2017 Contract Estimates: Bennie Logan

This week’s contract estimate is for our first 4-3 defensive tackle, Bennie Logan.  In 2013 the Philadelphia Eagles snapped up Logan in the 3rd round of the draft and he contributed immediately, logging 40% of the defensive snaps during his rookie season, playing in all 16 games.

Though Logan has been a mainstay on the Philly front four in each of his professional seasons, I feel he may have a hard time convincing his current employer to offer him the second contract he is probably expecting.

Bennie Logan provides quality run defense to supplement the upfield abilities of teammates Fletcher Cox, Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham.  The problem for Logan is this- comparing him to his linemates reveals one undeniable truth about the NFL today:

Sacks = Stacks.  As in, the quarterback harassment trait in certain players directly leads to the kind of money that buys really big houses in really nice neighborhoods.

The Eagles justifiably paid– check that- PAID the outstanding Fletcher Cox earlier this summer to the tune of a $17.1M APY, 6-yr contract.  Shortly before, they dished out piles of cash to Vinny Curry (5-yrs, $46.2M).  In 2015 they ensconced Brandon Graham in the velvety touch of $26M over 4 years.  All are known for pressuring quarterbacks.  Bennie Logan is not.  Logan clogs up run lanes well but will only get you the occasional coverage sack when the opportunity arises.

The upshot of it all is that as much as the team might want to keep Bennie Logan in a winged helmet for the near future, the realities of the NFL’s hard salary cap dictate opposite actions.  It’s going to be nearly impossible for the Eagles to give Bennie Logan a second contract when they already have so much cap space committed to the defensive line.  Most if not all NFL organizations feel they must diversify their roster portfolio in order to field a competitive, well-rounded squad that can compete in all facets of the game.  With the team already on the hook for $170M worth of D-linemen, Logan’s chances of re-upping are dim.

In addition, the team has a player in Beau Allen – Logan’s backup- that fills the same role, is under contract through 2017 and would be much cheaper to re-sign if they insist on keeping a veteran presence in that spot.  More than likely, the Eagles have been intently scouting collegiate players with size and run-stuffing capabilities to take over Logan’s DT spot on the depth chart.

For all of these reasons and because he previously wasn’t a target for an early extension by GM Howie Roseman- who lives by the mantra of paying some now as opposed to paying more later- it appears likely Logan will do his dirty work somewhere else next year. 

Where you ask?  There are a few cities that look like decent fits. 

  • Atlanta- This team on the come could use Logan’s run-stuffing abilities to play alongside Grady Jarrett.
  • Detroit- Likely to cut Haloti Ngata rather than accept his $7.75M cap in 2017, the Lions could look to plug Logan next to A’Shawn Robinson.
  • Indianapolis- One of these years, flailing GM Ryan Grigson has to luck into a good free agent acquisition.  Right?
  • New Orleans- The combo of Logan eating space while Sheldon Rankins flies upfield could work out quite nicely in the Big Voodoo.
  • San Diego- The Chargers overpaid an older Brandon Mebane in 2016.  If they let him go after a year, Logan could be brought in as a much better long-term fit.

Now, to pin down a contract number for Logan, we compare him to other defensive tackles that tend to be better run defenders than pass rushers.  The following table does just this.

We see Logan’s prowess illuminated when compared to other defensive tackles.  In terms of per-game productivity, it looks like Logan easily outclasses the $4M-$6M players and only gets trumped by the amazing Snacks Harrison (versus the run).  Linval Joseph looks like a nice comp to Logan and is the guy we’ll focus the most on when determining a contract for Bennie Logan.

I see a healthy market forming for Bennie Logan from the teams listed in bullet points above and would expect a couple of them to battle dollar-for-dollar for his services in 2017. 

Projection:   4 years, $27M total with $13M guaranteed ($8M signing bonus, ’17 & ’18 base salaries).

Because I feel he’ll hit the open market and because that market is flush with money, I will call for Bennie Logan to take full advantage of unrestricted free agency and touch $6.75M APY despite his lack of sacks, with a team other than Philadelphia next year. 

Next Week: Nick Fairley

Justin is a contributor to Fansided’s Seattle-centric website EmeraldCitySwagger.com and a life-long Seahawks fan- which was a mostly harrowing experience growing up in Northeast Ohio. You can follow him for thoughts on salary cap information, butchered clock management and the NFL in general@OhioHawk4372.