Ranking the Philadelphia Eagles 2023 Free Agent group

Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports)
Fletcher Cox, Philadelphia Eagles (Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Javon Hargrave #97, Philadelphia Eagles
Javon Hargrave #97, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

player. 54. . . . Javon Hargrave, defensive tackle. 1

Javon Hargrave is coming off of a Pro Bowl season and seems to be getting better with each season. Perhaps the Eagles should have extended him last year.

There are a lot of good players on this Eagles team that will test the waters of free agency if nothing changes between now and next March. Javon Hargrave isn’t 30 years old yet, but he’s closing in on the milestone. We have a few months before we have to plan the party though.

February 7th is the day that you want to circle on your calendars, but even though Javon will add another candle to the birthday cake, he’s shown minimal signs of deterioration or slowing down. He’s actually improving.

Last season was one of his best, if not the best. He earned his first Pro Bowl nod. Keep that in mind because here comes two questions. Here’s the first.

Is the Eagles’ defense good enough that they can afford to ship Pro Bowlers off? It isn’t, is it? Okay, here’s another question.

Can someone give us a reason why signing Derek Barnett through the 2024 season makes sense if extending Javon Hargrave doesn’t? Sure, the Birds have an escape plan that allows them to dump Barnett after one year, but based on history, does anyone believe they’ll take it?

We’ll say what the rest of you are thinking. If they can pay Fletcher Cox $14 million for the 2022 NFL season and they can invest three years and $15.2 million into Derek Barnett, they damn well had better find a way to pay Hargrave! This is someone you can brag about for hours.

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He’s versatile. He’s played in the Eagles’ 4-3 defensive scheme. He also saw success playing in the 3-4 scheme that the Pittsburgh Steelers employ. Oh, and don’t forget that he can play along the interior of the defensive line or along the outside.

This young man is too talented to be ignored. The rest of the NFL seems to be figuring that out. Hopefully, the Birds have learned that too, seeing as how they’ve spent this much time with him.