What the return of Hassan Ridgeway means for the Eagles

LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 13: Eagles DT Hassan Ridgeway (98) and linebacker T.J. Edwards (57) tackle Washington running back Peyton Barber (34) as he leaps into the air during the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Football Team NFL game at FedEx Field on September 13, 2020 in Landover, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire)

According to NJ.Com’s Mike Kaye, the Philadelphia Eagles are bringing back DT Hassan Ridgeway on a one-year deal.

This may not sound like a huge signing, but it’s a highly underrated one. The Eagles don’t have a ton of cap space and if they can retain pending free agents at a discount, it’s a definite bonus providing there’s a role for them. When it comes to the Texas product, that role is already clear.

Hassan Ridgeway was originally a fourth-round selection back in 2016 by the Indianapolis Colts where he crossed over with new defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon. The Eagles traded a seventh-round pick for Ridgeway during the 2019 NFL Draft, opting to acquire someone with NFL experience over a UDFA. That decision proved to be a good one.

In 2019, the Eagles suffered a flurry of injuries to the DT position. He notched 2 sacks, 4 QB hits, and 4 tackles for a loss in his short stint replacing Timmy Jernigan and Malik Jackson before landing on IR. One year later, he appeared in 7 games for the Eagles, amassing 11 tackles, 2 TFL, 1 QB hit, and a sack. Unfortunately, that campaign was cut short a well, with Ridgeway suffering a season-ending biceps injury back in October.

With Malik Jackson now out of town, the Eagles are reasonably light on DT depth behind the duo of Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave. Only Raequan Williams and T.Y McGill are currently on the depth chart. We know how important a strong DT group has been to the Eagles in the past and the experience of Ridgway will be invaluable moving forward.

Ridgeway provides solid rotational depth and has been able to flash some real penetrative prowess during his time with the team. If he can stay healthy, Ridgeway has the potential to be an important piece of the pass-rushing machine moving forward.

Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire