The Philadelphia Eagles sneakily opened up a ton of cap space earlier this week by restructuring the contract of Fletcher Cox. Now we know why. The team announced on Saturday that DE Josh Sweat has signed a three-year contract extension.
The Deal is said to be worth $40M, with $26.9M guaranteed.
Sweat was in his contract year with the Eagles and it was a little surprising that a deal hadn’t been worked out earlier in the offseason. After a career-best 6 sacks in 2020, it was clear that the FSU product not only had huge upside, but had been able to prove the naysayers wrong.
He had previously caught a lot of criticism because of a lack of durability, but playing in 56% of snaps last year silenced those question marks.
The Eagles had a real choice to make going into this season. They knew that both Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat were in their final contracted years and although Barnett’s is an option-year, the likelihood of retaining both was small. For the short-term, this is fine as the team is stacked with immediate depth, but BG isn’t getting any younger and behind the two aforementioned defensive ends, only Ryan Kerrigan (also on a cheap one-year deal) and some unproven talent remains.
They had to secure a long-term piece at defensive end who can grow into the shoes that Brandon Graham will one day leave behind and it looks as though Josh Sweat will be the chosen edge rusher.
Sweat had six tackles in the season opener and will likely play a key role for the team as the season progresses. Beyond that, the team now have an EDGE2 and future EDGE1 to build the future of the defensive end position around.
That’s not to say that Barnett won’t return, but it looks as though the Eagles have made their decision, jumping the gun and signing Sweat to a deal that would roughly make him the 13th highest-paid edge rusher in the NFL.
Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire