Philadelphia Eagles: Three Players They Must Release
In my previous article, I wrote about three things the Philadelphia Eagles must do to remain competitive. The focus now shifts to players currently on the Eagles roster who cost too much for what they bring to the table.
The Eagles recently parted ways with tight end James Casey, generating $4 million of cap space. More moves like this may be on the way. The franchise is in ver good financial situation, but is good to have more money available, especially if it comes from the release of players not much needed.
I identified three players the Eagles pay more than they should and cutting them could free some cap space for the team.
Cary Williams has been one of the two starting corenerbacks of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013 and 2014.
While he wasn’t exposed as much as Bradley Fletcher, Williams certainly had some bad moments he’d like to forget.
The most memorables were the two touchdowns he allowed to rookie wideout Allen Hurns in the season premiere against the Jacksonville Jaguars and getting beaten by another rookie, John Brown, in the game against the Arizona Cardinals. This last one costed the Eagles a game, which would have given them the edge over the Cards in a possible tie, but also a better final record and a playoff ticket.
In total, Williams allowed 56 catches on 99 targets for 757 yards and five touchdowns (thank you, Anthony Di Bona). The numbers are not really bad, but keep in mind that Williams is among the best-paid cornerbacks in the league. In 2015, he is scheduled for more than $8.15 million – the 13th biggest salary among NFL cornerbacks.
If the Eagles cut ties with Williams, they will save $6,500,000 which could be offered to a better player. Rumor has it the Birds are the front-runners to land Byron Maxwell, the Seattle Seahawks’ right-side cornerback.
Maxwell won’t sign with any team for less money than Williams is going to get in the 2015 NFL season. Most likely, Mawwell will demand even more.
The Eagles have the cap space to sign Maxwell and keep Williams, but I don’t believe that’s the plan. Even if Maxwell does not land in Philly, there are other cornerbacks that can offer what Williams does in a more cost-friendly deal for the Eagles.
2. Allen Barbre
With Lane Johnson suspended for the first four games of the 2014 NFL season, Allen Barbre started at the right tackle spot of the Philadelphia Eagles offensive line. Unfortunately, he was suffered a severe ankle injury in the season-opening game against the Jaguars and was place on the injured-reserve list.
Matt Tobin did a decent job at right tackle until Johnson returned, then switched to left guard to replace Evan Mathis, who was injured in the season-opener as well.
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After Mathis’ return, Tobin was scheduled to replace then-injured Todd Herremans at right guard, but Andrew Gardner won the job and played much better than Tobin.
Both Tobin and Gardner provided reliable stop-gap solutions to the Eagles. They are younger than Barbre and cost less than Barbre. In fact, Barbre is scheduled to earn as much as Tobin and Gardner are going to earn if you add their salaries.
Cutting Barbre will free up $1 million.
3. Earl Wolff
By releasing Earl Wolff, the Philadelphia Eagles could save $532,000. It’s not a big saving, but it comes from the release of a player that has not offer much to the team.
Wolff was drafted in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He has played in 18 of the 32 regular season games the Eagles have played the last couple of seasons. In 2014, he played only in seven games and recorded a total of seven tackles.
Wolff’s pro career has been rattled by injuries. He showed promise in the 2013 NFL season, but he is still far away from realising his potential. Releasing him will give some extra cash the Eagles can use to sign another, more depentable backup defensive back.