Savvy moves from Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman has laid the path to the Eagles Super Bowl championship and beyond.
And not even a month removed from the team winning its first Lombardi Trophy, Roseman’s already making moves left and right in pursuit of getting the Eagles under the cap that was set at $177.2 million.
Earlier this week, the Eagles acquired Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett and a seventh round pick for depth receiver Marcus Johnson and a fifth round pick. Despite what the Eagles get in an outspoken player like Bennett, he was still very much productive for Seattle last season with 8.5 sacks and he already makes the Philadelphia defensive line better than it was last season – and the Eagles barely gave up much, a guy that was a good fourth or fifth receiver and a late round pick. This move will eventually help the Eagles clear cap space, as Vinny Curry is not expected to be with the team next season. That would clear an $11 million cap hit for 2018, according to spotrac.
Fast forward to the end of the week and Roseman sent Torrey Smith to the Carolina Panthers for cornerback Daryl Worley. That clears more cap space as Smith was due to make $5 million, while Worley remains under contract through 2019, due to make $650,000.
And let’s face it, Smith was most likely not returning to the Eagles after this past season. So the Eagles give away a guy they weren’t interested in bringing back for a guy who’s young – Worley’s only 23 – has starting experience and seems to be an up and coming cornerback that adds to the amount of young guys the Eagles already have at that position. That leads Roseman to more possible ideas to clear cap space. Don’t be surprised if Ronald Darby is moved and/or if Patrick Robinson now doesn’t return, though the Eagles should try to a keep a veteran in a young cornerback group.
But the bottom line is this – Roseman continues to steal. He continues to clear cap space and improve this roster in ways no one has ever seen. Looking back at the Torrey Smith trade, it’s amazing he found a trade partner and found a way to bring in a promising young guy essentially for free. With the team still just under $11 over the cap, expect Roseman to continue working the phones to be ready for the start of free agency and the beginning of the new league year March 14.
Matt Catrillo is a Philadelphia Eagles Writer for Pro Football Spot. You can follow him on Twitter @MCatrillo. For more coverage on the Eagles and the NFL from Matt, tune in to the Next Game New Game Podcast.