Malik Jackson has most to lose after Philadelphia Eagles sign Javon Hargrave
Javon Hargrave appears set to become one of the newest members of the Philadelphia Eagles, but what does that mean for Malik Jackson?
What will $39 million with $26 million guaranteed get you during the NFL‘s free agency signing period? Well, it may not get you the best cornerback available if you’re a Philadelphia Eagles fan, but it will get you one of the game’s best nose tackles. Javon Hargrave’s new deal with Philly, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, covers three years, but it does beg a question. What happens to Malik Jackson now?
For Jackson, his run with Philly a season ago was cut short before it even began after he was signed on March 13th of 2019 and watched his journey end almost six months later in September’s regular-season opener after he suffered a season-ending foot injury versus the Washington Redskins.
Currently, he’s still on the team’s injured reserve, but when you look at Philly’s depth chart at defensive tackle, there’s Fletcher Cox, Bruce Hector, and Anthony Rush. The first name on that list belongs to one of the game’s best. The latter two belong to two prospects who are younger than Jackson, and both played well when given an opportunity a season ago.
Timmy Jernigan is also still on the active roster. He’s also at the end of his current deal, and it appears as though he’ll be allowed to walk. Albert Huggins is signed to a future/reserve contract.
Hassan Ridgeway is also on the IR, but Philly signed him to a one -year extension just hours before the news broke of Hargrave’s addition. It can’t be proven, but it can be argued that Philly had to know of what would happen with Hargrave before they thought about signing Ridgeway.
What does all of this mean for Jackson now? Sure, the ‘Birds’ could keep him, Cox, Ridgeway, and Hargrave. If that’s the plan, they’d be assured of elite depth at defensive tackle, but with so many other needs (cornerback, wide receiver, linebacker, and defensive end), you have to ask if it’s feasible to keep that many expensive interior defensive linemen.
Jackson is scheduled to make a little over $4.6 million in 2020. That number climbs to $13.6 million in 2021, 2022 and 2023. Is he still in Philly’s long-term plans? Can they even move him if they wanted to?
He is coming off of an injury. It wouldn’t be easy, but it isn’t impossible either. Cutting ties with Rush, Hector, Huggins, and Jernigan probably comes first, but in all honesty, based on the injuries and the money he’s supposed to make, Jackosn appears to be the guy with the most to lose now that Hargrave is an Eagle.