The Eagles will have "a little less" than $20 million to spend in free agency if estimates of the new salary cap figure in the NFL collective bargaining agreement are correct, a league source said.
Various reports have the cap set at $120 million. The Eagles have roughly $100 million in salaries, including the approximate $16 million quarterback Michael Vick is owed under the franchise tag, that would count against their cap number.
That figure could increase depending upon whether the Eagles signed any of their own free agents before the league year started, and will decrease several million after they sign their draft picks. The new year is expected to begin a week following an agreement. If owners and players were to OK a deal on Thursday -- as many expect -- free agency would start on July 28.
The Eagles have said repeatedly that they have an aggressive plan for free agency. If estimates are on the mark coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman should have enough leeway to fill holes at cornerback and on the defensive line. The Eagles could also potentially be in need of a backup quarterback and backup running back if Kevin Kolb was to be dealt and Jerome Harrison was to leave via free agency.
If reports are true, Harrison will be an unrestricted free agent, along with several other Eagles will more than four years of service and less than six. Linebacker Stewart Bradley, punter Sav Rocca and Harrison are likely the only players that would have been restricted under last year's rules that the Eagles are to consider keeping for next season.
The Eagles will have the opportunity to sign their own free agents before the league year commences. Colleague Jonathan Tamari does a fine job indentifying the Eagles' potential targets once free agency begins here. At cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, Johnathan Joseph, Ike Taylor and Carlos Rogers could be available. At defensive end, Ray Edwards, Charles Johnson and Jason Babin are attractive options. The defensive tackle free agent field isn't as sexy.
The Eagles also have to take into consideration possible extensions for players like Vick or wide receiver DeSean Jackson when formulating how to use their cap space.