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The Eagles' "vested veteran" salaries become fully guaranteed on Saturday

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The benefits of making an NFL roster are plentiful for young players, but for veterans, being on the Week One roster means a guaranteed paycheck. At 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, all "vested veterans" around the league will have their entire season salary guaranteed. For those unaware, a "vested veteran" is a player with four or more accredited NFL seasons.

The full guarantee of a "vested veteran" salary is obviously beneficial to a player that has made it past the average NFL career (3.5 years), but it can also be a curse for high-paid players that are past their prime or fringe guys with little leverage. NFL general managers are aware of the value of keeping only a select number of "vested veterans," because team's want the flexibility to wipe contracts off the books if a player is not delivering on the field. This is why you will see several talented "vested veterans" on the street during Week 1, but suddenly sign a deal on the Tuesday after the first games are played.

When a team signs a "vested veteran" after Week 1, the organization can sign that player for the league minimum with little risk. If the player is only good enough to last a few weeks or is just signed to fill-in for an injury, the team can drop them and their salary. It is essentially a way to beat the system, while still allowing older players to catch a last paycheck or opportunity.

With these dealings, it is fair to suspect that the Eagles may have held onto to Emil Igwenagu and Jeff Maehl in order to fill the Week 1 roster. After the first game passes, the team could upgraded over players like Maehl and Igwenagu with veterans like Michael Jenkins or Daniel Fells. Howie Roseman performed a similar exercise when he waived Joselio Hansen during final cuts in 2011 and then picked him back up after Week 1.

Here is a list of the "vested veterans" on the Eagles roster:

  • Michael Vick
  • Jon Dorenbos
  • Donnie Jones
  • Jason Peters
  • Isaac Sopoaga
  • Trent Cole
  • Todd Herremans
  • Evan Mathis
  • Jason Avant
  • DeMeco Ryans
  • Brent Celek
  • Allen Barbre
  • DeSean Jackson
  • Connor Barwin
  • James Casey
  • Patrick Chung
  • Bradley Fletcher
  • Brandon Hughes
  • LeSean McCoy
  • Cary Williams
Do you think the Eagles will target a "vested veteran" in Week 2? Who will they target and who will that player replace?

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