The Philadelphia Eagles had a daunting task this offseason in getting under the salary cap, with plenty of work still to be done. Philadelphia saved salary cap space with the release of DeSean Jackson and the restructuring of Darius Slay and Jason Kelce's contracts, saving nearly $20 million in cap space over the past few weeks.
There's work remaining for general manager Howie Roseman, as Philadelphia currently sits just north of $34 million over the projected salary cap (per Over The Cap). Roseman opened the door for some flexibility to get the Eagles under the cap prior to the new league year beginning on March 17.
Here are eight moves the Eagles can make to get under the cap so they can start making some moves in free agency (cap savings per Over The Cap). Philadelphia can save up to $52.6 million with these moves.
1. Restructure Fletcher Cox's contract
Cap savings: $11,193,750
Cox has typically been a candidate to restructure his deal with the Eagles and this offseason should be no different. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle is still part of the Eagles' future plans -- even at 30 -- and reworking his deal can save the most cap space of any player on the Eagles' roster.
This move should be easy for Roseman to make, especially with two years remaining on Cox's $102.6 million deal that began in 2017.
2. Restructure Javon Hargrave's contract
Cap savings: $8,820,000
This one makes too much sense for the Eagles, given Hargrave's upside and age. Hargrave ended the year with eight pressures, three sacks, and four quarterback hits in his final five games -- playing up to the three-year, $39 million contract he signed in 2020.
Hargrave is part of Philadelphia's future plans, so why not restructure his deal and save the cap space up front?
3. Restructure Lane Johnson's contract
Cap savings: $6,912,000
Johnson is another player who always restructures his deal to help the Eagles out, so don't be surprised if Johnson and Roseman agree to another reworked contract. Johnson converted his salary into a bonus in his last restructure (2020) and could easily do the same again for 2021.
While his cap charge will go up in future seasons, the Eagles get the much needed cap relief from one of the best right tackles in the game.
4. Extend Derek Barnett
Cap savings: $7,248,800
Another move that makes plenty of sense for the Eagles. Barnett is entering his fifth-year option from being a former first-round pick, and he was a key contributor to a defense that finished third in the NFL in sacks (49) despite only blitzing 22.2% of the time (fifth-fewest in the NFL).
Barnett is only 24 years old and doesn't need to be playing under the $10.051 million salary he's making in 2021. Defensive ends only improve with experience and the Eagles owe it to themselves to find out if Barnett (5.5 sacks, 16 quarterback hits, 21 pressures) can improve his game over the next few seasons.
5. Restructure Brandon Graham's contract
Cap savings: $8,943,750
This one appears to be on its way, as Graham has said he wants to remain with the Eagles and finish his career in Philadelphia. Graham is entering the final year of a three-year, $40 million deal with the Eagles and a restructure of his current contract prolongs his stay with the team.
Graham will be 33 years old, but is coming off 16.5 sacks, 59 pressures, and 33 quarterback hits over the last two seasons. He's a consistent force on the Eagles defensive line and a locker room favorite. The dummy years in Graham's contract past this season can be used to keep him in Philadelphia at a reduced rate.
With plenty of cap room in 2022, Barnett is an easy extension candidate.
6. Cut Marquise Goodwin
Cap savings: $4,281,250
Unless the Eagles really want to see if Goodwin can make the 2021 roster, it's better to save cap space and cut ties with the veteran receiver. They can always bring Goodwin back at a reduced rate.
7. Cut/trade Zach Ertz
Cap savings: $4,952,000
Ertz's playing days in Philadelphia are all but over as negotiations on an extension during the season did not go well. If the Eagles cannot find a trade partner for Ertz, he's a candidate to be released as the franchise has Dallas Goedert set to emerge as the No. 1 tight end .
Ertz would prefer to play the rest of his career in Philadelphia, but that doesn't appear to be a possibility anymore.
8. Extend Dallas Goedert
Cap savings: $261,558
If the Eagles are going to move on from Ertz, they'll have more than enough cap room for 2022 to give Goedert an extension. They don't have to give Goedert a contract that pays him amongst the best tight ends in the game, but a raise over his $1,789,544 cap number in 2021 is expected.
Goedert is part of the Eagles future. Philadelphia should keep more homegrown talent around.