Eagles Mailbag: Who Gets the Next Extension?
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Cox got his deal… who will Howie give big $ to next? -Sean S.
Looking through the lens of who’s next in line to get a contract extension, two names stand out. The first, of course, is Bennie Logan. As the MMQB’s Albert Breer pointed out yesterday, Logan is the only projected offensive or defensive starter who will be a free agent after this season.
The 2013 third-round pick has never put up big numbers, but if you turn on the tape, his impact is obvious. He started off last season playing like a Pro Bowler, although his performance dipped a bit as the season progressed, at least in part because of his calf injury that prevented him from playing in the final two games.
Logan has earned his reputation of being stout against the run, as he often looks unmovable. In most games, you’ll see Logan make plays like this one against Washington in Week 4, when he beat the combo-block and made the tackle.
Some have wondered how Logan will transition from a 3-4 two-gapper to Jim Schwartz’s scheme, but he moves well for a 315-pounder. Logan’s burst off the ball is underrated, and you’ll see him make more plays this season now that he can focus on getting up field, similar to the rest of the defensive line.
I am curious to see if Logan makes strides as a pass-rusher this year, but the Eagles don’t have much depth at defensive tackle, so there’s no obvious replacement for Logan currently on the roster if he isn’t back in 2017.
The other name that stands out is Donnie Jones, who ranks as the top punter in Eagles history. He’s first in both gross and net punting average, and he’s tied for seventh in NFL history in net punting average and tenth in gross punting average.
According to Over The Cap, Jones is currently the 15th-highest paid punter in the league, but he ranked in the top-10 in his position’s major categories last season. Jones is about to turn 36, but there’s no reason to believe the Eagles won’t try to bring him back.
Because of Howie Roseman’s spending spree, there aren’t many other guys who are obvious candidates. The Eagles will most likely want to secure Jordan Matthews before he becomes a free agent, but he still has two years left on his rookie deal.
One of the ex-Bills — particularly Leodis McKelvin or Nigel Bradham — may earn a longer-term deal if either one of them proves to be a valuable starter as they reunite Schwartz (both are on two-year contracts). It’s also possible one of the Eagles’ free-agent signings, like Rueben Randle or Stefen Wisniewski, makes a surprising contribution this season.
Regardless, any deal Roseman gives out will pale in comparison to any of the big contracts he gave out this offseason. The Eagles currently project to be over the salary cap for 2017, so the more interesting question may be who they cut ties with.