INDIANAPOLIS -- Based on current salary cap projections, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles sit at the bottom of the NFL, more than $10 million over the hard line.
The current cap-strapped situation necessitates moves from general manager Howie Roseman, which in theory could lead to hawks circling the Eagles, hoping to pillage Philly for good players to be had for cents on the dollar. Roseman, however, insisted Wednesday he's not going to sell off talented players just to make the cap work.
"We're not on short sale right now," Roseman said. "We're very comfortable with our roster and our flexibility to make moves that we have to make. That doesn't mean we're in as good a situation as a lot of teams in the league. There is a lot of cap room out there. There are teams with a ton of cap room. But we are not going to make decisions, we are not going to get rid of good players, because of our cap situation. That responsibility starts with me and making sure we're about to keep guys and sign good players and we're not just doing things because of (our) cap situation."
Teams have a way of creating cap room through extensions, cuts, and reworking contracts, which underscores Roseman's nonchalance about the situation.
The GM said his spending spree last offseason -- and subsequent in-season extensions for the likes of Alshon Jeffrey and Timmy Jernigan -- was calculated based on how Philly viewed last year's class versus the 2018 crop.
"We had anticipated what would go on in this offseason, certainly last year, and some of the moves we made were with that in mind," he said. "From our perspective, we had taken a look at maybe the free agent class over a two-year period and felt like we tried to balance where our resources would go. At the end of the day, we've got to do whatever we can to improve our football team."
Roseman gave little indication on his plans to keep a Super Bowl team on the field other than to consistently reiterate: "Our intention is to keep all our good players."
The Eagles key free agents include Nigel Bradham, Trey Burton, LeGarrette Blount, Darren Sproles, Patrick Robinson, and Corey Graham.
One option at Roseman's disposal is trading some high-paid players, mainly Nick Foles, who is expected to return to a backup role. The GM didn't sound inclined to jettison Foles, but left himself an escape route if the climate changes.
"We're trying to keep as many good players as possible," he said. "You're talking about a Super Bowl MVP. He's been unbelievably successful for us. He's got great character, great leadership. That room is exactly what we're looking for. We have a franchise quarterback, we have a Super Bowl MVP, and we have a young quarterback that we're excited about."
Whatever moves he makes, don't expect a quiet offseason for Roseman even if he's up against the salary wall. Sitting on his hands isn't in the GM's DNA.
A couple other nuggets from Roseman during Wednesday's availability at the NFL Scouting Combine:
He filibustered without actually answering the question.
"Jason Peters is a Hall of Fame player," Roseman said. "I think the most amazing thing about Jason is that every year people ask about his age, ask about him, and he continues to defy the odds. And when you go back and look at our season and look at his reps, he was dominant. He wasn't just good, he was dominant. One of the unsung stories of our season was that group of six guys who were in the training room every day and instead of sulking about their role on the team, they were out there encouraging their position groups, working as hard as possible. Even the week of the Super Bowl those guys were all working their (butt) off to get back. They have a chip on their shoulder and we can't wait to see what's in store for them."
"Brandon Graham is an unbelievable player, unbelievable person," Roseman said. "Everyone wants more money, that's the nature of every business that you're in. He certainly deserves the opportunity to get more. We love having him here. We hope he's able to finish his career as an Eagle. We've got a great relationship with Brandon and his agent. In terms of specifics, we're going to keep all contract talks in-house."