The Miami Dolphins are reportedly in discussions to with the Philadelphia Eagles to trade for cornerback Byron Maxwell according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Maxwell signed a $63 million contract in free agency last year that had $25 million guaranteed. Maxwell was a disappointment in Philadelphia and one of the big money acquisitions in the lone season with Chip Kelly in charge of the roster so it is not surprising that the Eagles would want to move on. It is surprising that Miami would want to take on $11.5 million in guarantees for him however.
The Eagles would be unable to release Maxwell due to the money owed him on his contract. Any release would force them to plan for $11.5 million in payouts over the next two seasons plus a salary cap charge of $16.3 million, a loss of $6.6 million from his current cap figure. Trading him makes the move much more affordable. In a trade the Eagles only take on $4.8 million in dead money, a gain of $4.9 million in cap room. Pulling that move off should earn Howie Roseman an executive of the offseason award if such an award existed.
From Miami’s standpoint the trade is a bit cloudier. His $8.5 million salary and cap charge are more in line with Maxwell’s true value as a number 2 corner, but the $3 million guarantee for 2017 could make this an $11.5 million one year contract. That is a steep price to pay for someone who generally was considered a failure last year. The backend of the contract ranges between $10 and $11 million a season so there is no discount there which puts them in a weird spot if they trade for him and he plays decently but not good enough to justify the high cost.
It is always possible that the sides could arrange for the Eagles to eat some of the cost for Maxwell or for the Eagles to trade a player that has some guarantees remaining on his contract to offset the cost. While Dion Jordan doesn’t have any guarantees left in his contract that would probably the name that makes the most sense from a financial standpoint as an offset. If he is re-instated he is eligible for a roster bonus this summer worth $1.7 million. IIRC the Eagles had been linked to Jordan in the past, though that may have been a Kelly thing.