Defensive end Darryl Tapp has reportedly taken a pay cut of approximately $500,000, just a few days after it was revealed his fellow pass rusher, Juqua Parker, agreed to restructure his contract to remain with the Eagles. According to Reuben Frank of Comcast Sportsnet, Tapp negotiated with Philadelphia this week to reduce his base salary for this season from $2.25 million to $1.75 million. Unlike Parker, Tapp hadn’t frequently been mentioned as a potential salary cap casualty this offseason, but is part of a crowded position and arguably hasn’t played enough to warrant the three-year deal he signed after coming in as a trade acquisition last year.
Under the contract he inked upon initially joining the Eagles prior to 2010, Tapp would reportedly have had a cap value of $3.25 million this season. With the pay cut, the veteran defender has cut down his base salary and helped the team save over a million dollars in finances. As part of the three-year agreement signed following his arrival in Philadelphia, the Virginia Tech product garnered a signing bonus of $3 million and, according to various networks, could have earned a total of about $15 million.
The Eagles have long been considered one of the most successful teams in terms of financial management, and Philadelphia has been the subject of attention in recent years for cutting ties with veterans at the right time. After the club’s splurge of the free agent market over the summer, players with relatively high salaries for their respective roles, such as Parker and cornerback Joselio Hanson, were listed as possible release victims. Tapp could very well have been among those discussed by the front office as players the team would be willing to part ways with if it meant freeing up cap space, but the two sides have evidently found common ground with the agreement to reduce the defensive end’s base salary for this season. Tapp’s move mirrors that of Parker and linebacker Akeem Jordan, who have also recently renegotiated their contracts to save the team money.
A second-round draft pick of the Seahawks in 2006, Tapp spent four seasons in Seattle before coming to the Eagles in a trade. Early in his career, the 26-year-old primarily played on special teams and in a rotational role along the line, but worked his way into the lineup due to injuries and retirements. As a second-year player appearing in 16 games, Tapp posted arguably the best season of his career with 41 solo tackles, seven sacks, and three forced fumbles. Inconsistency led to a trip back to the bench for the Seahawks, but he left Washington as a highly-regarded prospect, joining the Eagles with expectations of stepping in opposite Trent Cole as a starting end. The subsequent selection of Brandon Graham in the 2010 draft left Tapp with situational duties as a pass rusher, but he made an impact at times last year, recording 27 tackles and three sacks in limited action. This preseason, the 270-pound lineman got in the backfield for an additional pair of sacks.
In related news, Andrew Brandt of National Football Post and ESPN has reported offensive tackle Winston Justice also took a slight pay cut.