The Eagles are flying high, at 9-1 and all but assured an NFC East title and home playoff game (if not first round bye). But the question of longevity is unavoidable. With sophomore phenom Carson Wentz eventually due a big raise, the Eagles and Howie Roseman will need to be smart and frugal. With 10 big-name free agents set to come off the books next spring, it’s worth thinking about now — while things are good — to contemplate how long the window of competitivness will be open.
Obviously with Wentz getting a monster deal, sooner or later, the team will continute to have a bedrock to compete from. But who will his teammates be?
Here are the expiring contracts to know about:
1. WR, Alshon Jeffery: Jeffery hasn’t had a 100 yard game this year — no Eagle has, but his contribution from the WR1 spot has had a huge impact on Carson Wentz’ development. And his hands are pretty incredible. A new contract could be in the works for the 27-year-old.
2. RB LeGarrette Blount: The big bruising back has been effective in Philly but his services will likely be available in 2018. With Jay Ajayi still on his rookie deal and Corey Clement and Wendell Smallwood also set to return, Philly finally looks set at running back for the first time since LeSean McCoy was traded.
3. RB Darren Sproles: Sproles said he wanted to retire after this season, when the season began, but after injuries to his knee and ankle 2017 didn’t last long. If he comes at a discount he may be on the swuad in 2017 but don’t count on it.
4. LB Nigel Bradham: Bradham had a fumble returned for a touchdown against the Cowboys and, with Jordan Hicks sidelined again, has proven to be a very valuable linebacker. Bradham is making just over $4.7 million this year. For a similar price he’d be welcomed back with open arms in 2018.
5. TE Trey Burton: Brent Celek can be cut for just $1 million next season (he has one year and $5 million on his deal for 2018). If they do, you can bet Burton will be brought back and signed to a team-friendly deal.
6. S Corey Graham: Graham has been a great veteran depth member of the secondary, but he’s the kind of guy who will likely be replaced with youth in the offseason.
7. RB Kenjon Barner: If Sproles indeed does not return, Barner has shown value as a return man and as an occasional pass-catching running back. He could be the fourth RB on the team next season.
8. CB Patrick Robinson: Robinson offers an interesting case. Paid just $775,000 this season, he’s played well better than anyone could have guessed. He could fetch a pretty good deal in free agency, and while the Eagles would love to resign him, a healthy Sidney Jones could put him out of a job on Philly.
9. DT Beau Allen: Allen could stay for the right price but the Eagles have a wealth of depth on the front four and might look to the draft to replace him on the inside.
10. WR Torrey Smith* (team option): Smith has a $5 million option for 2018 that is entirely the choice of the Eagles. Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins could step into the No. 2 spot if Philly retains Alshon Jeffery, leaving Smith to walk in the offseason.