The Philadelphia Eagles are, uh, going to do something with Vinny Curry this offseason, according to a report from NFL insider Ian Rapoport.
First, Rapoport said the Eagles are expected to release Curry.
The #Eagles are expected to release DE Vinny Curry, source said, putting another key pass-rusher on the market. He was due $9M this year. Up against the cap, Philly clears some needed cap space.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2018
Then he said the Eagles are trying to rework Curry’s deal in an effort to keep him around.
Then he said the Eagles might trade him.
Update on the #Eagles and DE Vinny Curry after talking with a team official: They are currently in negotiations to try to keep Vinny Curry at a different salary. Teams are also interested in potential trading for him. It sounds like nothing is quite done yet.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 4, 2018
Thanks for the clarity, Ian.
So while we don’t know exactly what the Eagles are going to do with Curry, we do know that the veteran pass rusher won’t be back with Philadelphia in 2018 at his current salary.
Of course, this doesn’t come as a surprise given Curry’s inflated salary and the Eagles’ limited cap space. We previously listed Curry as one of nine players the Birds can cut or trade to save cap room this offseason.
Cut or traded: $5 million saved ($6 million dead money)
This is a tough spot for the Eagles. Curry had a good season in 2017. Not great, but good. He finished the year ranked 13th out of 39 4-3 defensive ends in pressure rate. His 17 quarterback hits ranked second in the NFL at his position. At the same time, Curry only played 56.1% of the team’s defensive snaps. And he has the fourth highest cap number on the team in 2018. So he’s being paid to be one of the team’s best players but he’s not at that elite level. I don’t think the Eagles will cut Curry, who turns 30 this summer, but I do think they’d love if some team made a trade offer for him. That would probably net a Day 3 pick, at best. The Eagles might try to see if they can restructure Curry or get him to take a pay cut.
The Eagles can also designate Curry as a post-June 1 cut, which would save $9 million. The only catch with that is they wouldn’t actually receive the full savings until June 2.
It’d be great for the Eagles if Curry takes a pay cut to stick around. They could use him.
If not, it’ll be a shame to see Curry go. As we all know, the 2012 second-round pick grew up as an Eagles fan. Curry got to be a starter on his favorite team’s first Super Bowl win. That’s awesome.
With Curry potentially gone, that leaves the Eagles with only four defensive ends on the roster: Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett, Chris Long, and Steven Means.
Graham, who turns 30 this offseason, is playing on the last year of his deal in 2018. He’s underpaid and deserves the contract extension he desires. The Eagles’ efforts to free up Curry’s money could help them keep Graham around.
Barnett, Philadelphia’s 2017 first-round pick, is likely poised to start if Curry doesn’t return in 2018. Even if Curry is back, Barnett should see an increase in playing time.
Long and Means figure to be good rotational pass rushing options off the bench. Long was especially great in 2017. Means saw limited playing time last year despite having a great preseason. He was a victim of the Eagles’ depth at the pass rusher position.
The Eagles could look to add even more defensive end depth in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Stay tuned to Bleeding Green Nation for more updates on this bizarrely developing story.