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2012 NFL Free Agency Primer

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The NFL's free agency period opens tomorrow at 4pm, meaning there's no waiting up until midnight looking for news of who has been magically signed the instant it starts this year. We'll have all day tomorrow to kick around rumors.

The cap has been set at $120,600,000, up only about $300K from last season. The Eagles are currently projected to have $9,871,628 in room, but expect that to change as players are released today. Teams must be under the cap by 4pm tomorrow, so it's likely we'll be seeing lots of either cuts or restructurings.

Also, that number includes DeSean Jackson's $9.515 million franchise tag, so in reality they have upwards of $20 million until DeSean signs that tag. Reports have said he planned to sign it soon and now that the franchise tag values and cap were set over the weekend, there's really nothing stopping him.

As for possible cuts? Winston Justice is making $4.2 million, Jamaal Jackson is making $1.875M, I'd be shocked if those guys are on the team under those deals by tomorrow.

Other possible candidates? Darryl Tapp is making $2.575m and is probably surplus with Brandon Graham healthy heading in to next season. A fourth DE could be found cheaper than that. Asante Samuel is the big one, he's set to earn $10.5m next season and it seems unlikely that the Eagles are going to pay that. The question becomes what to do with him? The team could try to trade him, but they'd have to find a team willing to take on that salary. There are a lot of teams with a ton of cap room that need to spend to the floor, so it's not crazy. Although it might take a while. He could also, of course, just be cut.

The Eagles own notable free agents include LG Evan Mathis & DT Derek Landri. The general feeling is that the team would like both back.