As the Eagles continue to make roster moves to ensure they’re under the cap come March 17, one surprise name was reported as a potential trade piece: Pro Bowl guard Brandon Brooks.
Although Brooks missed the entire 2020 campaign due to a torn Achilles, he’s rarely missed time prior to that and he’s proven to have the ability to bounce back after suffering set backs. Aside from the 2020 season, Brooks has only missed three games during his Eagles tenure. And after suffering his first torn Achilles in the 2018 Divisional Round playoff game against the Saints, he returned to his Pro Bowl the following season and started every single regular season game.
We all knew Howie Roseman and the Eagles were going to have to make some tough roster decisions this offseason because of their dreadful cap situation, but parting ways with one of the best guards in football just doesn’t seem worth it.
The only way the team will save money is if he’s traded post June 1. But in recent weeks, the team already designated Malik Jackson and Alshon Jeffery as post June 1 cuts, and each NFL team is only granted two post June 1 designations each offseason, regardless if it’s for a trade or a cut.
It would make much more sense to part ways with Brooks next offseason. There’s no guaranteed money left on his deal past this season, so the dead cap hit goes down significantly and the savings increases. Plus, by that time you’ll have a better idea if Brooks is still a Pro Bowl level guard. I’d venture to say he still is at this moment, but it’s hard to say with certainty given his age and recent injury history.
The Eagles had one of the worst offensive lines in football last season, so getting rid of someone who obviously has a huge impact up front doesn’t really add up. The cap savings aside, the team won’t get good value at all in a trade involving Brooks, and with a young quarterback set to take the reigns next year, having a solid offensive line blocking for him will help his development tremendously.
A restructured deal that spreads Brooks’ guaranteed money over the duration of the next few seasons feels like the way to go here. Let’s hope Roseman — who has made a living on restructuring deals to manipulate the cap — sees it the same way.