What to do with Vinny Curry
13 March 2018 Eagles News
Take a breather. The Eagles are at the salary cap floor before the new league year begins tomorrow.
SIDE NOTE: Can we stop stressing about the salary cap every year? Eagles fans and media are always trying to wrap their brains around how Howie Roseman is going to make it all work, and still sign players to improve the team.
It is never as complicated as we make it. The Eagles have the highest pay roll in the NFL, and it looked like they would have no wiggle room to do anything.
That was before the Eagles restructured Lane Johnson’s contract, bringing his cap figure to $4.98 million from the original $12.48 he had on his contract.
That saved $7.5 million.
Then Roseman cut Brent Celek, saving another $4 million dollars. That move got the Birds to the salary cap floor, which is mandatory for all NFL teams to be at before the league year begins tomorrow.
So with that issue taken care of, what should the Eagles do with Vinny Curry?
According to NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, Philadelphia planned to cut, trade, maybe restructure….basically Rapoport reported every possible scenario that Roseman could take when addressing Curry.
Update on the #Eagles and DE Vinny Curry after talking with a team official: They are currently in negotiations to try to keep Vinny Curry at a different salary. Teams are also interested in potential trading for him. It sounds like nothing is quite done yet.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2018
Cutting or trading Curry would free up $5 million dollars in salary cap space.
He is simply overpaid.
That doesn’t mean keeping him isn’t a good idea or out of the question.
$5 million is a nice little chunk to get for a luxury (considering the Eagles already have Derek Barnett, Brandon Graham, Michael Bennett), but the Eagles don’t need the money as much as people may think, and there are other ways to get more space without getting rid of him.
When the league year begins tomorrow, the Eagles will get the $5 million dollars in cap relief from trading Torrey Smith.
They can also try and restructure a few more contracts such as Brandon Brooks, Fletcher Cox, Zach Ertz, etc.
Even Curry’s contract, which is one of the biggest on the team, could be restructured.
It was reported that the Eagles were indeed trying to do just that.
— NFL (@NFL) March 4, 2018
It isn’t a guarantee, but these players can still be compensated the same amount they agreed too, it would just be in the form of a signing bonus which doesn’t affect a team’s salary cap.
Johnson will now have a base salary of $790,000 for 2018, down from $10.25M. He collects the same amount of money in total, it just gets paid out differently. Win-win for the team and player.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 13, 2018
Now the Eagles won’t have a lot of space to work with regardless.
Roseman already signed DT Haloti Ngata to a 1-year contract, traded for DE Michael Bennett, and apparently are close to bringing back Patrick Robinson.
So it wouldn’t be ideal to keep Curry back on his current contract, but having a defensive line combination of Brandon Graham, Vinny Curry, Michael Bennett, Derek Barnett, Fletcher Cox, Timmy Jernnigan, and Haloti Ngata is scary to everyone outside of Philadelphia.
Curry is a better, younger option as a third or fourth option at defensive end to Chris Long.
He was 5th in QB pressures according to Pro Football Focus.
Which team would be the best fit for Vinny Curry if the Eagles move on from him? pic.twitter.com/9NstB2hk5R
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 5, 2018
So if there is mutual interest in coming back on more of a cap-friendly deal, having four pass rushers who can consistently get to the quarterback (especially in a defense that doesn’t blitz often) is a huge asset to have.
The front office clearly values the defensive line over almost anything else on the team, adding two more veterans up-front.
It isn’t likely, but the Eagles could technically do nothing with Curry’s contract and still be fine.
However, if they want a shot at Nigel Bradham, and/or wiggle room to sign Patrick Robinson, they will likely need Curry’s cap figure to come down/go away completely.
If Curry allows it, the Eagles should keep the 2012 2nd round pick, on a cheaper deal.
His team still has hope that he will be on the team in 2018.
$5M of Vinny Curry’s 2018 base salary becomes guaranteed Friday, so all options still on table until then.
But there’s optimism from the Curry camp right now that he’ll remain with the team. He’s in wait-and-see mode.
— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherNFL) March 13, 2018
The Birds can do that, and/or find other ways to make cap space without cutting or trading Curry.
It isn’t likely anyway that the Eagles can bring Nigel Bradham back, even if they had salary cap space.
There is a strong market for the 28-year old linebacker, and the Eagles are expecting to lose him.
Inside linebacker is very thin with Jordan Hicks and Mychal Kendricks under contract, but the Eagles only use two linebackers the majority of the time with a nickel corner getting featured more in most packages.
They have prioritized bringing back Robinson to start in the slot for another season.
A restructure would allow the Eagles to keep a disruptive defensive end, and add salary cap space.
It is the ideal scenario.
If they can’t, losing Curry isn’t the end of the world. Chris Long could always come back on a 1-year deal, and pass rushers is not a scarcity on the team.
A decision will come by Friday when guaranteed money is in play for Curry.