Current cap space = – $43 million
TE Zach Ertz – 6th round pick (cap savings $ 4.7 million)
Ertz’s departure seems inevitable. After emerging as one of the most efficient tightends in the league over the previous three seasons, 2020 saw a significant decline. More significant than the compensation, shifting his $8 million cap number off the books will go some way to getting the Eagles back in the black. Although he never emerged as the explosive playmaker his potential indicated was possible, impressive route running and hands elevated him to the top tier bracket of tightends. Dallas Goedert is far less consistent, but the Eagles have no choice but to opt for cheaper alternatives all over the roster.
CB Darius Slay – 5th round pick (cap savings $12.5 million post June 1st)
Trading away the only viable starting corner on the roster doesn’t seem smart, but Slay’s cost and declining performance make it a reasonable decision with rebuilding the primary aim in 2021. With holes all over the roster, trading Slay would free up enough cap space to at least make some signings in free agency. The peak period for corners is short, the contract and compensation ludicrous, the Eagles would be better off shifting him while they can. It’s impossible to justify paying a corner who was only average a season ago $15 million in 2021 (7th highest in the league).
WR Alshon Jeffery (cap savings $2 million post June 1st)
Alshon Jeffery’s 2017 season was like Craig David; rewinding the Eagles offense to the early noughties. Twice the team have made the Super Bowl, twice they’ve had elite physical receivers on the perimeter. An unlikely coincidence. Jeffery was not quite in TO’s class, but he didn’t come with all the baggage. He did arrive past his prime however, and old father time quickly caught up with the wideout in ensuing seasons. Jeffery had more drops in 2019 than in his career to that point, and injuries crippled his production further a season ago.
DT Malik Jackson (cap savings $2 million post June 1st)
Speaking of baggage, the Eagles got a penalty prone passenger upon signing Malik Jackson, a player more disruptive off the field than on it. While viewed as the final piece of an elite defensive line rotation when he was signed in the 2019 offseason, ultimately his addition has proved a disaster. Hard to fault Roseman for taking the plunge considering his prior performances, but that quality never emerged in Philly.
WR Marquise Goodwin (cap savings $4.2 million)
Not much to say about Goodwin, who doesn’t have any guarantees in his contract and will depart the Eagles having never played a snap.
Derek Barnett – 4 years $52 million, $16 million guaranteed (cap savings $5 million)
Barnett has never lived up to his billing as an elite edge rusher, but he represents one of the few players with potential on the entire roster. He might be willing to accept a mid-ranking deal considering he’s not likely to get a big pay day in free agency. The Eagles will almost certainly want to lower his fifth year option of cap figure of $10 million, so a deal makes sense for both sides. Barnett might benefit from a new scheme, requiring him to be more disciplined at the line of scrimmage when setting the edge, and finally develop consistency as a pass rusher.
In order to sign anyone in free agency, the Eagles will likely need to restructure a ton of deals. The most likely candidates are Lane Johnson, Javon Hargrave, Brandon Brooks, Jason Kelce and Isaac Seumalo. Combined, those would probably net the front office about $10-15 million in cap room, giving them a wiggle room of about $5-10 million.
The Eagles are unlikely to have the wont or the will to re-sign any of their impending free agents, with the exception of restricted FAs Greg Ward and Alex Singleton.
CB Mackensie Alexander, Bengals – 1 year $3 million, $1.5 million guaranteed
Alexander wouldn’t come close to solving the Eagles corner crisis, but he’d be a huge upgrade over Robey-Coleman in the slot. His physicality and familiarity in former mentor Mike Zimmer’s scheme would be a major advantage in a transition season.
WR Rashard Higgins, Browns – 2 years, $10 million, $5 million guaranteed
If a quarterback is targeted at the top of the draft, the receiver position is unlikely to receive a significant influx of talent this offseason. Higgins had a commendable 2020, snagging 4 touchdowns from 37 receptions for close to 600 yards. He’s a downfield threat, with the versatility to perform from the perimeter or in the slot.
DI DeMarcus Walker – 1 years, $2 million, $850,000 guaranteed
Walker was miscast as an edge defender in Denver, and will come cheap coming off a major injury a season ago. Depth on the interior will become a priority with Jackson’s departure, and Walker’s high upside makes him worth the gamble in free agency. The former second-rounder has a ton of pass-rush potential in nickel packages.