13 weeks into the NFL season, here’s a lesson that many of you have probably already learned. It’s impossible to please everyone, especially when discussions turn to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Birds are pro football’s only team with double-digit wins on the season. They have one loss, but if you tuned into 94 WIP-FM, you’d think they were 1-10. Their oft-criticized general manager, Howie Roseman, is enjoying a reprieve of sorts. He’s built the best team possible. Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, he’s done his job, but that job is going to get tougher during the offseason.
It would be nice if the Birds could keep this current roster together. That’s a tough ask though.
Philly has to make decisions on more than 20 players who are on one-year deals or contracts that expire after this season. There is also a potential ‘out’ on Derek Barnett’s deal if they choose to explore that option (otherwise he’d become an unrestricted free agent in 2024). Then, there are also guys like C.J. Gardner-Johnson.
We already knew that he was good, but he has exceeded our expectations. Would the Eagles consider holding on to him?
All that is enough to make one’s mind operate on overload, but wait it gets better. It’s two other Birds, no C.J., that land on Pro Football Focus’ top 25 impending free agents.
Eagles stars Javon Hargrave and James Bradberry are among PFF’s 25 best players set to enter free agency in 2023.
Time flies! Javon Hargrave inked a three-year $39 million deal with the Eagles on March 21st of 2020. His number comes up again this offseason. James Bradberry joined the Birds on May 18th after the New York Giants decided to move on. Maybe they should have thought that one out a little further.
Following 12 weeks of action, he, with a rating of 77.9, was among the three top-rated players in pass coverage along with T.J. Edwards (78.5) and Darius Slay (77.9). He’s ranked 19th on PFF’s list of potential free agents. Hargrave was ranked fourth.
Here’s some of what Brad Spielberger, the writer of this one, stated as his reasoning for those decisions. We begin with some of his take on Hargrave.
"Since 2020, Hargrave’s 91.8 pass-rush grade trails only Aaron Donald and Chris Jones, with his 19.2% pass-rush win rate also ranking third… Hargrave will be 30 years old for the 2023 season, but we’ve seen many interior defenders maintain longevity well into their 30s recently… His run-defense grades were much better in his first stop, but it seems he can excel at whatever is asked of him, which is good to know for interested teams that likely don’t frequently deploy a five-man front and do a lot of the other exotic things Philadelphia is doing up front of late."
Here’s Spielberger’s take on Bradberry.
"We wrote earlier this year about potential candidates for extensions before the 2022 season concluded, and Bradberry found himself on that list because of a great start to the year. His 45.7% completion percentage allowed is the fourth-best mark among cornerbacks, and his 13 forced incompletions lead the NFL through Week 12. Bradberry is likely best as a No. 2 after years of proving himself as a reliable No. 1, but there should be a huge market for his services nonetheless, as he’s proven to be adaptable, reliable and available throughout his NFL career. He’s on pace for his fourth consecutive season with 1,000-plus snaps."
Yep, Howie has his work cut out for him. Here’s a look at some of the other guys that are set to enter free agency if they aren’t given extensions: Fletcher Cox, Robert Quinn, Brandon Graham, Jason Kelce, Isaac Seumalo, Andre Dillard, Kyzir White, T.J. Edwards, Ndamukong Suh, Marcus Epps, Gardner Minshew, Tyree Jackson, Sua Opeta, Andre Chachere, Rick Lovato, Miles Sanders, Zach Pascal, Boston Scott, and Linval Joseph.
They also have a star quarterback currently in the third year of his rookie deal that’s still being paid like a second-rounder. We still have a long way to go before these conversations take center stage, but things figure to get very interesting after the season wraps.