Brandon Brooks and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a contract restructure that signals the end of his time in Philly, according to a report from NFL Network.
#Eagles G Brandon Brooks will speak to the media at 11a. He recently signed a new contract reducing his 2022 cap number from $19.4m to $7.1m. The only ‘22 cash is a $1.12m non-gtd base salary.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) January 26, 2022
Clearly a deal for cap purposes in anticipation of him not being an Eagle this year.
This restructure isn’t totally dissimilar to how the Eagles moved some money around to set the table for them eventually releasing Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson as designated post-June 1 cuts last year.
NFL salary cap expert Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap offered some more insight on what this Brooks restructure means:
This is done for the anticipation of retirement. Allows them to carry him at $7.1M and then on June 2nd they will officially retire him dropping his charge to about $6M and deferring $9.8M in dead money to 2023 https://t.co/0IWcwNKZw7— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) January 26, 2022
(Note that a player retiring and a player being released works the same from a salary cap perspective.)
The TL;DR version is that the Eagles cleared extra space this year but they’ll take on more dead money in the future. They’re not so worried about that latter part with the anticipation that the cap will eventually explode (in a good way).
Opening up around $12 million with this Brooks restructure means the Eagles are projected to have about $24 million entering free agency. That projected figure is currently the 14th most in the league.
Getting back to Brooks, it’s a shame that his Eagles career had to end this way. He proved to be a great free agent signing, making 67 total starts (including playoffs) from 2016 through 2020. In addition to being the Eagles’ Super Bowl starting right guard, he earned three Pro Bowl berths.
Unfortunately, injuries derailed Brooks’ career. Brooks originally made a remarkable recovery from an Achilles injury in the Eagles’ January 2019 playoff game against the New Orleans Saints. It was a surprise to see him ready for Week 1 of the 2019 regular season. But then Brooks suffered a separated shoulder in the regular season finale that year. And then he suffered another Achilles injury during the 2020 offseason, preventing him from playing all year. The Eagles reportedly gave thought to trading Brooks during the 2021 offseason but he returned and made two starts before suffering a chest injury in Week 2. Lane Johnson suggested Brooks was going to be able to return in eight weeks but that never happened and Brooks instead remained on injured reserve.
Brooks should be remembered as a very good Eagles starter who was underrated from a national perspective. His impact on lives off the field through his mental advocacy was also remarkable. Brooks is a sharp dude who will likely have a bright post-football career in whatever he decides to do.
Moving forward, the Eagles will have to figure out who they want to start at right guard. They could move Landon Dickerson to that spot if Jason Kelce returns for another season and Isaac Seumalo plays at left guard. If Kelce doesn’t come back, though, it could be Seumalo at center, Dickerson at left guard, and Jack Driscoll or a rookie filling Brooks’ place.
PROGRAMMING NOTE: Brooks will address Philly reporters via virtual press conference at 11:00 AM Eastern this morning.