AJ Brown joins an otherwise very inexpensive Eagles offense

The Eagles’ offense for 2022 appears to be locked in.

At quarterback, Jalen Hurts will enter his third season as the incumbent, with one final season to prove that he’s the long-term future at the position. Running back Miles Sanders, so talented and elusive, yet also so injury-prone, is on the last year of his rookie deal and is a potential 1,000 yard rusher if he can stay on the field. Newly-acquired AJ Brown brings his All-Pro talent to Philly, joining last year’s first round selection DeVonta Smith and No. 3 speedster Quez Watkins at wideout, and tight end Dallas Goedert begins the first year of his four-year contract extension, signed last season.

It is a group that should be much improved this season, a group that should give Jalen Hurts all the tools he needs to be a successful passing quarterback. It just may give the Eagles the best offense in the NFC East, with Dallas losing Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup’s health a concern, at least to start the season.

It’s also a group that is extremely cheap, for next season, at least. Here are the salary numbers for the Eagles’ skill position players for the 2022 season, according to Spotrac.

QUARTERBACK:

  • Gardner Minshew — $2.54 million
  • Jalen Hurts — $1.64 million
  • Reid Sinnett — $825,000

Raise your hand if you realized that Gardner Minshew, the back-up, was making more money this year than Hurts. In total, the Eagles are spending just over $5 million total on the most important position in the NFL, accounting for just over 2.2% of their cap. That’s the second-lowest amount in the league.

RUNNING BACK:

  • Boston Scott — $1.75 million
  • Miles Sanders — $1.7 million
  • Kenneth Gainwell — $908,000
  • Jason Huntley — $837,500

Raise your hand if you realized Boston Scott is the highest-paid running back on the ’22 roster. The four players listed above total $5.2 million in total cap space, 2.32% of the team’s total cap. Only two teams are spending less on running backs than Howie Roseman, significant considering Philadelphia has a run-heaviest offense in the NFL last season.

WIDE RECEIVER:

  • AJ Brown — $5.6 million
  • DeVonta Smith — $4.6 million
  • Jalen Regor — $3.6 million
  • Zach Pascal — $1.5 million
  • Greg Ward — $1 million
  • Quez Watkins — $937,000
  • John Hightower — $830,000
  • Deon Cain — $825,000
  • Devon Allen — $705,000

I have never heard of Deon Cain or Devon Allen, both of whom are making upper eight figures this year if they stay on the roster. Cool! Brown’s contract starts off slow, escalating to $8.5 million in ’23 then ballooning to $27.7 million in ’24, $22.6 million in ’25 and $37.7 million in 2026, figures that obviously will change a couple years from now with restructuring. Still, those nine receivers will count $19.6 million toward the cap this year, 8.75%, 19th in the NFL.

TIGHT END:

  • Dallas Goedert — $3.7 million
  • JJ Arcega-Whiteside — $1.6 million
  • Richard Rodgers — $895,000
  • Noah Togiai — $850,000
  • Tyree Jackson — $837,600
  • Jack Stoll — $832,500

Fun fact: Andre Dillard ($3.9 million) is making more than Goedert, whose extension starts to get serious next year. Weird! Goedert’s salary bumps up to $6.6 million then $19.5 million in ’24 and ’25. For now, he’s a cheap and reliable, high-volume tight end. We’ll see how the JJAW experiment works out, and there is something enticing about Tyree Jackson, but as of now, tight ends account for $8.7 million against the cap, 3.9%, 20th-most in the NFL.

The Eagles are spending $38.5 million on QB, RB, WR and TE this year, a figure dwarfed by the $54.5 million they’re spending on the offensive line alone. No team in the NFL is spending more on the O-line than the Eagles, accounting for 24.3% of their total cap. And on the defensive side of the ball, no team in the league is spending more on the defensive line than the Eagles’ $62.8 million, accounting for 28% of the team’s cap space, and that’s before Jordan Davis and Cam Jurgens sign their rookie contracts .

In short, the Eagles have built their team to dominate in the trenches, and are saving money at the skill positions with players on rookie deals and extensions/contracts that don’t start to hurt for another two years.

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