As The Union Turn: Le Toux Possibly Heading to Another Country, Only It's Not England

As The Union Turn: Le Toux Possibly Heading to Another Country, Only It's Not England

Update: No 'possibly' about it. Le Toux has been traded to Vancouver.

When news broke last week that Sebastien Le Toux was headed to England for a trial with Bolton the reaction was generally positive. Yes, there was disappointment, but Union fans were genuinely happy that the face of the franchise was being given an opportunity to play in one of the best leagues in the world.
Moreover, Union fans took solace in the fact that the Union would likely receive a hefty transfer fee in return for Le Toux's services, which, presumably, they'd reinvest in the club. However, as so often happens in world soccer, the transfer never materialized. The transfer with Bolton, that is. 
Late Monday afternoon, multiple reports surfaced that the Union, faced with a glut of forwards on the roster, were in discussions to sell Le Toux to Vancouver. Kerith Gabriel of Philly.com and Scott Kessler of The Brotherly Game cited sources indicating talks between the clubs were ongoing. [Update: Sportsnet's Irfaan Gaffar is saying the deal appears done, and Seba is headed to Vancouver, per Ives Galarcep.]

I surmise that Union fans will be a bit less understanding of a Le Toux trade to Vancouver than they were the potential transfer to Bolton. It's one thing to see your team's most popular player move on to bigger and better. It's quite another to see him traded within the league.
The Le Toux rumblings came on the heels of the Union officially announcing that they'd released starting goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon, who is set to rejoin Deportivo Cali, the club with whom he started his professional career.
What does this mean for the Union? Well, Gabriel reports that the Union are keen to secure a permanent transfer for Roger Torres from America de Cali. I don't have a good sense as to how much that would cost, but the Union would have some serious coin at their disposal by releasing Mondragon and trading Le Toux. 
Their combined 2011 guaranteed compensation totaled $575,666.67. Factor in the cash sure to come back from Vancouver in any Le Toux deal and you've got money to play with.
The Union have had two All-Stars in its short two-year existence. One (Mondragon) is already out of the door. A second (Le Toux) may not be far behind.
If the Le Toux trade does go down then March 31st should be an interesting day - the Union are scheduled to host Vancouver at PPL Park.
Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo, US-Presswire

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

Eagles to receive just under $8 million in salary cap carryover for 2017

The Eagles are getting salary cap help. Just not quite as much as they expected.  

The NFL Players Association announced the official 2017 salary-cap carryover figures on Wednesday, and the Eagles will receive $7,933,869 in extra cap space this coming year on top of the unadjusted salary cap figure that every team begins the offseason with.

The NFL’s official 2017 salary cap figure hasn’t yet been announced, but it’s expected to be somewhere in the $166 to $170 million range, up from a record-$155.3 million in 2016.

Under terms of the CBA, teams can receive credit in each year’s salary cap for cap space that went unused the previous season. This creates an adjusted cap figure that can vary by tens of millions of dollars per team.

The Eagles under former team president Joe Banner were the first to use this once-obscure technique in the late 1990s. Today, every team uses it to some extent.

The more carryover money a team gets, the more it has to spend relative to the combined cap figures of players under contract the coming year.

The NFLPA originally estimated in the fall that the Eagles would receive $8.25 million in carryover money, so the new figure is about $316,000 less than originally expected.

It’s also the ninth-highest of the 32 teams, although below the average of $9.18 million. That’s because the top few carryover figures are so much ridiculously higher than the average (Browns $50.1 million, 49ers $38.7 million, Titans $24.0 million).

According to salary cap data tracker Spotrac, the Eagles have 52 players under contract for 2017 with a total combined cap figure of $158,040,710.

With an $168 million unadjusted cap, the Eagles would have an adjusted cap figure of $175,933,869.

They have $7,055,933 in dead money, mainly from trading Sam Bradford ($5.5 million) and Eric Rowe ($904,496) but also from departed players such as Andrew Gardner ($250,000), Josh Huff ($138,986) and Blake Countess ($98,678).

Subtract the 2017 contract obligations – the $158,040,710 figure – along with the dead money – the $7,055,033 figure – and that leaves the Eagles with roughly $10.84 million in cap space.

That figure may not include some 2016 bonuses that have not yet been made public. And it doesn’t include, for example, a $500,000 pay raise Peters got by triggering a contract escalator.

So that reduces the $10.84 million figure to $10.34 million.

From there, about $4 ½ million or so will go to the 2017 rookie pool.

So that leaves the Eagles currently with somewhere in the ballpark of $6 million in cap space.

Now, the Eagles will obviously be able to increase that number by releasing players.

They would more than double their cap space just by releasing Connor Barwin, who has a $8.35 million cap number but would cost only $600,000 in dead money for a cap savings of $7.75 million.

Jason Peters ($9.2 million), Jason Kelce ($3.8 million), Ryan Mathews ($4 million), Leodis McKelvin ($3.2 million) and Mychal Kendricks ($1.8 million) would also clear large amounts of cap space.

So for example by releasing Barwin, Kelce, McKelvin and Mathews, they would increase their cap space by a whopping $18.75 million. 

Of course, then the Eagles have to think about replacing those players with cheaper versions while still trying to build a playoff roster.

Whatever happens, the Eagles are in a unique position as they enter the 2017 offseason, with far less cap flexibility than other years.

“Yeah, it's unusual, certainly since I've been here, to have a more challenging situation,” vice president of football operations Howie Roseman said earlier this month.

“But part of our job in the front office is to look at this over a long period of time. So as we sit here today, it isn't like the first time that we are looking at that situation, and we'll do whatever's best for the football team.”

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Has The Process come full circle?

The Sixers "will take a hard look" at point guard Jrue Holiday in free agency, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

Holiday, of course, was the Sixers' starting PG from 2009-13, before he was traded on draft night by then-GM Sam Hinkie for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick (which became Elfrid Payton, who was traded for Dario Saric).

In four seasons since, Holiday has averaged 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.4 steals for the Pelicans. He's fought injury and missed 122 games since joining New Orleans.

The Pelicans have Anthony Davis but little else. They're going to need to make some tough decisions moving forward and one will be with Holiday.

As Lowe points out, there aren't many teams in need of a point guard — he lists the Sixers, Kings, Knicks and maybe the Magic as players for a PG in free agency.

"[Holiday] fits what [the Sixers] need around Ben Simmons, and the hilariousness of Philly bringing Holiday back after flipping him to start The Process is irresistible," Lowe writes.

Holiday has never been a great three-point shooter but he's been decent from long-range his entire career, topping out at 39 percent and sitting at 36.8 percent over eight NBA seasons.

He's coming off a four-year, $41 million contract, and although he has a lengthy injury history, he'll still command a nice-sized contract in free agency, especially with the cap expected to increase again.