I didn't know if anyone had heard this or not, but the Eagles are 12 million under the cap right now. Of course we might not be as set as the Eagles, but at least we aren't as bad off as the Titans. Wow. Here's the article and link:http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm
EAGLES SOAR WITH $12 MILLION IN CAP ROOM
We've gotten our meat hooks on the team-by-team salary cap numbers as of September 1 for the top 51 players on the roster, and we were shocked to learn that the Philadelphia Eagles, the defending NFC champions, are sitting on more than $12 million in salary cap room, 10 days before the start of the 2005 regular season.
The latest addition to that cap bulge came from the surprise decision to remove the franchise tag from defensive tackle Corey Simon, which freed up more than $5 million in additional space.
So the obvious question becomes, what will the Eagles do with all that money?
Our guess is that, as the season unfolds, the team will continue its pattern of targeting young players to lock up over the long haul, and that $12 million-plus will go a long way toward getting the job done. The money also will be used, we assume, to fund a long-term contract for Brian Westbrook, who currently is playing under a one-year restricted free agent tender of $1.43 million, and who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2006 (absent the use of the transition tag or franchise tag).
We also assume that the Eagles will be ready to throw some of that money at a receiver or two. Darnerian McCants, whose career stats mysteriously appeared on and then were removed from the team's web site on Wednesday, has worked out for the team, and Peerless Price is still trolling for a new team. When the final cuts are made on Saturday, there likely will be a few other recognizable names on the open market.
Other teams also will be able to sift through the bin of big-name veterans who don't make the final cut in their current cities, courtesy of healthy cap bulges so late in the preseason. The Cardinals and Rams have nearly $6.5 million each, and the Browns have almost $5 million. The Bengals have more than $5.6 million, and the Bears have more than $5.8 million. The Texans have more than $7.3 million, and the Saints have $5.6 million.
On the other end of the spectrum, the Titans are cutting it close with only $253,000 in cap room. The others with less than a million are the Bucs at $672,000 and the Raiders at $839,000.
Back to the Eagles, we wonder whether T.O. knows that the team is sitting on so much cap space. We're not deviating from our position that players need to honor their contracts -- but we also believe that teams need to spend all or most of their cap money. The fact that the Eagles, given the quality of their roster, would have so much space left as of September 1 boggles the mind.
Kudos to the front office for managing the cap so effectively, but at a certain point the guys who are in the locker room are going to raise some tough questions about whether and to what extent the team is going to share that wealth.