THE EAGLES gained cap room and welcomed back a familiar figure from their recent past Monday, while saying goodbye to a starter and a backup.
As expected, defensive tackle Bennie Logan left in free agency, for Kansas City and former Eagles coach Andy Reid. Logan, 27, did not find the market he'd hoped for; he had to settle for one year at $8 million, with a chance to try again next year.
Logan has started 51 Eagles games since arriving as a third-round pick from LSU in 2013. The Eagles have invested heavily elsewhere in their defensive line (Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry will combine for $25.5 million against their salary cap this year). There just wasn't room to sign Logan. The team presumably will go with Beau Allen and a lower-priced veteran, or a rookie at Logan's spot.
Only slightly more surprising was the release of backup quarterback Chase Daniel, who served his purpose of smoothing Carson Wentz's entry into the league, at an exorbitant price. Daniel was signed for three years and $21 million last March, as a security blanket for head coach Doug Pederson, Daniel's offensive coordinator in Kansas City. Daniel ended up appearing in one game, throwing and completing one pass. He asked for his release, rather than spend another year backing up Wentz, and he got his wish, after the team and agent Jeff Nalley changed some details in Daniel's contract. It isn't clear exactly what was changed, but reports indicated offset language might have been added, so that whatever Daniel makes from his next team will come off the Eagles' 2018 cap. As it is, Daniel counts $7 million in dead cap money, vs. $8 million if he had actually played 2017 for the Eagles, so the team saves $1 million right now.
Daniel's release was foreshadowed by the signing Monday of Nick Foles to a two-year contract, reportedly for $11 million. Foles, the last quarterback to lead the Eagles to a playoff berth, in 2013, was released by the Chiefs, after serving 2016 as Alex Smith's backup.
Foles was a third-round Eagles draft pick in 2012 who became the starter after Michael Vick was injured in 2013 and went 8-2, throwing 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. The next year didn't go nearly as well and the Eagles traded him to the Rams in 2015, for Sam Bradford. With the Rams, Foles pretty much proved he was not a franchise QB, before drifting to the Chiefs.
Meanwhile, ESPN's Field Yates reported that Howie Roseman created some cap space by converting $3.225 million of Zach Ertz's 2017 salary into a roster bonus, knocking the Ertz cap charge down by $2.58 million. So the Eagles gained at least $3.58 million against the cap, minus whatever the Foles deal cap charge will be.
By the numbers
Alshon Jeffery told reporters on Friday that he was leaving No. 17 in Chicago, but the Eagles announced Monday that Jeffery will be wearing it, with Nelson Agholor switching to 13. Torrey Smith will be No. 82, and Chance Warmack is wearing No. 67.