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7 moves the Eagles can make to create $38 million in cap space for 2022


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7 moves the Eagles can make to create $38 million in cap space for 2022 

Glenn Erby 
February 2, 2022 6:00 am ET

The NFL recently confirmed that the salary cap will rise to $208 million this spring, after the league and NFLPA previously set the salary cap for the 2021 season at $182.5 million but agreed back in May to raise the floor in 2022, and again in 2023.

With the Carson Wentz dead money and several other huge deals coming off the books, here’s how the Eagles can create even more cap space for 2022, with these seven simple moves that won’t disrupt the roster.

Using Over The Caps’ salary simulator, Philadelphia could be sitting pretty in a few weeks.

Eagles expected salary cap


Eagles general manager Howie Roseman watches players warm up during rookie minicamp at the NFL football team’s training facility, Friday, May 14, 2021, in Philadelphia. (Tim Tai/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP, Pool)

While teams like the Packers, Cowboys, Rams, Saints, and Texans all project to be over the $208 million cap next year, Philadelphia will sit with around $24 million as of now and the potential for more room.

That number is dwarfed by the cap space expected for teams like the 49ers, Chargers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Washington, Bengals, and Colts, who could all have in excess of $50+ million in initial cap space.

Dead Cap Space


Jun 16, 2021; Berea, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns defensive end Malik Jackson (97) works out during minicamp at the Cleveland Browns training facility. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to Howie Roseman pushing money back during some of his high-profile contract signings, the Eagles will carry $22 million in dead cap space, highlighted by 13 contracts.

Malik Jackson ($9M), Alshon Jeffery ($5M), and Zach Ertz ($3M) headline the highest numbers.

1. Extend Darius Slay


Philadelphia Eagles’ Darius Slay during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Football Team, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Cap savings: $12,304,000

2. Javon Hargrave


contract extension: $9,572,000

contract restructure: $8,973,750

3. Lane Johnson


Dec 26, 2021; Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

contract extension or restructure: $4,824,000

4. Isaac Seumalo


Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

contract extension: $3,692,000

5. Gardner Minshew trade


Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Cap savings: $2,540,000

6. Jake Elliott extension


Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Contract extension: $2,372,000

Elliott has three years remaining on the deal he signed in 2019, but no more guaranteed money.

7. Andre Dillard trade


(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Cap savings: $2,182,038


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I'm ok with some restructures. Guys like Elliott and Seumalo (if he's part of their long term plans). But Slay? No. Lane? No. Hargrave OK fine if they plan to keep him around a few years. But this kicking the can with older guys ends up hurting us with dead money. 

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Hargrave who is only 28 (well turns 29 in 3 days) is only under contract through the end of the upcoming season, so an extension for him makes sense.  Slay (who is 31) still has 2 more years left on his deal.  CBs drop off quickly - I probably wouldn't extend (or restructure ... aka "kick the can down the road") him.  Definitely should NOT be thinking to do anything with Lane ... he is already signed through 2025 - he has a cap hit of $15.8M in 2022 but then it balloons to $23M in 2023, $20.9M in 2024, and $21.7M in 2025 from having kicked the can numerous time before with him. 

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I'd prefer if they improve as much as they can this off season and then see what they have left. If it's a significant amount, then rather than a roll over, restructure some future costs (like some of Lane's ) into 2022 and pay it down to lessen the future hit (assuming you want to keep him.) If you have the right guy who honors his contract, a front loaded contract is best IMO because there's no drop off in productivity after getting paid up front, and the cap hit shrinks each year of the deal. Those guys are somewhat rare, but I think Lane is one. 

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