New CBA Impacts Eagles Free Agency Plans in Major Way

Alshon Jeffery

Getty Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery still has two years left on his contract and could miss the start of training camp.

The good news is there won’t be an NFL lockout in 2021. Better yet, the Eagles may have found a way to shed some baggage.

The league and its players’ union agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on Sunday after weeks of negotiations. The measure passed by a slim margin, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with the sides voting 1019-959.

The new deal runs through the 2030 football season and includes some sweeping changes. Among the most notable are the option to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 games and adding an extra playoff team — from six teams to seven teams — in each conference.

The biggest benefit for the players will be more money, thanks to larger revenue sharing. Players will get at least 48-percent of all league revenue in 2021, and that figure could get higher depending on how the league does in negotiating new TV deals. Per ESPN, that figure could climb up to 48.8-percent depending on TV contracts. This year, players will get 47-percent of all league revenue.

How Does New CBA Impact Eagles in 2020?

Aside from avoiding a potential lockout in 2021, the Eagles could benefit when it comes to a certain player. There has been much debate about what to do with Alshon Jeffery in 2020.

The team is in a bind about cutting him outright and losing $26 million, or keeping him on the roster and risking more negative commentary. But, under the new CBA, the Eagles can now designate Jeffery as a post-June 1 cut and save nearly $10 million in cap space. His $26 million in dead money would have been the largest dead money charge in NFL history. That figure decreases to $16.7 million in 2020 under the new CBA.

It’s still a tough pill to swallow but at least it’s somewhat reasonable if the team is really intent on moving on from Jeffery. The Eagles may be better off keeping Jeffery around due to an underwhelming group of wide receivers on the current roster.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins was a big opponent of the new CBA and voted “no” on approving the deal. However, Jenkins was one of the first to say he supported it on social media.

“The democratic process has played itself out. We must be committed to unifying our current and former members,” Jenkins wrote. “While I don’t agree with the decision because of its negative impacts on some current and former players, I do respect our process and will push forward accordingly.”

Teams Get Only Franchise Tag, Not Transition Tag

It will be interesting to see how things play out in Dallas under the new CBA. There had been some thought that the Cowboys would use both the franchise tag and transition tag as a way to keep two of their three key free agents: Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Byron Jones.

That can’t happen now. Under the new CBA, Dallas will only be allowed to designate one player with the franchise tag since transition tags are no longer an option. The Cowboys are expected to use the franchise tag on either Prescott or Cooper and let Jones walk in free agency.

Why is that pertinent to the Eagles? Well, Philadelphia is on a shortlist of teams vying for Jones’ services. The cornerback is looking for a huge payday, somewhere in the neighborhood of $16-$18 million per year.

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