The NFL offseason has been a rollercoaster this year. It seems like there’s been a blockbuster move almost everyday since the beginning of the legal tampering period. Relative to what’s going on around the league, the Eagles have been pretty quiet. They’ve only made one major move thus far, but they have brought a handful of their own players back.
Let’s go through each move so far and grade them accordingly.
Signing Haason Reddick
On the first day of the legal tampering period, Howie Roseman went out and made a splash move, signing pass rusher Haason Reddick to a three-year, $45 million deal with $30 million guaranteed. We don’t have the specifics of how his new contract will affect the cap or what the cap numbers will be for each year, but the bottom line is, the Eagles drastically improved an area of need with this acquisition.
Over the past two years, Reddick has accumulated 23.5 sacks, fifth-most during that span. He’s converted 3.2 percent of his pass rushes into sacks, the third-highest rate in the NFL during that time, and he’s only one of two players to record at least 100 tackles, 20 sacks, and eight forced fumbles since 2020, the other being Aaron Donald.
The Eagles struggled to get sacks last year, totaling 29 as a team, the second-least of any team in football. Getting a stud pass rusher was priority number one this offseason and Howie checked that box with this signing. Reddick should instantly improve the team’s pass rush and his versatility should allow Jonathan Gannon to fully embrace his ideal defensive system.
Tendering Nate Herbig
Nate Herbig entered this offseason as a restricted free agent. He was a clear candidate to get tendered and that’s exactly what the Eagles did. The tender will see Herbig make $2.43 million in 2022 and the Eagles will have the right to match any offer that may come his way, but they will not receive any draft compensation if he leaves.
Herbig has been a solid backup lineman over the past two seasons, starting a total of 17 games during that time. He’s been a versatile chess piece for the offensive line, spending time at center and both guard positions. Whenever the Eagles suffer an injury to the interior of their line, Herbig is typically the first name called upon to help fill the hole.
The Eagles have developed a very deep offensive line group over the past few years and this resigning will help solidify that depth for another season. It would have been foolish to look elsewhere for line depth when they already have a capable, young lineman in house.
Resigning Greg Ward and Andre Chachere to one-year deals
Greg Ward was a restricted free agent this offseason, so instead of tendering him like Herbig, the Eagles managed to bring him back on a one-year deal. It’s safe to assume his one-year contract will cost less than a tender would have ($2.43M). Otherwise, they probably would have just let him walk.
With Andre Chachere, he entered the offseason as an exclusive-rights free agent (ERFA), which means he has to accept whatever offer the team hands out. It’s likely a league minimum offer, though we don’t have the exact numbers yet.
While neither Ward or Chachere saw much playing time on their respective units last year, they’re both solid special teams players and they provide strong depth at receiver and safety. This move obviously doesn’t move the needle at all, but depth is a good thing.
Releasing Fletcher Cox, only to bring him back on a one-year deal
Aside from the signing of Reddick, the release of Fletcher Cox has been the biggest story surrounding the Eagles this offseason. It was initially reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and it was quickly pointed out that both parties were hoping to get a re-worked deal done so that Fletch can stay in Philly.
Just a few hours later, it was reported that Cox was already resigned with the team on a one-year deal with about $15M guaranteed, per Let’s Go to the Phones:
This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but both Ian Rapoport and Garafolo stated that both parties were indeed close to a deal.
Cox’s contract is one of the most confusing contracts we’ve ever seen. I won’t waste your time trying to break it all down, but if you want a clearer picture of how Cox’s contract was set up, give this article a read. Disclaimer: it’s a doozy:
One way or another, this new deal for Cox will save the Eagles money right now. That’s all we really need to know. As long as Howie Roseman understands it, that’s all that matters.
While Cox’s production has sunken a bit over the past two years, he’s still a valuable piece to this Eagles defensive line. The team is better with him than without him. They already have enough holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball, so retaining Cox is obviously a good thing.