The Philadelphia Eagles have spent a laughable and sickening amount of money during the 2016 season and they give some credit to the New England Patriots when asked why?!
The Eagles have handed out $280.3 million in guaranteed cash, almost twice as much as the second place Giants at $140.9 million. A lot of that money has gone to in-house players like defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and tight end Zach Ertz, but a good chunk has gone to free agents like safety Rodney McLeod and and back-up quarterback Chase Daniel.
So where do the Patriots come into play?
When Eagles executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman sat down with new head coach Doug Pederson, the duo noted two key factors when building their roster, MMQB’s Albert Breer shares in his latest article.
First, Roseman and Pederson saw how many players were up for new contracts after the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
Second, Roseman looked to the annual contenders for some insight.
“Green Bay, Seattle, the Patriots, the Steelers, the Giants,” he said. “They all had a core together for a long time.”
So the Eagles responded by handing out millions and millions of dollars to retain their key core of players that they hope will stick around and bring Philadelphia a Lombardi trophy.
The Patriots, of course, have to drop their jaw at this explanation and call the Eagles to say:
That’s not how it works, Philadelphia. That’s not how any of this works.
See, the Patriots have a core group of players that they’ve groomed in house and those are the only players that receive serious contracts. I understand that the Eagles are going through a post-Chip Kelly phase, but handing out all of the guaranteed money is a quick way to get yourself into trouble.
The Patriots have no problem spending money to give safety Devin McCourty the most guaranteed money by a safety in NFL history, or to extend tight end Rob Gronkowski- but those guys are proven talents in the Patriots system.
Head coach Bill Belichick might have paid defensive tackle Fletcher Cox the absurd contract with the most guaranteed money for any non-quarterback in NFL history, but he would never open up the check book to outsiders like the Eagles have done this offseason.
We’ll certainly see how well the Patriots stick to their grounds this upcoming offseason, with the talented likes of Jabaal Sheard, Jamie Collins, Dont’a Hightower, Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon all up for new deals.