Potential Offseason Cap Space Relief For The Eagles Before Free Agency
The Eagles have been linked to a number of high profile free agents this offseason. Currently, the team has around $11 million in available cap space but a portion of that will have to be allotted to paying the rookies who will be drafted this April. To sign even one of these top free agents they have been linked to, the Eagles would need to clear significant cap space. Let’s take a look at some of the potential targets for trade or release that could create some spending money for Howie Roseman.
Once a key member of the offense, Kelce has become a liability for the Eagles. His lack of strength is highlighted by the new wave of interior NFL defensive lineman who weigh 300+ lbs. but have the athleticism to move through Kelce whose athleticism is his strongest attribute. With a $6.2 million cap hit in 2017, if Kelce doesn’t take a pay cut he could find himself looking for a new team. Isaac Seumalo may be the team’s long term solution at center but he may be playing a different position next season which could keep Kelce in Philadelphia, more on that later.
The Eagles have given Barbre permission to seek a trade, signaling that it may be time for Isaac Seumalo to take over the starting left guard spot. The 2016 third round pick played in nine games during his rookie season, starting four. Barbre is 32 years old and in the last year of his contract, and trading or releasing him would create $2.1 million in cap room for the Eagles. With a promising young backup on his heels and a contract that would create more cap space for the Eagles, Barbre is almost certain to be on a new team next season.
Barwin was one of the fan favorites in Philadelphia before last season, because of not only his stellar play on the field but his tremendous presence in the community. Barwin made a career of getting after quarterbacks as 3-4 outside linebacker but with Jim Schwartz now at defensive coordinator and running a 4-3 defense, Barwin does not fit as a defensive end. With his sack total falling for the second straight season, coupled with $8.35 million cap hit in 2017, Barwin is on the trade block and if the Eagles can’t find a deal for him could be released.
Making this decision easier for the Eagles, the massive $46.25 million contract the team gave to the guy who was watching Barwin play most of last season, Vinny Curry. $17 million dollars spent on one position is not realistic and the team can’t get out of Curry’s contract without eating a serious amount of dead money.
Another casualty of the change in defensive coordinator, Kendricks found himself relegated to the bench for most of the 2016 season. Kendricks played only 237 snaps, in comparison Jordan Hicks played 990. A trade is likely the only way Kendricks will end up on a new team, without much depth at the position and only $1.8 million in cap space created by moving him, the Eagles will keep him unless they receive an offer too go to pass up.
Beyond Darren Sproles, the Eagles running back position left much to be desired last season. Mathews provided the Eagles offense with a suitable goal-line back, finishing the year with eight touchdowns. On the other hand, Mathews failed to play a full season, something he’s only done once during his seven year career. Players can’t be cut or traded while they are injured so as much as the Eagles would love to free up $4 million in cap space by cutting him, they must wait until he is healthy to make a move.