The theme of this Eagles off-season was taking care of their own.
After handing out millions last season to players outside of the organization- much to the dismay of some of the players already on the team- the Eagles gave long contract extensions to DeSean Jackson, Trent Cole, Todd Herremans, and Evan Mathis.
The Eagles are currently (roughly) $15 million under the salary cap, and will be even further under the cap next season. So it's fair to ask: who gets the next long term deal?
With LeSean McCoy now under contract for some time, there are a few names on the roster that stick out as next in line for a big deal.
Jeremy Maclin- Maclin has quietly played second fiddle to DeSean Jackson since he arrived in Philadelphia, but his numbers are comparable despite playing 1 less season. Maclin has only 40 less catches (189 to 229) and 2 less touchdowns (21-19), and is considered by many to be a more complete wide receiver than Jackson. Maclin is set to make a little over $2 million in each of the next two seasons before his deal expires. If he has a the breakout year many predict, he will be looking for a big pay day.
Jason Kelce- Kelce surprised many by taking the starting job from Jamaal Jackson last season, and with Howard Mudd continuing to teach him, he is thought of as one of the top young centers in the league. The Eagles clearly have faith in Kelce, as they have given him more responsibility this season in terms of calling out the blitz at the line of scrimmage. The plus side for the Eagles getting a starter in Kelce with a 6th round pick is that he is making only $490,000 this season. After this year Kelce will be have only 2 years remaining on his contract. Although Banner is gone, the Eagles have shown they like to lock up young talent early at a bargain price. Kelce would certainly fit under that category.
[Note by JasonB, 07/11/12 3:45 PM EDT ] As @shlynch pointed on twitter, per the terms of the new CBA, Kelce will not be eligible to get an extension until 2014.
Jamar Chaney- After being drafted in the 7th round of the 2010 draft, Chaney became a starter late last season as a rookie. Chaney had high expectations going into last year, but like many players on the Eagles team, did not meet them. Chaney was not horrible, but he did not show the growth the Eagles hoped he would. The Eagles bringing in DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks this off-season is not exactly a ringing endorsement of Chaney. If Chaney can cement himself at one of the linebacker positions, the Eagles would gladly invest in him. Chaney is a strong locker room guy and has a great work ethic. But he is going to have to have a bounce back season if he hopes to see big money when his contract runs up in 2013.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie- Everything is on the line for DRC this season, as he is being given back his starting job and also playing in the last year of his deal. He is set to make just over $2 million, which is a steal if he can play up to his potential. If he does, the Eagles will try to resign him in the off-season to a long term deal, one that presumably would pay him much more than what he is making now. But if he is the same player he was last year, the Eagles might consider giving either Curtis Marsh or rookie Brandon Boykin a shot at being the start opposite Nnamdi Asomugha.
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks