Cost-Effective Moves Philadelphia Eagles Can Make This Offseason
The Philadelphia Eagles will have a lot of work to do to be effective in the 2012 season. The team finished 4-12 this past campaign, losing 11 of their final 12 contests.
Andy Reid has been fired and replaced with controversial Oregon coach Chip Kelly, who brings with him an unorthodox style of offense. Kelly will have a difficult decision to make about his quarterback for ’13, as well as slew of other positions needing upgrades.
The Eagles will have to be wise with their financial decisions. A handful of players are due to make high-priced figures next season, and top cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is hitting free agency.
Restructure Nnamdi Asomugha’s Contract
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Nnamdi Asomugha has been a colossal bust since signing a five-year, $60 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
He was misused in his first season with the Eagles, getting burned frequently in Juan Castillo’s defense. Asomugha struggled in simple man-to-man coverage, allowing five touchdown passes and a 120.6 passer rating.
He’s set to make $15 million in the 2013 campaign, and the Eagles have to pay $4 million if they release him. They will need to restructure his contract should they have interest in bringing him back.
Cut Cullen Jenkins/Mike Patterson
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The Philadelphia Eagles may or may not be switching to a 3-4 defense, and that will depend on which players they bring back for their defensive line.
Fletcher Cox is penciled in as the starter at one of the defensive tackle spots. He had a phenomenal rookie season, leading all first-year interior linemen with 5.5 sacks. That means Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson will be fighting for the other starting spot.
Jenkins is set to make $5.5 million, with the Eagles penalized $1.5 million if they release him. Meanwhile, Patterson is set to make a tad over $4 million, which will be a lot to pay for a backup tackle. The Eagles won’t be penalized anything for releasing him, and that could be a logical choice.
Cut Michael Vick
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This should be a no-brainer. The 33-year-old Michael Vick can’t run Chip Kelly’s offense because he can’t stay healthy.
Whether Nick Foles is the answer at quarterback remains to be determined. He’s coming off a solid rookie campaign, and Kelly may want an upgrade at quarterback. But there’s no way Vick is the answer at $16.9 million.
Cut Demetress Bell
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This shouldn’t even have to be said. Demetress Bell will probably never play in the league again. There’s no way the Philadelphia Eagles should bring him back.
When it’s factored in that Bell will make $9.6 million in 2013, he’s gone.
Hold off on a Long-Term Extension with Jeremy Maclin
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The Philadelphia Eagles will have a difficult decision to make with Jeremy Maclin. He becomes a free agent after 2013 and will assuredly command big money in free agency.
The Eagles already have DeSean Jackson locked up for four more years at $10 million per season. Maclin and Jackson play a similar style of football. The Eagles could be better off with a bigger receiver like Plaxico Burress back in his prime or a current version of Dwayne Bowe.
Maclin has been a talented receiver, but he’s never had a career year with the Birds. He hasn’t hit 1,000 yards in a season and the Eagles may let him walk if he doesn’t play big next year.
Allow Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Walk
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Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is 26 years old and has a Pro Bowl on his resume. That may sound like an easy re-sign, but he vastly underachieved down the stretch in 2012.
DRC seemed to lack the motivation required to shut down opposing receivers. The talent is there, but he was unfocused too often. A good defensive coordinator should be able to bring the best out of him.
However, DRC will likely command an annual salary similar to the one Brandon Carr signed with the Dallas Cowboys (five years, $50 million). That’s too much money to pay for a cornerback who played halfheartedly too much.