PHILADELPHIA -- When the elite pass rushers in the NFL are brought up in conversation, Myles Garrett, T.J. Watt, Nick Bosa and Micah Parsons are the typical names mentioned. Haason Reddick is typically omitted, even though he deserves to be brought up in the conversation.
Reddick is third in the NFL in sacks over the past three seasons, behind only Garrett and Watt. Including the postseason, he led the NFL in sacks last year with 19.5 -- as only Reggie White had more sacks in a season in Philadelphia Eagles franchise history.
The 2022 season wasn't a breakout year for Reddick (he had that with the Arizona Cardinals in 2021), yet it vindicated his status as one of the game's elite pass rushers. Despite how good Reddick has been, he isn't among the game's highest-paid players at his position.
Reddick isn't upset over his contract, yet stated the obvious.
"I mean, I ain't gonna sit here and ... like I said, y'all see it, y'all know what's going on," Reddick said with a laugh after Eagles practice Tuesday. "I'm just worried about being the best version of myself and I'll let everything else sort itself out -- truly."
Is Reddick underpaid by the Eagles, and is a new contract in store? Let's take a deep five and find out.
Reddick's current contract
Reddick is in the second year of a three-year, $45 million deal he signed as free agent last offseason. He makes an average annual salary of $15,000,000 per year, good for a tie for 16th in the NFL among edge rushers. He has a base salary of $1,080,000 this season and cap number of $6,957,000 for 2023 with a base salary of $13,750,000 and a cap number of $20,877,000 in the final year of the deal.
In Reddick's deal, $30,000,000 is guaranteed including a $13,715,000 signing bonus. There is a guaranteed option in the second contract year worth $13,670,000 -- which Reddick will certainly receive.
Even with those numbers, here's a list of the pass rushers ranked ahead of Reddick:
|Pass rusher||Contract (average annual salary)|
Where Reddick stacks up against the elite pass rushers
Reddick has established himself as one of the best pass rushers in the league, as evidenced by the sack totals. He also is the first player in NFL history to have double-digit sacks for three different teams in three consecutive seasons, showcasing he can play for different defensive coordinators and different franchises.
Most sacks -- NFL (last three seasons)
While Reddick is third in sacks, he's 11th in the league in pressures during that span (168). He also leads the league in forced fumbles with 13, showing the game changer he is on the field (led the NFL with five forced fumbles last year). The 34 missed tackles over the last three years, however, are also the most in the league for his position.
Reddick had a huge season in his first year with the Eagles, finishing tied for second in the NFL with 16.5 sacks (with Myles Garrett). His 26 quarterback hits were eighth in the NFL, and he finished tied for 10th in pressures with 68 -- while also having a career-high 15.9% pressure rate.
A second-team All-Pro in 2022, Reddick was the best pass rusher on an Eagles defense that finished with 70 sacks on the year -- the first team in NFL history to have four players record double-digit sacks in a season. The Eagles don't get to the Super Bowl without Reddick, who had a franchise-record 3.5 sacks in the postseason.
Based on one year with the Eagles, it's clear the franchise is getting a bargain with Reddick's contract.
What Reddick has to do to have even more leverage
Reddick has a lofty goal for himself, getting more sacks than he did last season. If Reddick could get to 20, all bets are off on keeping that same contract. At that stage, Reddick would deserve a new contract as he heads into the final year of his deal.
What if Reddick doesn't get to 20? He still would have a case for more guaranteed money and a higher average annual salary. He needs just one sack to match Brandon Graham for the most sacks in the postseason in Eagles franchise history and his six quarterback hits are already fourth in the franchise (trailing only Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Chris Long).
Reddick's 19.5 sacks were the second most for any player in a season for the Eagles and his 32 quarterback hits are third (including postseason). His one season with the Eagles earned leverage, but having similar numbers to 2022 will create even more of an advantage going forward.
If Reddick can get double-digit sacks again and have another strong postseason (should the Eagles get there), both sides would have to discuss an extension where Reddick could be paid among the elite players at his position.
Will the Eagles pay Reddick?
Reddick is banking the Eagles will take care of him, but he will be 29 in September. If the Eagles choose to sign Reddick to an extension, he would be in his 30s at the start of the contract (a deal that likely would take him into his mid-30s).
The Eagles have changed how they operate business, but that has been reserved toward players who they have drafted (see Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, Lane Johnson and Jason Kelce). Philadelphia does have some exceptions in the Howie Roseman era (see Jason Peters) and does prioritize the offensive and defensive lines -- which works in Reddick's favor.
Philadelphia does have a history of passing on paying pass rushers in their 30s. Hugh Douglas was coming off three straight Pro Bowls when the Eagles chose to let him walk in free agency at 31. Reggie White had eight consecutive double-digit sack seasons and seven straight All-Pro seasons when the Eagles let him walk at 31. The franchise let Clyde Simmons leave at 29, even after two first-team All-Pro seasons over the last three years (Simmons only had five sacks in his final year with the Eagles). William Fuller had three straight Pro Bowls when the Eagles chose not to bring him back at 35.
Whether it was a different era than Roseman, the Eagles were right on not paying all these players but White (who is the greatest pass rusher ever). Reddick has Hall of Fame aspirations, but history demonstrates the Eagles may choose to let him play out his contract then allow him to seek that money elsewhere. The Eagles did draft Nolan Smith in the first round for a reason.
If Reddick has a strong start to 2023, the Eagles may just take care of him early. What helps Reddick in this situation? He is playing for the team he grew up rooting for and is an integral part of that defense. Graham is close to retiring, and Philadelphia likes to prioritize the pass rush being as deep as possible.
The odds are in Reddick's favor for a new deal. He's banking on the Eagles to be the team that pays him for his performance.