In this series, we are going to hit on each team and give you a brief rundown of how they look going into free agency, what moves are at their disposal, and what you might expect from the team. NFL free agency begins during the legal tampering period on Monday, March 14, 2022, and then players can officially sign on March 16th. All salary numbers within the article are courtesy of

With this article, we are going to explore all potential options - some of which will obviously be more realistic than others. 




When you look at where the Eagles sit amongst Super Bowl favorites for 2023, a lot of the teams have something in common: Indianapolis Colts (+2500), Cleveland Browns (+3000), New Orleans Saints (+4000), Pittsburgh Steelers (+4000), Washington Commanders (+5000), Carolina Panthers (+5000).  And that something in common is uncertainty at the quarterback position.  The Eagles with Jalen Hurts might be better off at quarterback than some of those squads but they sit right in the middle of that group at +4000 and questions still loom as to whether he’s the long term answer.

For the sake of this article, we are going to assume that he is the guy. And with that we are going to look at all the possible options the Eagles have to free up space for 2022 and put together a team that can make a run, starting this year. They’ve got picks 15, 16, and 19 in this draft so they have the ammo to make things happen. So let’s get to it.        




The most common way to generate money via restructure is to convert base salary to a signing bonus which can then be spread out over the remaining years of the contract. You can also potentially incorporate an extension to spread that money out further. How favorable that is for both the team and player comes down to the long-term outlook for the player. In certain circumstances, you may even have the leverage to ask a player to take less money. 



Darius SlayThe restructure described above is what folks talk about when they say “kicking the can down the road”. And, by the nature of that, you are going to want to make sure it’s a good player so that you aren’t stuck with a ton of dead cap if they need to be cut. Well, of the corners that played at least half the season, Darius Slay graded out as the third-best corner in the league per Pro Football Focus so you likely don’t need to worry much about that. He helped them out with a restructure last year and could do it again to the tune of $11.5 million if they needed it. 



Javon HargraveHargrave is another player who restructured his contract last year to create cap. He could create just under $9 million with a classic restructure but the smarter move for both parties would likely be an extension. The contract as of now includes three “void” years following this year so you can actually generate more than $9 million this year by figuring out a mutually beneficial extension that keeps him around and spreads that money out. 



Lane JohnsonLane Johnson is the consummate team player having played each of his nine years with the Eagles while restructuring his deal to free up space multiple times, including the last two seasons. So of course he’s a candidate once again. He could free up as much as $4.8 million per OverTheCap.  




Gardner MinshewThe Eagles are pretty healthy from a cap standpoint so don’t really need to trade guys to free up space. They are more likely to be the team that trades FOR a player on a team that is in cap hell or blowing it up, like a DK Metcalf or an Amari Cooper (though division rival trades like that are rare). But Minshew is an obvious one if we are assuming Hurts is the guy as he’s likely valuable enough to get you a decent return with all the QB needy teams out there. You also free up $2.5 million in cap.




J.J. Arcega Whiteside - It hurts but at this point it seems pretty clear that JJAW just didn’t pan out. They could save $1.17 mil in cap with only $400K in dead cap. At this point the roster spot in general is probably more valuable.



Le’Raven Clark - When you look at this roster, there are really only a handful of guys that can be cut that would save more than a million dollars and some of those names are out of the question obviously like Miles Sanders, Jalen Hurts, and Jake Elliott. The two other names really are Rick Lovato (who has been cut before but proved to be a reliable long snapper) and Le’Raven Clark. There honestly isn’t a major need to cut him for the $1,135,000 in savings but they’d only have $37,500 in dead cap so, if they wanted to do it, they could. 

Important Free Agents



Derek BarnettDerek Barnett is a good player. But when you are in the position the Eagles are in with the cap space you have and Josh Sweat on the other side, you’d like to have a GREAT player. It’s no secret that pass rush is crucial in this league. Barnett is too good to be a rotational guy so the reality here is that he’ll likely get a solid contract somewhere else and the Eagles should pursue a big name here either via the draft or free agency.



Steven NelsonNelson took a one-year “prove it” deal with the Eagles after a weird situation with the Steelers. And he proved he could play at a high level which should get him paid pretty well. Based a Twitter comment of his exactly one month from free agency opening, it sounds like he is set on testing the market so it will boil down to whether Philly thinks it’s worth paying up for their second corner behind Slay or if they can get away with cheaper options. 



Anthony HarrisThis one falls into the same category as Derek Barnett really.  Anthony Harris is a good safety.  But he’ll be 30 when the season starts and the Eagles should be looking to upgrade the position for the long term, not bring back placeholders.   

Honorable Mention Free Agents: Rodney McLeod, Ryan Kerrigan, Boston Scott, Greg Ward, Jason Croom

Positions of Need in Free Agency/Draft

Pass Rush - We talked about it above but getting to the quarterback is crucial in this league and they are likely to make an upgrade from Derek Barnett and Ryan Kerrigan. The only question left is which kind of upgrade to make. The Eagles defense is flexible under Jonathan Gannon, sometimes looking like a 3-4 and sometimes a 4-3, so they can accommodate any type of player. If they go with a free agent, there are a ton of supremely talented every down edge guys out there like Von Miller, Chandler Jones, or Jadeveon Clowney or they could go the more affordable route, pairing a rotational pass rusher like a Randy Gregory or Justin Houston with a run down specialist. Rookie pass rusher David Ojabo out of Michigan has also emerged as a popular potential pick for the Eagles.

Wide Reciever - This one is painful because you spend two firsts and a second on wide receivers in recent drafts and you still seemingly only have one starter to show for it in DeVonta Smith. Now is the time to go out and just get someone to play opposite Smith either via free agency or the draft. Given Smith’s lack of size and physicality, a big body that could play split end and beat the jam would be ideal as that would allow Smith to play flanker and/or slot and line up off the line. Obviously the top dog is Davante Adams if he doesn’t get tagged, but Mike Williams, Allen Robinson, DJ Chark, and Michael Gallup are all names capable of lining up out wide opposite your stud. 

Safety - We touched on this above but now is the time to upgrade this position rather than settle. Safety isn’t coveted the way positions like quarterback, pass rush, cornerback, wide receiver, etc. are so you might actually be able to get away with finding a safety at pick 51.  Otherwise there are some premium names floating around like Marcus Wlliams, Jessie Bates, Tyrann Mathiew, and Marcus Maye


Looking to see how other NFL teams should be handling their offseason heading into free agency? Check out our NFL Team Hub for a complete team-by-team breakdown!



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