Eagles Salary Cap Implications From the Releases of Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson

Earlier today, the Philadelphia Eagles released defensive tackles Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson. Below is a summary of the salary cap implications resulting from the moves.

Jenkins went undrafted in 2003 out of Central Michigan, After signing on with the Packers following the ’03 draft, he ended up playing the season in NFL Europe before making the Packers roster in 2004. After hitting unrestricted free agency in 2011, Jenkins was a surprise addition to the Eagles’ well-publicized 2011 free agent class. His original contract with Philadelphia was a five-year, $25 million pact with a roster bonus due each year. In February 2012 Jenkins and the Eagles restructured the contact where he received a $5 million roster bonus for the season but had his base salary lowered to the league minimum. The final year of the contract (2015) was removed. However, this restructure also guaranteed $1.5 million of Jenkins 2013 base salary ($4.5 million), and he was due to earn another $1 million roster bonus this coming March. The only dead money on the contract from this release is the $1.5 million the team guaranteed as part of the 2012 restructure. Regardless, because Jenkins’ 2013 cap hit was set to be $5.5 million ($4.5 million base salary + $1 million roster bonus), his release saves a net $4 million this season.

Mike Patterson was the Eagles’ first round pick in 2005, 31st overall.  He was the longest tenured player on the team until his release today. His rookie contract was for six years and $6.625 million. A rare instance happened with Patterson where the Eagles actually restructured his contract midway through his second season in the NFL, something that was almost unheard of (under the new CBA, it’s actually impossible to do as rookie contracts cannot be negotiated until after Year 3). The restructure added seven years for approximately $32 million, with a $4.5 million signing bonus. Patterson’s base salary in 2013 was set to be $2.9 million, with a $100k workout bonus bringing his cap total to $3 million. His cap totals over the final three years of the deal were $3.75 million, $5 million and $6.35 million in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively. There is no dead money remaining on Patterson’s contract, so the team realizes an immediate cap savings of $3 million this year.

In summary, when the cap implications for today’s two releases are combined, the Eagles attain a net cap savings of $7 million. The team already has a large amount of 2013 cap space (an estimated $28,020,721) and so these moves will only help their cap flexibility going forward.

To check out the Philadelphia Eagles’ 2013 salary cap projections, click here.