In A Rush
Birds Land Pass Rusher In First Hours Of Free Agency
Addressing pass rush first, the Eagles started free agency Monday by agreeing to terms with Hasson Reddick, who brings 23.5 sacks over the past two seasons to the Eagles’ defense in Philadelphia.
Reddick, the Temple product and South Jersey native who recorded 11 sacks in 16 games last year for the Carolina Panthers, agreed on a deal worth $15 million annually, according to the NFL Network.
The #Eagles have agreed to terms with pass rusher Haason Reddick, source says. Three years, $45 million with $30 million fully guaranteed at signing. Max value $49.5 million.
The Camden native and former #Temple Owl is coming home.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 14, 2022
The NFL league year opened with Monday’s legal tampering period. Howie Roseman, Eagles executive vice president of football operations, had said at the NFL Scouting Combine earlier this month that the Eagles needed to improve their pass rush after the team finished 31st in sacks, with 29.
Reddick, a 230-pound outside linebacker, is an ideal fit for coordinator Jonathan Gannon’s scheme, which plays the strong-side linebacker on the line of scrimmage on first down and against the run. The strong-side linebacker must also drop into coverage at times, patrolling the flats and defending against comeback routes.
In nickel and dime situations, when the Eagles go to a four-man pass rush, Reddick will likely move into an edge rusher/defensive end role.
I’M COMING HOME!!!! #FlyEaglesFly
— Haason Reddick #43 (@Haason7Reddick) March 14, 2022
The Eagles hadn’t historically played a five-man defensive front until Nick Sirianni, former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator, was hired last year as head coach and brought Gannon, the Colts’ defensive backs coach, with him to be defensive coordinator.
Last year, the strong-side linebacker role was played by Genard Avery in Gannon’s new scheme, a major change from former coordinator Jim Schwartz’s blueprint. Avery played on the line against the run but came off the field in pass-rush situations. Avery, who had one sack last season, played just 34 percent of defensive snaps and became an unrestricted free agent Monday.
The team hopes Reddick, an explosive edge rusher who has 31 career sacks, will be an upgrade over defensive end Derek Barnett, whose contract expired Monday and had 21.5 sacks in five seasons.
The Eagles picked Barnett with the 14th overall pick in 2017, one spot after Arizona, which had taken Reddick at 13th. The Cardinals used Reddick mostly as an off-ball linebacker for his first three seasons – without much success – before moving him into a pass-rushing role in 2020, when Reddick broke out for 12.5 sacks.
The Panthers signed Reddick to a one-year, $8 million deal to play a pass-rushing linebacker spot, and watched Reddick put forth his second season of double-digit sacks.
Now, the Eagles will turn their attention to filling voids at safety and wide receiver.
– Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the “Inside the Birds” podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
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