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Eagles salary cap room ranks 8th in the NFL

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

If you're looking for a silver lining in the Evan Mathis release, the good news for the Eagles is that they saved a sizable amount of money by parting with the veteran starter. Some will argue keeping Mathis would have been more preferable than creating potentially unused cap space, but what's done is done.

The Eagles saved $5.5 million by releasing Mathis after the June 1 date. His 2015 cap figure was scheduled to be $6.5 million, so the Birds only took on $1 million in dead money.

Philadelphia's roster currently sits one shy of the 90-man limit. Mathis' absence created a vacancy but his spot is expected to be filled by free agent offensive lineman Jared Wheeler. Wheeler's contract will likely be of minimum value.

With Mathis gone, the Eagles currently have $14,501,899 in cap space, per sportrac. That figure ranks as the eighth most in the NFL, which is only behind the Jaguars, Titans, Browns, Raiders, Buccaneers, Bengals, and Packers. Philadelphia ranks 10th overall in dead money.

So what will the Eagles do with all that money? Well, they don't have to do anything, but they do have options. The team could look to extend Sam Bradford since he's on the last year of his contract and he's due to make nearly $13 million this season. Philadelphia could also look to lock up young players from the 2012 NFL Draft class who will be free agents after this season, such as Mychal Kendricks, Brandon Boykin, Vinny Curry, and so on. Fletcher Cox is under contract in 2016 after the team exercised his fifth-year option but the Eagles could look to sign him to a long-term deal. Starting defensive end Cedric Thornton will be a free agent after this season.

Any cap space the Eagles don't use this season can be rolled over to the next league year in 2016. The Eagles will certainly need that money since they have some big decisions coming up, especially when it comes to Bradford.

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