The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Much has to happen for Birds to take next step
Eagles' bosses have work cut out for them this offseason
Only eight of the 57 teams to lose in the Super Bowl have returned to the big game the following season, most recently the New England Patriots. They won it all in 2019, despite replacing five starters on offense and four on defense. It was their second victory in a three-year Super Bowl streak, the only loss being to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
Now the Eagles have just seven players who started on offense and five on defense in the Super Bowl under contract next season. To take the next step on a personnel level, the runner-up Birds need to find two or three plugand-play players in the upcoming draft and do a lot of salary cap work through cuts, restructured contracts and just plain decisions to move on from select veterans.
For now, the Eagles have only $7.3 million of salary cap space available per Overthecap.com, which isn’t nearly enough to do what they need to do, starting with a major extension averaging more than $45 million annually for quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Though the Eagles’ brain trust wouldn’t go out on a limb at a postseason media availability Thursday, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson is their obvious free agent priority, veteran offensive lineman Isaac Seumalo a luxury signee, although his ability to play the pivot (should Jason Kelce retire) could keep him around at a competitive wage
The rest of the unrestricted free agents who really want to come back almost certainly will be required to accept discounted pacts.
The good news is on the quarterback contract extension for Hurts won’t have nearly the risk as the cap-killing pact the Eagles gave the moody, injury plagued and overrated Carson Wentz. The Eagles didn’t put a timetable on a Hurts extension but confirmed he is the one. Hurts gave