The 2012 league year kicks off at 4 PM (EST) on Tuesday. Players with expiring contracts officially become free agents. Teams are also allowed to make trades. Here are some things to keep an eye on.
- The NFL officially announced on Sunday that the salary cap for the 2012 NFL season is $120.6 million dollars. Teams were also allowed to carry over extra cap room from 2011. Pro Football Talk reports that the Eagles are $9.6 million under the cap. This already takes into consideration wide receiver DeSean Jackson's franchise tender of $9.515 million.
- ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report on Monday that the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins were docked a combined $46 million in cap space over the next two years for putting too much money in the 2010 uncapped year to lessen previous and future cap charges. The Cowboys will lose $10 million in cap space. The Redskins are set to shed $36 million. Dallas and Washington can spread the lost money over the next two years. How does this impact the Eagles? The Eagles, and 27 other teams, will split the $46 million and receive an additional $1.6 million in cap space. This would be in addition to the $9.6 million that Pro Football Talk reports the Eagles currently have.
- Jackson is one of 12 players who is about to become a free agent. Even though Jackson was tendered with the franchise tag, he will be free to negotiate with other teams beginning at 4 PM on Tuesday until he signs the one-year, fully guaranteed contract. However, teams would have to pony up two first-round picks to the Eagles if they signed Jackson to an offer sheet and the Eagles did not match.
- The other players about to become free agents are: defensive end Victor Abiamiri, running back Ronnie Brown, defensive tackle Antonio Dixon, offensive tackle King Dunlap, defensive tackle Derek Landri, defensive tackle Trevor Laws, guard Evan Mathis, defensive end Juqua Parker, fullback Owen Schmitt, wide receiver Steve Smith and quarterback Vince Young.
- Dixon is the only player who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent. The Eagles can tender a one-year contract and potentially receive draft pick compensation if Dixon signs an offer sheet with another team and the Eagles choose not to match. The original restricted free agent tender is $1.26 million, according to Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network. Since Dixon was not drafted, the Eagles would only get a chance to match another offer. They would not receive draft pick compensation. The second-round tender is worth $1.927 million and, yes, the Eagles would get a second-round pick if Dixon signed with another team. The first-round tender, and highest level, is worth $2.742 million.
- Eagles fans have inquired why the team has not re-signed Mathis and Landri. Since they played under a one-year, veteran-minimum contract in 2011, they can only re-sign another minimum contract with the Eagles prior to the start of free agency.
- With the NFL Draft looming closer and closer, the Eagles have 10 picks. The Eagles own their pick in each of the first six rounds beginning with the 15th overall in the first round. The Eagles have an additional second-round pick from Arizona via the Kevin Kolb trade. The Eagles also have an extra pick in the fourth round (Tampa Bay) and two more in the sixth round (Denver, New England). The Patriots own the Eagles' seventh-round pick. Compensatory selections have yet to be awarded.
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