NFC East Notes: Eagles, Cox, Hardy, Cowboys

The Eagles still have salary cap flexibility after doling out $280MM in guarantees this year, Phil Sheridan of writes. This offseason, GM Howie Roseman handed major money out to in-house players like Fletcher Cox, Sam Bradford, Lane Johnson, and Zach Ertz while signing Brandon Brooks, Chase Daniel, Rodney McLeod, and Leodis McKelvin.

On the surface, the Eagles have an issue as they are $5.7MM over the projected salary cap for 2017. However, there is some wiggle room there if the team is willing to be on the hook for some dead money. Bradford’s salary-cap charge for 2017 is $22.5MM but the Eagles can release him before that season, saving $13MM and eating $9.5MM in dead money, leaving them $7.3MM under the projected 2017 salary cap. The Eagles could also cut left tackle Jason Peters, who will be 35 in 2017, to save another $9MM in cap space.

Here’s more out of the NFC East:

  • The new six-year, $103MM contract extension for Cox shows that the Eagles both value Cox and the defensive tackle position, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes. “It’s really hard when you look at building your team because when you have great offensive tackles, you can scheme against great defensive ends — I’m not telling you they are not equally as important; they are,” Roseman said. “But when you can get pressure up the middle and in a quarterback’s face, it’s hard. It’s hard for them. It makes them uncomfortable. I think this is something that we always believed in. There were very few guys that are this big and this athletic and have this kind of motor that are ever born, let alone play in the National Football League.”
  • Cowboys free agent Greg Hardy is apparently trying to clean up his public image as he seeks NFL employment, Darin Gantt of PFT writes. Hardy’s Twitter avatar now shows him holding a baby and his profile picture shows him smiling with a group of schoolchildren. Of course, given Hardy’s immense baggage and his disastrous interview with ESPN earlier this year, his social media revamp might not be enough to turn public opinion. Late last month, we ran down a list of teams that could still consider Hardy despite the PR backlash and headaches that he would bring with him. Recently, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reflected on the team’s year with Hardy and even though he admitted that the signing didn’t work out as well as he had hoped, he also said that he will not shy away from similarly risky players in the future.
  • Early this morning, it was reported that the Redskins will not seek to extend defensive lineman Chris Baker this summer.
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