in 2019. The Eagles could simply cut him to save over $10 million in cap space, but then who’s playing left tackle? They could also simply ask him to take a pay cut, but not sure he’d sign up for that. And since he’s 37 years old, an extension to spread out that cap hit probably doesn’t make a ton of sense either. It’s a high cap number for an aging and often banged-up player, but the Eagles might not have a ton of better options. 

Nelson Agholor 
Agholor is set to play the 2019 season on his fifth-year option, which is a one year worth $9.387 million that’s not guaranteed. So the Eagles could move on from him and save that much money. But I still think Agholor is a great candidate for an extension. The Eagles could alleviate a big portion of his cap hit and lock up one of their better offensive playmakers for the next few seasons. I think it’s safe to say they don’t want him to be counting for over $9 million in 2019. 

Tim Jernigan 
For the 2019 season, Jernigan is set to have a cap hit of $13 million and I’ll put it at 0 percent he plays next season with a cap hit that high. It just can’t happen. His injury last year ended up removing all the guaranteed money (aside from signing bonus) from his contract. Because of that, he has no leverage. If he’s back next season, it’ll be for an extremely discounted price. Otherwise, he’s gone. The Eagles would have to absorb $6 million in dead money for his prorated bonuses but would save $7 million in cap space by cutting him. 

Stefen Wisniewski 
Wiz is set to have a cap hit of $3.7 million in 2019, which originally made me think of him as a possible cut, but the injury to Brandon Brooks changed all that. The Eagles could save $3 million in cap space by cutting Wisniewski, but they might very well need him to start at right guard early in the season if Brooks isn’t back. 

Jason Kelce 
While it seems like Kelce is leaning toward returning for another season, he has at least thought about retirement and I wonder if it has something to do with his contract. He’s set to make $6.5 million in 2019 but it’s all non-guaranteed money. The Eagles could cut him with zero penalty in 2019 or 2020. He’s 31 now, but Kelce is arguably the best center in the league and should be another candidate for a contract extension. 

Michael Bennett 
He might be 33, but Bennett ended up having a really good 2018 season and was probably the Eagles’ best defensive end. They’ll really need him to return, especially if Brandon Graham doesn’t come back. In 2019, Bennett will count for $7.2 million in cap space and will count for $8 million in space for 2020. All of that is non-guaranteed. Not sure about an extension because of his age, but if they don’t want to move on from him this offseason, that remains a possibility this time next year. 

Chris Long 
The Eagles would probably like to have Long back for next season, but he’s in the part of his career where he contemplates retirement every offseason. He is set to have a cap hit of $5.6 million, so if he retires, the Eagles would save some space. But they might just as well want to have him on the team for that price.

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Eagles Injury Update: Lane Johnson now questionable vs. Giants

Eagles Injury Update: Lane Johnson now questionable vs. Giants

Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson has been downgraded to questionable for tonight’s game against the Giants in North Jersey. 

Johnson was limited in practice Monday and Tuesday, but initially wasn’t listed as questionable, so it looked like he was going to play. Now, that is apparently up in the air. 

According to NFL Network, Johnson has a high-ankle sprain and called it an “uphill battle” for him to play. 

If Johnson can’t play, Halapoulivaati Vaitai would start in his place at right tackle and then the Eagles have to hope Jason Peters (quad) is able to play the whole game. A few times this year, Peters has had to leave a game and Big V has come in for him. 

If Big V starts at right tackle and Peters goes out, the Eagles are going to really have to shuffle the line because they don’t really have another backup who can play tackle because Isaac Seumalo is starting. So unless they want to get Matt Pryor or Jordan Mailata their first game action at left tackle on the fly, they’d need to shuffle. It’s likely Big V would go to left tackle, Seumalo would go to right and Stefen Wisniewski would be inserted back at left guard. That’s changing three spots on the line during a game. Not ideal. 

As a reminder, the following five players were already ruled out for this game: Darren Sproles (hamstring), Haloti Ngata (calf), Corey Graham (hamstring), Nate Gerry (knee, ankle), D.J. Alexander (quad). 

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Doug Pederson won't confirm change but confirms Isaac Seumalo in mix at left guard

Doug Pederson won't confirm change but confirms Isaac Seumalo in mix at left guard

Head coach Doug Pederson on Friday confirmed NBC Sports Philadelphia Eagles writer Dave Zangaro’s report that Isaac Seumalo has been getting first-team reps at left guard (see story) but wouldn’t confirm that Seumalo will replace struggling Steve Wisniewski in the Eagles’ starting lineup.

He didn't deny it, either.

“We’re obviously evaluating everybody right now,” Pederson said.

Seumalo, a third-round pick in 2016, started the first two games at left guard last year before being replaced by Chance Warmack, who gave way a week later to Wisniewski.

The veteran out of Penn State played well down the stretch and through the playoffs but has not played up to the same level so far this fall.

The entire offensive line has struggled so far and has allowed more sacks the last three weeks (12) than it allowed the last nine games of last year (11).

“I’m just going to say this,” Pederson said. “We’re constantly evaluating everybody. This week we’ve rotated some guys around. Isaac’s played left guard, he’s played some center.

“Just giving guys opportunities to see (what they can do). We haven’t made any changes as of yet.”

Seumalo is the only offensive lineman the Eagles have taken in the first four rounds in their last five drafts, and it’s clear the Eagles eventually want him on the field.

That could come as soon as Sunday afternoon, when the Eagles face the Vikings at the Linc.

“He’s now in his third year, and his confidence level is extremely high right now,” Pederson said of Seumalo.

“He’s healthy. He’s playing physical. He had a really good training camp. He had a good offseason. There’s a lot of positives going with Isaac right now.”

“We’re all comfortable as a staff. (Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland) is very comfortable with him. … Versatile athlete who we like his progress, his progression, where he’s at, and we’ll see what happens.”

Complicating matters is that center Jason Kelce isn’t totally healthy, and Seumalo and Wisniewski both back up at center.

Kelce is expected to play Sunday, but Pederson said he needs to keep an eye on the veteran two-time Pro Bowler.

“(He needs) rest,” he said. “He’s a veteran player who does a lot for us. Just want to make sure he’s 100 percent.”

So there are a lot of different combinations, with Seumalo and Wisniewski both capable of playing either guard spot or center and Warmack also still on the roster.

Pederson said earlier this week that Jason Peters, who hurt his quad in the Tampa game, is still feeling the effects of that injury. He’s expected to play Sunday, but the whole left side of the line is kind of unsettled going into Sunday.

“With the amount of injuries and trying to get guys to Sunday (we’re) just trying to mix guys up and just rest,” Pederson said.

“So we continue to evaluate and we’ll make changes as we need to.”

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