Roseman Isn’t Ready for ‘Short Sale’
(973espn.com) - As things stand right now, no one in the NFL will have less room to work with under the salary cap when the new league year starts in mid-March than the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles' executive vice president of football operations isn't complaining about his situation, however.
"We're not on short sale right now," Howie Roseman insisted on Wednesday at the NFL's Scouting Combine.
What Philadelphia is, though, is over the salary cap by about $9.5 million, at least until Roseman, the reigning Executive of the Year, starts working his magic.
The Eagles already gained a little bit of space with the retirement of veteran punter Donnie Jones earlier this week but plenty of work still needs to be done whether it's restructures, extensions or the outright release of certain players.
"We're very comfortable with our roster and our flexibility to make moves that we have to make," Roseman insisted."That doesn't mean we're in as good a situation as a lot of teams in the league."
Roseman's reputation is that of a salary-cap wizard but even the best financial minds would obviously rather have $100 million of space like Cleveland or the New York Jets rather than being in the red until some tweaks are made.
"There is a lot of cap room out there," Roseman admitted. "There are teams with a ton of cap room. But we are not going to make decisions, we are not going to get rid of good players, because of our cap situation. That responsibility starts with me and making sure we're about to keep guys and sign good players and we're not just doing things because of (our) cap situation."
Much of the Eagles' work was already done in-season, particularly the big-money extensions given to defensive tackle Tim Jernigan and receiver Alshon Jeffery.
"From our perspective, we had taken a look at maybe the free agent class over a two-year period and felt like we tried to balance where our resources would go," Roseman explained. "At the end of the day, we've got to do whatever we can to improve our football team."
When pushed on specifics all Roseman would offer was "our intention is to keep all our good players."
Some of those good players are scheduled to be free agents led by star linebacker Nigel Bradham and top-tier slot cornerback Patrick Robinson.
Other difficult decisions need to be made on tight end Trey Burton, running backs LeGarrette Blount and Darren Sproles, defensive tackle Beau Allen and veteran safety Corey Graham.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen