November 06, 2007

Birds Will Stay $12.5 Million Under Cap

The deadline for NFL teams to sign players and have a portion of their salary count against this year's cap is today at 4 p.m. Unlike previous years, however, the Eagles will not be taking advantage of that rule for a number of reasons.

One is that 19 of their 21 starters are signed beyond this season. The only two potential free agents after this season are tight end L.J. Smith and fullback Thomas Tapeh, and it is possible that neither player will be in an Eagles uniform a year from now.

Negotiations with Smith had not progressed for some time and had no chance of being renewed once the tight end required two groin surgeries and missed three of the team's first seven games. As for Tapeh, negotiations never began with the fullback.

Typically, the Eagles have targeted young players they feel are on the rise to tie up to long-term deals before this deadline. A year ago at this time, they signed defensive end Trent Cole and defensive tackle Mike Patterson to extensions through 2013 and 2015, respectively.

The Eagles might have considered doing that this year with second-year middle linebacker Omar Gaither, but team president Joe Banner said the new collective bargaining agreement does not allow teams to extend the contracts of second-year players.

The Eagles have three second-year starters, all on defense, but one of them is 2006 first-round pick Brodrick Bunkley, who is already signed through 2011. Gaither and starting strong-side linebacker Chris Gocong are signed through 2009.

Strong safety Sean Considine, who is in his first full season as a starter, is signed only through next season, but there are a few reasons the Eagles are not in a hurry to extend his deal. Quintin Mikell could replace Considine as the starting strong safety in the future. Eagles coach Andy Reid said Considine played sparingly in the second half last night because he suffered a shoulder injury.

Mikell, who signed a four-year contract in the off-season, impressed the Eagles' decision-makers during his five starts in place of injured free safety Brian Dawkins and has a chance to become a starter at some point in the future.


That deadline has past, and the Eagles signed nobody. According to BJ's Eagles Salary Cap page(very accurate) the Eagles are $12,499,220 under the cap. I guess after that Dallas debacle nobody deserves to get paid.

I know Banner must hate the new CBA rule that prevents you from extending a players contract in their second season. I am sure they had a low ball offer all ready for Omar Gaither. He probably would have taken it, considering the uncertainty in the NFL, and the fact that he was a late round draft pick.

Did the NFL do this, to stop teams like the Eagles from signing players before they reach their true market value? It sure does put a big wrench into how the Birds like to do business.

The Eagles wont win a Super Bowl this season, but they will win the salary cap award yet again. I believe this is fives years in a row now, time to start calling the Eagles a dynasty!

I guess that is the goal of the gold standard.

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