With 53 players on a regular-season roster, the NFL is the one league where salary cap wizardry and bargain shopping can lead a team to Super Bowl glory.
Philadelphia is hoping to cash in on Jalen Hurts’ rookie deal before the organization is forced to compensate him like the MVP candidate he’s developed into.
Joel Corry of CBS Sports recently did an interesting breakdown of salary cap wizardry, putting together a Madden-style roster of the best team money can buy.
The Eagles and Howie Roseman led the charge with five players landing on the list that has far outplayed their current deals.
QB: Jalen Hurts, Eagles ($1,651,195)
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
The fact that Mahomes is still outplaying his contract could be the most shocking thing about this team, but Hurts is clearly the top bargain in football today.
Hurts was the leading candidate for NFL MVP until a sprained right shoulder in Week 15’s contest against the Bears forced him to miss the next two games, which the Eagles lost. He completed 66.5% of his passes for 3,701 yards with 22 touchdowns and only six interceptions to post a 101.6 passer rating. Hurts added 760 yards on the ground, which was 5th in the NFL among quarterbacks. His 13 rushing touchdowns were tied for league’s second most. Patrick Mahomes having the NFL’s second largest cap number at $35,793,381 made the choice easy.
RT: Lane Johnson, Eagles ($10,911,653)
(Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images)
The best right tackle in football, Johnson is an All-Pro and has gone almost two years without a sack or quarterback hit.
Johnson continues to be standard at right tackle. 2022 was Johnson’s second straight season without surrendering a sack.
Edge: Haason Reddick, Eagles ($3.878 million)
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Howie Roseman signed Reddick to a 3-year, $45 million deal last spring and it is looking like the steal of free agency.
Reddick can make a case that he’s already outperformed the three-year, $45 million contract (worth up to $46.5 million through incentives and salary escalators) with $30 million fully guaranteed he received from the Eagles in free agency last March. He set a career high with 16 sacks, which tied for the second most in the league. Reddick tied for the league lead with five forced fumbles and tied for third among defensive players with three fumble recoveries. Lawrence being the 2019 first round pick prevented Nick Bosa, who is considered the favorite to win the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award from being selected.
CB: James Bradberry, Eagles ($2,281,245)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Bradberry has likely priced himself out of the Eagles’ range in free agency, but his one-year deal could help this team reach another Super Bowl.
Bradberry joined the Eagles to help form arguably the NFL’s best cornerback tandem with Darius Slay after the Giants made him a salary cap casualty last May. Opposing quarterbacks completed 46% of passes (40 of 87 attempts) when targeting Bradberry for a 54.2 passer rating, according to PFF. Bradberry’s 17 passes defended were the NFL’s third most this season.
EDGE: Brandon Graham, Eagles ($9.413 Million)
(Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
A veteran pass rusher who was supposed to be on the decline, Graham posted his most efficient and dominant season as a pro.
minimal financial commitment at quarterback is allowing for a bigger than usual investment in pass rush depth. Graham had a career high 11 sacks in a deep Eagles defensive line rotation despite only being on the field for 42.86% of Philadelphia’s defensive snaps.