The Philadelphia Eagles exceeded all expectations in 2013 by completely turning around a 4-12 team that was headed in the wrong direction at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
Under the leadership of coach Chip Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman, the Eagles are well-positioned to build on the success of their division championship. Fortunately, the team has 46 players from their final 53-man roster under team control heading into next season. Their noteworthy unrestricted free agents are: Michael Vick (QB), Riley Cooper (WR), Clifton Geathers (DL), Nate Allen (S), Kurt Coleman (S) and Donnie Jones (P). Jeremy Maclin (WR) and Phillip Hunt (LB) are restricted free agents, which allows the Eagles to match any offer.
A few veteran players will likely be moving into positional timeshares in 2014 as well. The three most prominent names on this list are Brent Celek (TE), Jason Avant (WR) and Trent Cole (LB). These players could be asked to reduce their cap number for next year or be cut.
The Eagles project to have minimum of $18 million in salary-cap space after allotting a conservative amount to draft picks. But with Vick and perhaps Allen, Cooper, Cole and Celek off the books, building blocks Nick Foles (QB) and Brandon Boykin (CB) locked into rookie contracts under $1 million per year, and with only Jason Kelce (C) being a serious candidate for an extension, their cap space could dramatically increase with a handful of reasonable roster moves.
With a war chest at their disposal, the Eagles could become serious contenders for possible high profile free agents such as Carolina Panthers‘ Greg Hardy (DE), the Green Bay Packers‘ James Jones (WR) and Kansas City Chiefs‘ Brandon Albert (OT). Like we recently saw with the Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts, a young, talented team with cap space is a franchise to be reckoned with.