The Philadelphia Eagles have been working overtime to decrease their salary cap debt. As of yesterday, their latest task was restructuring left guard Isaac Seumalo’s contract, according to Ian Rapoport.
Today, it’s the contract of defensive tackle Javon Hargrave — one of the top-ten highest-paid players on the Philadelphia Eagles.
CAP SPACE SAVINGS
Isaac Seumalo has been with the Eagles since 2016. In 2019, he signed a three-year contract extension worth nearly $16 million with $7.7 million in guaranteed money.
Going into the 2021 NFL season, Seumalo’s salary occupied 2.64% of the cap space at $5.4 million. His restructure will now allow the Eagles to decrease his base salary to the veteran minimum and pay out the remainder of his salary in a bonus.
Ultimately, the move will save Philadelphia $2.4 million in cap space.
The restructure will increase Seumalo’s salary cap space in the future, as the debit of his bonus will be distributed into the remainder of his contract, but it likely won’t make an impact.
This is the second year in a row Seumalo has agreed to a new deal to help Philadelphia with their ongoing salary cap overage.
Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million contract last season. Hargrave was guaranteed $12.75 million for the upcoming year. The restructure will now save the Eagles an additional $9.4 million in cap space.
COMMITTING TO THE FUTURE OF SEUMALO AND HARGRAVE
Both Isaac Seumalo and Javon Hargrave succumbed to injuries during the 2020 season — something Philadelphia is all too familiar with.
Seumalo didn’t see the field for nine weeks last season after suffering from a knee injury, adding to the franchise record of starting combinations for the offensive line. However, when healthy, he plays well and will likely play center when Jason Kelce retires.
For now, he will join Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Brandon Brooks (if a trade doesn’t occur), in hopes of rebuilding the offensive line — an offensive line that ranked No. 1 in 2019, according to PFF.
Last year, they fell to No. 19, but all-in-all not too bad given the nature of the season. Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland is back for his tenth season with the Eagles this year under head coach Nick Sirianni. The stability of Stoutland, paired with good health along the line, should fare well.
Hargrave missed Week 1, totaling 38 tackles, five tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, and eight quarterback hits. He finished the season with PFF’s fifth-best interior pass rush grade but 111th best-run defense grade.
As the NFL’s 12th highest paid interior defender, Hargrave should look to expand on his 2020 late-season potential. The defense ranked in the top-15 under former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, falling to No. 20 last year. New defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will work to restore the team, maintaining a 4-3 defense.
PREPARING FOR FURTHER SAVINGS
According to OverTheCap, the Eagles remain $17.5 million over the salary cap. They are one of the most indebted teams going into the 2021 season.
Eagles fans may see further restructures for Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham, and Lane Johnson in the coming days.
Philadelphia may also trade or release Zach Ertz, and release both Alshon Jeffery and Malik Johnson before the start of the new league year on March 17. Both Jeffery and Johnson’s contracts were already restructured earlier this year.
As of yesterday, the NFL raised the salary cap to $182.5 million.