By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor
Aside from adding a quarterback and two receivers from the recently suspended AAF, Howie Roseman and the Eagles have been pretty quiet and focused on bringing in players who will be available in the draft later this month for visits.
On Friday night, Howie Roseman made another move, though not necessarily a flashy one.
Field Yates of ESPN reports that the team and tight end Zach Ertz have agreed to a restructured deal.
The Eagles converted $7.195M of TE Zach Ertz’ contract into a bonus, creating $5.756M of cap space in 2019, per source. Philly is in a healthy cap spot to maneuver if need be this offseason.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 13, 2019
As Yates notes, the deal will save $5.756 million in cap space for the 2019 season. That gives the Birds around $27.52 million in cap space and $21 million after draft picks are signed.
Certainly, it seems the Eagles are not done yet. The team really doesn’t need that much cap space for the season if they were to stand pat or even for a midseason trade acquisition, The move indicates that the Eagles still plan to make moves in free agency with some big names or they plan on extending some of their own players and handing out a few raises. One such player likely to receive a raise could be Carson Wentz.
The Eagles could choose to give Wentz an immediate raise for the 2019 season in exchange for lower cap hits on the rest of his deal. That would be the smart move and one that Roseman has done many time. He did it with Isaac Seumalo earlier this offseason.
As for Ertz, the amount of cap savings seems to indicate that Howie Roseman employed one of his favorite new tactics – including a dummy year in the deal to spread out some cap space. That means the $5.756 million will likely be spread out over the next three seasons even though Ertz is only under contract for the next two.
Ertz broke the record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season in 2019, but increasing his future cap hit could create a dilemma for the Birds.
Dallas Goedert is obviously a rising star and the team will most likely not be able to afford to pay two tight ends elite money. While it isn’t of concern now, Ertz’s increasing cap hit will continue to make Goedert look like the more viable option as the team moves toward the end of Ertz’s contract without an extension.
That decision is still a bit off, however, and the it will be a great problem for the team to have if it ever comes down to it.