How much cap space did Eagles save with Jason Kelce restructure?

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Dave Zangaro
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How much cap space did Eagles save with Kelce restructure? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Jason Kelce last week announced that he was returning to the Eagles for the 2021 season on a restructured contract. 

Now we know exactly what those new contract terms look like. 

On his original deal, the 33-year-old Kelce was scheduled to have a base salary of $5.5 million with a salary cap hit of $8.41 million. 

With this restructure, the Eagles were able to give Kelce a raise while also saving some salary cap space for the 2021 season, which is a big deal for the Eagles given their current cap situation with just over a week before the start of the new league year. 

Kelce’s new cap hit for 2021 is $5,574,000 according to a league source. That means the Eagles saved $2,840,000 in cap space with this restructured contract.

The way the Eagles did this was by giving Kelce a signing bonus of $7,925,000. Signing bonuses prorate over the length of a contract so it’s a way of paying Kelce up front (and giving him a raise) while also reducing his cap number.

Kelce’s new base salary is $1,075,000 for this upcoming season but he already pocketed nearly $8 million in a signing bonus. That’s a nice raise from his previous $5.5 million base salary to a $9 million deal.

In 2022, Kelce has a base salary of $1.5 million and a cap number of just under $6 million. But after getting paid $9 million to play in 2021, it seems unlikely Kelce would play for $1.5 million next season. So if Kelce is going to be back in 2022, another restructure will probably be required. But Kelce is playing on a year-to-year basis these days anyway.

To spread out the cap hit as much as they did, the Eagles added three voidable (dummy) years to the end of this contract. This is indeed a kick-the-can method and the Eagles do this a lot, but the league-wide cap is expected to rise significantly in coming years.

Even if Kelce plays out the two years on this contract, he would leave a dead money figure of over $9 million in 2023. But like we said, the Eagles are going to be in a better situation in future years to swallow larger cap hits. 

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