INDIANAPOLIS - When you win a Super Bowl in storybook fashion, you want to keep everyone involved. Unfortunately, the NFL is nonfiction and what you want oftentimes pales to the reality of real-world stuff like free agency, salary caps, age and injury. And in assistant coaches cases, promotions. People leave, that's life.
So Howie Roseman is in a tricky spot. Trying to balance hanging on to a core of players who achieved the ultimate in their sport and had great chemistry while also being excellent teammates.
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"It's hard to avoid looking at those guys, guys who have done unbelievable things for your team and have great character and separating it from what we need to do going forward," Roseman said Wednesday from the NFL Scouting Combine.
Something's gotta give, though. The Eagles are over the projected salary cap and have some decisions to make not only on players who are free agents but ones under contract as well.
Nigel Bradham, Trey Burton, Patrick Robinson and LeGarrette Blount are among the free agents.
Jason Peters will play at 36 coming off a major injury. Brandon Graham has one year left on his deal but wants a new contract. Brent Celek is the longest tenured Philadelphia athlete but he's a third-stringer who's played 11 seasons and is scheduled to make $4 million in 2018.
On Wednesday at the combine, Roseman made it a point to let everyone know cap restrictions will not dictate his approach.
"We're not on short sale, we're comfortable with our roster, our flexibility to make moves we have to make," Roseman said. "We are not going to make decisions, get rid of good players because of our cap situation."
Balancing the books is Roseman's wheelhouse, so while things may look bleak on that front now, he's been quite creative in the past in maintaining while also filling out roster needs. But this offseason is a little more tricky than years past. Who will stay? Who will go? Only Howie knows.