Eagles Salary Cap Wizard Explains ‘Weird Dynamic’ Behind Carson Wentz Contract

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Getty Quarterback Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles, who look to improve through the 2019 NFL Draft.

Jake Rosenberg is the Eagles salary cap guru, a guy leaned on heavily during the contract negotiations with Carson Wentz. As Vice President of Football Administration, he was there for every step of the deal.

Rosenberg recently appeared on Dave Spadaro’s “Eagles Live” podcast and took fans behind the curtain of the Wentz negotiations. The two sides started working on the deal in January 2018, according to Rosenberg, since they weren’t allowed to discuss it per NFL rules before the end of Wentz’s third season in the league.

While the contract extension was announced publicly on June 6, Rosenberg confirmed the contract was agreed on, at least in principle, on June 3. Then, everyone had to wait almost a week for Wentz to put pen to paper and make it official.

“I wish people could have seen me or been in my head on Thursday at 7:30,” Rosenberg said. “We executed the deal on Monday at 5:30. It was such a weird dynamic. All weekend long. I was at a baseball tournament with my son in Long Island (New York). The amount of texts and congratulations I got, while I knew how much work needed to be done before that signature was on the contract.”

The front office executive admitted he thought he was going to wake up that Tuesday morning to “sunshine and rainbows” but he was still waiting for “eight other things to happen” before he could relax and celebrate.

“It went smoothly, in that everybody got everything they wanted,” Rosenberg said. “Mainly, and I know I keep saying this, because there is a high level of trust there. We are building our team around him (Wentz), this player plays the most important position on the field.”

Rosenberg, who started as a 34-year-old intern after several years as a commodities trader in Chicago, has been praised for his skillful management of the salary cap. He also prides himself on establishing long-lasting relationships with every agent in the NFL, including super-agent Drew Rosenhaus

“We love him. Our relationship with Drew is great,” Rosenberg said. “We’re not trying to rip people off. We’re not trying get a $10 million Picasso painting for $500.”

Rosenberg trusted his instincts when negotiating the Wentz extension. The University of Pennsylvania graduate is known as a wizard on the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement and maneuvered the salary cap in a creative way, paying special attention to the fact that 2020 will be a capped year.

“The cap number, I typically don’t look at as a restricting number,” he said. “The cash is a hard number and there is room in the cap to be creative. We knew that 2020, because of the rules — capped year with very specific rules — makes it more difficult.”

At the end of the day, the Eagles got the right deal at the right price. However, Rosenberg said he still left the negotiating table feeling “uncomfortable.”

“Not everyone got what they wanted,” Rosenberg said. “But you get what you pay for and we’re happy to pay fair market value for our players.”

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