Roseman is Having a Cap-Friendly Offseason

John McMullen

The NFL’s salary cap is a very malleable one, the kind of system which enables one side to trumpet a player as the highest-paid at his position and the other to sleep soundly at night with the understanding that they got a very team-friendly deal.

Darius Slay agreed to a three-year, $50.5 million extension with the Eagles earlier this month after Philadelphia sent third- and fifth-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft to Detroit to acquire the three-time Pro Bowl selection, with $26.05M of guaranteed money due at signing, according to OvertheCap.com.

That’s big money, of course, but Slay’s deal, which runs through 2023 and includes the final year of his deal with the Lions, isn’t going to affect the Eagles’ 2020 cap situation all that dramatically. In fact, Slay’s 2020 cap number is only $4.3M with the big hit coming in 2021 when the Mississippi State product will balloon to a $15.75M cap expenditure.

The structure, as is typical in Howie Roseman/Jake Rosenberg negotiations, is essentially a two-year deal for Slay with two team options. 

If the veteran does not play well over the next two seasons the Eagles can move on easily before the 2022 season with $6.5M in dead money vs. $13.25M in cap savings. By 2023 those numbers are $3.25M and $17.5M respectively, a setup that screams restructure if Slay is still valuable and playing well as he moves deeper into his thirties.

As a whole, the Eagles have gotten very team-friendly deals with all their decisions in the secondary this offseason. The organization got Philadelphia native Will Parks to agree to a one-year deal worth $1.6M - less than what Minnesota and Detroit had offered Parks - and also brought back veterans Rodney McLeod and Jalen Mills on cost-effective contracts.

Even the team’s most high-profile free-agent signing, defensive tackle Javon Hargrave, has an out after two seasons. Hargrave signed for three years and $39M but if he doesn’t live up to expectations the Eagles could get out with limited damage before the 2022 season.

John McMullen covers the Eagles for SI.com. You can listen to John every day at 4 ET on ESPN 97.3 in South Jersey and reach him at jmcmullen44@gmail.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen

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