Philadelphia Eagles: Does Jenkins reworked deal signify another move?

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

With the 2018 NFL season on the horizon, the Philadelphia Eagles have reworked Malcolm Jenkins’ contract to free up $6.1 million, but why do so now? A trade?

When news broke that the Philadelphia Eagles were restructuring Malcolm Jenkins’ contract to free up some cap space, it was met with very little fanfare.

In a move that doesn’t change the amount of money he will earn in this or the final two years of his deal, Howie Roseman essentially transformed Jenkins’ base salary into a bonus prorated over the contract’s life, to free up $6.148 million this season.

But why?

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Sure, the Eagles were straddling the cap pretty hard, only under the line by a few million, but with the roster already paired down to 53, why would Philly need that extra money?

Maybe it’s to facilitate a trade?

In the hours leading up to the final roster trim down, news broke that the Eagles had made Chance Warmack available via trade to guard-hungry teams like the Detroit Lions and the Seattle Seahawks. Though Chance is obviously still a member of The Eagles, could that have had more to do with making a trade work financially rather than a lack of interest in his services? The team certainly doesn’t need to keep 10 linemen.

While Warmack has noticeably rebounded from his days in Tennessee, his inability to play multiple positions may result in players like Isaac Seumalo and Halapoulivaati Vaitai receiving the nods on game day over Jeff Stoutland‘s prized pupil.

However, on a team like the Bears, Hawks, or Lions, Warmack would likely start.

Between Warmack’s $1.15 million cap savings and their current projected cap space of about $8.6 million, the Eagles could now take in almost $10 million of new money and still remain under the cap going into the 2018 NFL season.

Who knows, maybe with some creative wining and dining, the Eagles could flip Warmack and Jay Ajayi to the Pittsburgh Steelers for troubled superstar Le’Veon Bell?

A perfect fit in the team’s scheme, with the ability to exploit a defense both as a wide receiver and a running back, Bell and his current $14.5 million franchise tagged deal could be had for a package of Warmack, Ajayi, and some heavy draft consideration.

One can dream, right?

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All jokes aside, while Jenkins’ reworked contract could facilitate a trade for an older veteran whose role may be diminished thanks to younger players, much like the team’s acquisition of Michael Bennett earlier this year, those deals typically happen before rosters are trimmed to 53, not after.

Another idea floated as to why the team may have reworked Jenkins’ deal was to extend Brandon Graham going into the final year of his four-year, $26 million deal.

The idea, initially suggested by does hold some merit, as Graham has clearly outplayed his current deal, but how does freeing up an extra $6 million help to make that happen now? I guess the team could give Graham an extension as opposed to a new deal and front load $6-8 million on top of his $8 million 2018 salary to help smooth out the payments down the road when players like Carson Wentz, Ajayi, and Jordan Hicks will be exponentially more expensive.

Who knows, maybe the team won’t do anything with the money at all?

In the NFL, a team can roll over a portion of their unused salary cap room into the next offseason. Maybe by freeing up $6 million now, the team can utilize that money next summer to lock in a free agent, either in-house or out.

With outside players like Bell, Anthony Barr, and Jim Schwartz‘s former signal caller Preston Brown all potentially available, and in-house roleplayers like Ronald Darby, Ajayi and Graham potentially set to test the open market, having a little extra spending money certainly couldn’t hurt Roseman’s efforts to continue overloading the Eagles roster with talent young and old.

So, what exactly will the Philadelphia Eagles do with that extra $6 million they just freed up by reworking Malcolm Jenkins’ contract? Will they sign a free agent like Navorro Bowman, trade Chance Warmack for a player like Vincent Rey, or extend one of their own players? Maybe they’ll simply do nothing, and roll that money over until next year?

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Needless to say, this initially insignificant move may turn out to be a pretty big deal moving forward.