The Philadelphia Eagles went all in for the 2017 season and it paid off. They won their first Super Bowl in spectacular fashion, defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever.
That triumph came with starting quarterback Carson Wentz on the bench due to injury, and as a result the expectations were enormous in 2018. However, even a playoff win couldn’t prevent the fans and media saying it was a disappointing season. The Eagles went just 9-7 in the regular season, Wentz was once again injured, and while they got a wildcard win against the Chicago Bears they fell in the divisional round in New Orleans without making much of an impact.
In Madden 19 you can correct all that though. You can drive the Eagles toward another Super Bowl. Philadelphia start Madden 19’s Franchise Mode as the best team in the game. They have a 90 overall rating, with an enormous 95 rated offense and a very strong 89 rated defense. This balance and brilliance makes them an immediate favorite to win Super Bowl LIII in Madden 19, but it doesn’t necessarily make them an automatic contender for many seasons to come. The penalty for going all in comes down the road, and the Eagles roster is facing a number of challenges. Let’s start by looking at where they stand with the salary cap.
Philadelphia Eagles Salary Cap
The Eagles start Franchise Mode with a massive 65 players on the roster but just $17.4 million in cap space. This will open up when you cut 12 players to get down to the regular season roster of 53. 20 players can be cut without incurring any penalty, and there are some players that you can get rid of while taking on only a small penalty.
Super Bowl LII hero Nick Foles can be moved on with a penalty of $2.1 million, but it would open up $12.3 million in savings. Veteran left tackle Jason Peters can also be cut to free up $9.1 million at a cap penalty of just $1.66 million. These are big decisions, but the Eagles are so close to the cap and have a lot of impending free agents that you will have to start making tough choices.
Philadelphia Eagles Impending Free Agents
Philly have 28 players in the last year of their contract. For the most part these players can be easily replaced, but there are several key players that will be very hard to replace.
Let’s start with one of the Eagles best players, defensive end Brandon graham. He may be 30, but the pass rusher who clinched Super Bowl LII gets a 93 overall rating from Madden 19 and is one of the best defensive ends in the game. Graham is going to be extremely costly to re-sign, so your choice is either to franchise tag him at a big one-year hit, pay up a large multi-year contract, or get him off your books. Trading graham in the preseason will leave you a little light at defensive end for season 1, but will get you a nice return of trade picks that you can use to restock the roster.
Elsewhere some of those all in rentals that the Eagles bought in are up for free agency. Running back Jay Ajayi gave the Eagles offense the balance they needed, but he’s now on the last year of his cheap rookie deal and re-signing him will come with an enormous pay raise. The same goes for corner Ronald Darby who is just 24 and has a rating of 83.
You can’t possibly re-sign all of these players, even if you take the steps we suggested to open up cap space. This means you’ll have to make some choices. If you don’t run the ball that much then you can let Ajayi go. If you like to throw primarily to tight ends and running backs then you can afford to let all three of the impending free agent wide receivers leave. You’ll have to understand your own tendencies and play style and then re-sign players accordingly.
Other key impending free agents: Golden Tate (WR), Chris Long (DE), Haloti Ngata (DT), Jordan Hicks (MLB)
Philadelphia Eagles Roster Needs
The Eagles do have a strong roster even when you consider those that will hit free agency after season 1. Carson Wentz is a great young quarterback, the offensive line is very strong and has key pieces locked down for the foreseeable future. They have two good tight ends in Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert, but the offense isn’t perfect.
With 4 running backs about to hit free agency finding another option in the backfield is wise. Running backs are fairly easy to find in Madden so you don’t need to invest a high draft pick in one but it is something you should look at come draft day. The wide receiver position is pretty solid with Alshon Jeffery locked down to a four-year deal, but Nelson Agholor only has 2 years left so finding another receiver is not a bad idea either. The right side of the offensive line is flawless but the left tackle and left guard spots do need to be addressed soon.
Defensively the Eagles can cover for graham with Michael Bennett and Derek Barnett, but another defensive end would be nice while depth at defensive tackle will be wiped out after season 1. The situation at linebacker is probably most alarming for the Eagles, but additional talent at cornerback is also much-needed, especially if you are unable to retain Ronald Darby.
You have a great chance of winning Super Bowl LIII with the Eagles, but the roster will look very different going into season 2 and beyond and it will take some work to maintain their position as the most talented roster in Madden.