The Have To's, The Why Not's and The Cap Casualties


So I was listening to 97.5 this morning as I was doing stuff around the house and the late morning show was going through the roster with their callers and asking “Stay or Go.”

Even though most of the moronic half-wits listeners had no idea what they were talking about, I thought it might be a fun exercise, at least for the Defense to list who stays and who goes.

I took it 1 step further and broke the defense down into 3 categories; The Have To’s, the Why Not’s and the Cap Casulaties. As for our FAs, they can all seek employment elsewhere.

Let's get started.

The “Have To’s” are just that, guys that for one reason or another, we have to keep. Yeah, I know, very clever name for this category. So here are the guys that fall into that category.

Trent Cole isn’t going anywhere, for the simple fact that I highly doubt that we are going to take a $6.4M cap hit for a guy to not play for us. That just ain’t happening folks. Besides, he is still an above average run defender and an above average pass rusher. While we can speculate all day long as to whether or not he is the ideal “fit” for the new Defense, the man can still play DL at a respectable level. He stays.

Brandon Graham showed last year, once Reid took out the proverbial trash and opened up starter’s playing time for him that he was more than capable of producing on the field. Graham absolutely abused Andre Smith in the Cincinnati game, and in my opinion, that is going to be closer to the rule than the exception for him moving forward. Also, he carries a healthy cap hit as well, at just over $5M, but that is moot, because he stays.

Vinny Curry is an absolute unknown as to what he can really do on the field due to limited snaps last year. And while that may say something, the fact is that he flashed in the pre-season when he did get a chance. Lack of playing time aside, he is extremely affordable as he is still on his rookie contract and is one of the more athletic DL on the roster. For that reason alone, he gets a fair shot at earning PT in this new defense. He stays.

Cullen Jenkins has experience playing on a 34 Defense that won a SB. At $10M left on his deal for the next 2 years and a $1.5M cap hit if he is cut or traded, it is worth keeping him around. He is a leader in the locker room and can still rush the passer. While he would ideally be a pass rusher only, if we needed him to start, I opine that he could fill in adequately. He stays.

Fletcher Cox is a stud and our best defensive player. Enough said. He stays.

Michael Kendricks is our best LB and a playmaker in the making. Enough said again. He stays.

DRC is a guy who has so much athletic ability that it borders on freakish, but in a good way. However, many have stated that DRC stands for Doesn’t Really Care and for good reason; there were times last year where his “quit” on plays was as clear as day on a sunny afternoon. The fact is, if he ever chooses to play up to his full potential, he is a Pro Bowler. I say we franchise him to see if he can earn a long term deal. He stays, but only because this is one of those situations where he is the lesser of two evils.

Brandon Boykin showed that playing nickel CB in the League is not beyond him in any way and given the League’s offensive reliance more and more on the forward pass, having a competent and capable nickel CB is a must. He stays.

Nate Allen has underwhelmed. There is no other way to put it. However, he is relatively cheap and was a high second round pick for a reason, it would be foolish to just get rid of him at this point. Also, I have a feeling that if we pair him with a stud Safety and let him play “the other guy” role, a Robin to somebody else’s Batman, he may wow us. He stays, but this is his last chance.

The next group is what I am calling The “Why Not’s” because mostly, they are all extremely cheap and so “why not” give them a chance to see if they can produce in the new defense. Again, I am killing it with the clever naming skills. It should be noted that not 1 of these guys is going to make over $800K next year, with most in the $500k-$600K range. These guys are a classic "risk vs. reward" scenario. These guys carry almost no risk and even if we get only a few guys to fill secondary roles (coverage LB, DL rotation) and/or special teamers, the reward outweighs the cost.

Philip Hunt: He can be a pure situational pass rusher.

Cedric Thornton: He is a guy who flashed penetration skills last year and may thrive as a DE in the new scheme.

Jamar Chaney: He can be LB depth, if not push for a starting spot.

Casey Matthews: He has played under CK in a 34 Defense and while he isn't a starter, he can be a pass coverage LB.

Ryan Rau: He can compete and push the starters at ILB.

Curtis Marsh: Still hasn't earned starter’s playing time, but maybe he can in the new defense.

Brandon Hughes: See above.

Antonio Dixon: Failed in the Wide 9, may be better suited as a space eating NT.

Kurt Coleman: Should never be a starter, but can be a cheap insurance plan as a backup and play STs.

David Sims: See above.

Now we get to the Cap Casualties section of the FanPost, and to be blunt, these are the guys who have significant salary that they aren't earning and as such, we should reallocate those resources to alternate players/positions.

Nnamdi Arivaderce: I know he is smart, well spoken and a man who does a lot for the community, so here is a little something for all of that. /Golf clap. . . . .

While he has a $4M cap hit and that is significant, I want less to do with him than I do with Vick moving forward. Sacrificing the $4M this year by cutting him saves us $11.3M that we can and should spend elsewhere and $15M of savings next year. That is some major coinage ladies and gentleman. If I were Howie, I would take that $11M and immediately use it to make sure that we signed the S that best fits what the new defense needs back there and someone who could try to salvage Allen at the same time.

Mike Patterson: While he is a great story returning from that freak brain injury and one of the longest tenured Eagles, he literally has not made anything close to a difference in 3 years. Also, if we cut him, we save $4M. Hmm, can we use that $4M to offset getting rid of the cost to cut Nnamdi? We sure as shinola can.

DeMeco Ryans: I already covered him in my FanPost from 2/5, so go here for the details.

So there you have it BGN, my take on the defensive portion of the roster.

As always, thanks for reading. Time's yours. Have a great day and a better tomorrow!

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