Ranking the Eagles six most applaudable examples of salary cap ingenuity

A.J. Brown #11, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
A.J. Brown #11, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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As a cap increase appears to be on the horizon in 2023, Howie Roseman seems to have the Eagles pointed in the right direction.

Sometimes, it’s hard not to wonder what former Philadelphia Eagles like Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, and Terrell Owens are thinking. Can you imagine what they’d be worth during a free-agency frenzy these days?

T.O. landed in Philly by way of a trade involving the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, a subsequent grievance filed by the NFL Players Association on his behalf, and a settlement that was reached by the three teams. Eventually, a seven-year deal with the Eagles for Owens worth $49 million was crafted.

T.O. received a $10 million signing bonus, but his contract was heavily backloaded. It paid him $9 million in 2004, but most of that bonus money as his base salary earned him $660,000.

Yeah, these days it’s hard to imagine that a player with Owens’ skill set could be signed by any team for that type of price tag. You never know though.

Sure, overspending is a part of the game when it comes to these guys, and often, we see teams pay for making those deals later, but occasionally, thanks to unforeseen circumstances, great players are landed at a bargain. Then, there’s the NFL Draft.

Snag a few guys later in the selection meeting than expected, and before you know it, you have a few stars on the team that are worth more than their paychecks would indicate. Vice president/general manager Howie Roseman has been criticized for his management of the Eagles’ cap in recent years, but he seems to have things rolling now.

90 men are on the training camp roster, but according to Spotrac, if you calculate the salaries of their 51 highest-paid players, they have about $3,307,170 in estimated cap space. Over The Cap says they have about $12.2 million. Philly should remain competitive on the open market for top-tier talent going forward as the salary cap is expected to rise from $208.2 million to an even higher number in 2023.

In the meantime, let’s look at some of the better bargains on the current payroll. Might these be among some of the best in pro football?