The Philadelphia Eagles have 20 free agents heading into the NFL offseason according to contract supersite Sportrac.
Of the pending free agents, 13 of 20 were key contributors to the Eagles run towards another Lombardi Trophy.
The staff from Sports Talk Philly –editors Paul Bowman and Michael Lipinski and Eagles writers Jennifer McGraw and Maranda Jo Shinn– have decided to play a game of “stay or go” with Jeffery Lurie’s money!
The crew deliberates on defensive tackle Javon Hargrave.
Name: Javon Hargrave
Acquired: 2020 Free Agency
Achievements: 2021 Pro Bowl
2022 Regular Season Stats: 17G/17GS, 60 tackles, 10 TFL, 11 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 forced fumble
Market Value: $20.1MM/year
Potential Contract: 3-years/$60.5MM
Comparable players based on Sportrac’s formula for age, contract status, and statistical production.
Paul Bowman, STP Editor: This one may come down to the defensive coordinator. If Sean Desai is hired and he is going to play a 3-4 defense (not clear yet), why waste the money to bring Hargrave back? Jordan Davis is supposed to be a game wrecker and he barely played. Injuries and being buried on the depth chart this year has made fans forget (or not notice) that Milton Williams and Marlon Tuipulotu have both shown signs of being near a breakout. If the defense is only calling for one DT at a time and the team has three quality guys at the position, it doesn’t make too much sense to invest heavily in the position.
Beyond that, however, 20M per season would be a lot of money. I think Hargrave is a smart guy and realizes he won’t experience the same success he did this season anywhere else – no other team can offer the amount of other players causing pressure that the Birds can and Hargrave is likely to be the top or second focus for offenses if he moves to another team. That likely won’t stop a guy who arrived via free agency not long ago from taking the money, however. Beyond Bradberry, I’d guess Hargrave is the second least-likely to take any sort of discount and the Eagles just don’t have that kind of money to spend, even if I would like to keep Hargrave around in a 4-3 defensive scheme.
Michael Lipinski, STP Editor:
This one comes down to money and Javon Hargrave is going to command a lot of it. Spending in or around $20MM for a defensive tackle when there’s considerable depth is hard to fathom. Moving on from Hargrave would be a much easier decision if the Eagles knew exactly what they had in Jordan Davis. The Birds also have 2021 third round pick Milton Williams on the depth chart. Williams started to show flashes of being a really solid defensive piece and a more steady top of the rotation player. The draft is also stocked with some very good interior defensive lineman that will be added to the mix.
It’s time to move on from Hargrave unless he takes a hometown discount to stay in midnight green (he won’t).
Jenn McGraw, Eagles Writer: Hargrave is an incredible player for the team, and it only proved to be more true this past season. I think keeping Hargrave on the team will come with a hefty contract, but it would be worth it. With the way the defense is developing, I really think it’s worth keeping him around at least another season while some of the younger guys can still develop under him and the other linemen. For that reason, it’s worth the hefty contract and I think the Eagles feel the same.
Maranda Jo Shinn, Eagles Writer: Hargrave is undoubtedly one of the best interior linemen in the game, and will likely be looking to cash in after a career best season. He surely won’t come cheap, but he is worth it. Coming off of an 11-sack, 10-TFL season, Hargrave would provide a necessary veteran presence towards some of the younger guys in the locker room. The Eagles have displayed time and time again that they value their linemen (looking at you, Fletcher Cox), and I have a feeling this case will be no different.
There is a divide on this one with Michael and Paul believing that the money just won’t make sense for the Eagles while Jenn and Maranda would like to see Hargrave back in the fold for 2023.