The Philadelphia Eagles are certainly facing a lot of questions heading into the offseason. Following the firing of Chip Kelly, the team is knee-deep in a search for their next head coach. They need to look at signing Sam Bradford to a contract extension while re-tooling the defense. All of that could cause some salary cap casualties as a few familiar faces could be headed elsewhere in the coming months.
According to Jeff McLane of Philly.com, the biggest cap casualty could be Riley Cooper. The receiver was a Kelly favorite, but not necessarily a franchise favorite and his numbers this season do not warrant what he is currently getting paid. Cooper finished the year with 21 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns. He had seven games without a catch. This comes after signing a four-year, $22.5 million contract in 2014. His $4.5 million salary next season is not guaranteed which means the Eagles could take the $2.4 million cap hit and move on from the receiver. Cooper knows change is coming along with the rest of the team.
"I think there's going to be [changes]," tight end Zach Ertz said, via Philly.com. "Based on Chip's first year to now, there's 11 guys on the roster. So in that perspective, there's going to be a huge turnover. The new coaching staff is going to want [its own] guys. I don't know if guys really realize that now."
The rise of Ertz could impact players like Brent Celek. The veteran tight end has one more year remaining on his contract and could be released as a result. The team has confidence in Ertz enough to not keep a high-priced veteran around. The same can be said for Darren Sproles. With DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews inked for a few more years, Sproles could be the odd man out with one year remaining on his contract. Buried on the depth chart, the versatile back made it clear that he hopes to return to the Eagles in 2016.
"I still want to be playing and it bothers me we're not in the playoffs," Sproles said, via CBSPhilly.com. "I'll go back and train and spend time with my family. Things will depend on the new coach. I still fight the same battle. I'm small so there is this fear that I'm going to get hurt (if carrying the ball too much). I am satisfied with my touches. But I understand that it's always going to be the battle. It is what it is. I feel good. We'll see where the future lies."
The Eagles' new coaching staff might not take into account player requests unless someone like coordinator Pat Shurmur or running back coach Duce Staley get hired. Considering the team must worry about getting a new coach and staff while also locking down their starting quarterback, easy contracts to cut might be the first moves made.