Are You a Fan of the Jason Babin Release? Thank Howie Roseman
Tout this as another victory of Howie Roseman.
Jason Babin, who was signed in the 2011 free agent crop that earned the Eagles the "Dream Team" nickname and was cut Tuesday following the team's 30-22 loss to the Panthers, will have minimal impact on the salary cap.
Per the terms of the five-year, $27.725 million pact he signed last July, Babin was due only $500,000 beyond 2011.
That may result in a cap penalty. But considering the Cowboys have taken double-digit million cap hits -- when they released Roy Williams and Marion Barber among others last year -- we're talking pennies.
The deal contained $5.5 million in total guarantees, $1 million up-front (signing bonus) and $4 million as a first-year (2011) roster bonus.
Had things panned out, the Eagles would've been getting a player with 18-sack potential (what he posted in 2011) for no more than $6 million per year.
Granted, 2012 sack leaders Aldon Smith (16.5 sacks), J.J. Watt (14.5) and Von Miller (14.0) are all on rookie deals that pay considerably less.
But the $79 million ($40 guaranteed) and seven years for DeMarcus Ware (10.0 sacks in 2012) and $72 million ($31.5 million guaranteed) for Dwight Freeney (2.0 sacks in six games in 2012) speak to the potential discount.
That they could cut ties with him so easily, as they did shockingly Tuesday, speaks to the built-in escape rope.
Ultimately, whether or not you agree with the move -- obviously meant to jolt the locker room and serve as the first in a series of messages that a seven-game losing streak and second-straight .500 or worse finish are simply unacceptable -- it should stand tall as yet another example of top-notch contractual craftsmanship by Roseman, often slammed as a "pencil pusher" with limited football acumen.
For record, Babin's contract isn't the only favorably figured deal on Roseman's resume.
Vince Young and Ronnie Brown, for instance, were contractually expendable beyond 2011, an option the team could exercise (and did) thanks to Roseman.
Same goes for Cullen Jenkins, who was only guaranteed his 2012 and 2013 salaries this February, after his play on the field and leadership in the locker room justified it.
Matter of fact, of that free agent class, the only player due substantial guaranteed money was Nnamdi Asomugha, who, in Roseman's defense, created such a sense of loss by the Cowboys that Jerry Jones resorted to the following pettiness.
Next up, of course, is Michael Vick, who's due only $3 million for injury insurance in 2013. In other words: beyond the second year of a $100 million contract, Roseman and the Eagles were entirely off the hook.
That said, I'll take the "pencil pusher" any day.