We don't know a lot about what rules will govern league spending this offseason, but we do know how much money the Eagles currently have committed to players for 2011.
According to ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas, the Eagles have a salary-cap figure of $80.8M. On its own, that number doesn't mean much. But when compared to other NFL teams, it becomes a little more significant. Jimmy K. over at Bleeding Green Nation has put together a nice chart of all the figures, and the Eagles have the fifth-lowest number in the league. Only the Bucs ($59.7M), Panthers ($73M), Chiefs ($74.7M) and Jaguars ($78.1M) have less money counting towards the cap.
Among the teams listed below the Eagles, only the Chiefs made the playoffs last season. And the Birds currently have less money committed than all of their NFC East counterparts: the Giants ($105.2M), the Redskins ($115.2M) and the Cowboys ($136.6M).
If you're wondering what the cap number will be for 2011, well, we don't know that either. We actually are not even certain that there will be a cap. 2010 was an uncapped year, and the ceiling was about $127M in 2009.
But there are a few things worth noting when looking at these numbers. For starters, the Eagles have several players who are not currently under contract for 2011: Michael Vick, Quintin Mikell, Ernie Sims, Omar Gaither, Stewart Bradley, Akeem Jordan, Jerome Harrison, Eldra Buckley, Max Jean-Gilles, Reggie Wells, Nick Cole, Victor Abiamiri, Ellis Hobbs, Dimitri Patterson, David Akers and Sav Rocca.
Right now, we don't know which of these players will be unrestricted free agents and which will be restricted. Furthermore, we don't know which players the Eagles are even interested in bringing back. The numbers above don't include rookie salaries either, which won't be added until the draft takes place, the CBA is agreed on and rookies agree to new deals.
For the Eagles, there are a couple of other big issues still at play as well. The most obvious is Michael Vick and his future. His cap number for 2011 (operating under the assumption that he's back) has yet to be determined.
And another issue is DeSean Jackson's contract. Jackson is scheduled to make $565,000 in the final year of his rookie contract in 2011. If the Eagles choose to rework his deal, Jackson's number could also add to the $80.8M listed above.
Players could still get cut, and trades are a possibility too down the road. Right now, the Eagles look like they'd be in great shape to add free agents (keep in mind they spent a reported $131M in 2010). But depending on a number of factors described above, there could certainly be movement on how much money they have available to them when it's time to sign new players.
Wes Bunting of the National Football Post has the Eagles taking Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod in the first round:
A smooth, graceful blocker with good range, change of direction skills and quickness in both the run and pass game. Needs to learn to play a little lower, but has the ability to mirror in space and possesses the makeup of a starting left tackle in the NFL.
Bunting has Sherrod (6-6, 305) listed as the second-best offensive tackle behind USC's Tyron Smith. But he has Wisconsin's Gabe Carimi going 19th to the Giants.
Pro Football Weekly, meanwhile, has the Birds taking Miami cornerback Brandon Harris:
A big, physical corner could fill void left by Ellis Hobbs' injury.
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