Defensive tackle Bennie Logan could leave the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, but that wouldn’t kill the team moving forward.
One of the top storylines going into free agency is the status of defensive tackle Bennie Logan. Barring the Philadelphia Eagles signing him to a contract extension, Logan will hit the open market when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. on March 9.
Logan has become a key member of the Eagles’ second-ranked front seven in 2016. While playing next to Fletcher Cox, Logan has become on of the NFL’s top run-stopping defensive tackles. In 2015, Logan was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the NFL’s second-best run-stopping interior defensive lineman.
It’s impossible to ignore Logan’s production on the field. But for this exact reason, it will be extremely difficult for the Eagles to re-sign him. According to OverTheCap.com, the Eagles have just under $10 million in cap space. After greatly outplaying his rookie contract, Logan is expected to command a large sum of money the Eagles are simply unable to pay. At least for now.
More from Inside the Iggles
- How former Eagles star Cre’Von LeBlanc helped Renegades upstage Cowboys
- Eagles 2023 schedule: Every WR duo Darius Slay, James Bradberry will battle
- Imagining better names for Jason Kelce’s Good Guy Award
- Bold predictions for the Philadelphia Eagles offense in 2023
- Reactions as ESPN suggests NFL roster moves involving Eagles, Carson Wentz
The Eagles have already begun purging the roster of unwanted cap space. Leodis McKelvin has been cut and it is expected that several more players including Connor Barwin and Ryan Mathews will be released (or traded) as well. When that happens, the Eagles will have just enough cap space to sign Logan to the long-term contract he’s clearly earned.
Unfortunately, the Eagles also have several other holes that need to be filled in free agency. Carson Wentz needs a receiver, the secondary needs to be addressed and with Darren Sproles set to retire after next season, the Eagles will also need to find an answer at running back.
With so many holes to fill, the Eagles will need to assess what’s more valuable—signing Logan to a long-term deal or building around Wentz and improving the secondary. Objectively, it’s hard to imagine the Eagles would favor Logan in that scenario.
If the Eagles let Logan walk in free agency, they’d be losing one of their most talented young players. But be aware, the world would not stop turning if that does end up happening.
The next man up in the case of Logan signing with a different team would be Beau Allen. Allen, selected in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft, has started in just five games in his three-year career, but has shown that he can handle a starting role. Like Logan, Allen began his career as a 3-4 nose tackle. After last season’s defensive scheme change, Allen made a smooth transition to 4-3 defensive tackle. Allen started in just three games this season, but still managed to record 29 tackles and a half-sack. Logan, on the other hand, started 13 games and recorded just 24 tackles (he did, however, record 2.5 sacks).
There’s a very real possibility that Allen will be the Eagles’ starting defensive tackle alongside Fletcher Cox in 2017. Allen will be an unrestricted free agent after next season. But if he plays well and the Eagles want to extend his contract, it will be much easier for them to sign a player with only one year of starting experience as opposed to a player with nearly four years of starting experience.
It’s understandable why people don’t want Logan to leave Philadelphia. He’s young, talented and a great guy to have in the locker room. But the NFL is a business and the Eagles seem to have a viable in-house replacement capable of delivering solid results for a smaller amount of money. Losing Logan would be a tough pill to swallow, but it’s not something that would haunt the Eagles down the road.