Why Eagles decided to trade Haason Reddick to Jets, and what's next for Philly

Reddick made the Pro Bowl after both of his seasons in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs
Philadelphia Eagles v Kansas City Chiefs / Ryan Kang/GettyImages
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Haason Reddick's time with the Philadelphia Eagles has come to an end, as the Birds have agreed to trade Reddick to the New York Jets in exchange for a conditional 2026 third-round pick, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The pick will become a second-rounder in 2026 if Reddick plays 67.5 percent of defensive snaps and records 10 sacks next season.

As a landing spot for Reddick, New York is interesting, because the Eagles signed former Jets linebacker Bryce Huff to a three-year, $51 million deal at the onset of free agency. So as it turns out, the Eagles and Jets basically swapped Huff for Reddick, with the Eagles also getting some draft capital back.

Reddick was stellar during his two seasons in Philadelphia. He started in all 34 regular season games during his time with the team and recorded 87 total tackles and 27 sacks. He was a key contributor on the defensive side of the ball when the Eagles reached the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2022 season.

The Temple University product was named to the Pro Bowl after both of his seasons in Philly, and he has recorded at least 10 sacks in four straight seasons -- a streak that he will try to continue in New York.

Considering his productive play, some fans in Philadelphia are likely wondering why the Eagles decided to part ways with a player like Reddick. While there's not necessarily one easy answer, there were likely several factors that contributed to the decision.

Why Philadelphia decided to move on from Reddick

The two biggest factors behind the decision to trade Reddick were probably age and money, and the two go hand-in-hand. Reddick will be 30 in September, and despite the fact that he still appears to have a lot of gas left in the tank, the Eagles are actively looking to get younger defensively.

If Huff better than Reddick? That's certainly debatable, but he is several years younger, and that's important for the Eagles. He likely would never come out and say it, but it certainly seems like general manager Howie Roseman is betting that Reddick's best days may be behind him, while Huff's could still be in front of him.

Plus, Reddick will be looking for a new contract after the 2024 season, and the Eagles clearly had reservations about paying an aging edge rusher too much money. Instead, they got Huff on a three-year deal that will expire before he hits the big 3-0.

While talking with media members at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis in February, Roseman discussed the balance between keeping the Eagles competitive in the present while also setting the team up for sustained success in the future while speaking about Reddick.

“I’d say this: Haason, obviously, an unbelievable player for the Philadelphia Eagles,” Roseman said. “Local kid, great success story. Camden, Temple, Philly. Love having Haason.

“I think that anything you’re trying to do, you’re trying to blend what you’re trying to do this year and what you’re trying to do in the future," he added. "I think that’s the hardest job. Don’t want to get into any specifics with any conversations with players but have tremendous respect for the player and person.”

The trade shouldn't come as a shock for Eagles fans

The fact that Reddick has played his last snap as a member of the Eagles shouldn't come as an enormous surprise to anyone who has been paying attention to the team this offseason.

The Eagles openly allowed Reddick to test trade waters after the season ended, despite Reddick's stated desire to continue his career in Philadelphia.

“I would like to get an extension done here at home," Reddick said last month. "At no point did I ever tell the organization I want to be traded. . . . This is home for me. I was born and raised here. Two of the most fun years playing football in my life came here. I’ve cherished being an Eagle.”

At that point though, it felt like the writing was already on the wall. Reddick wanted to continue to play in front of fans in Philly, but he's also going to want to maximize his next payday, as it could be his last substantial one in the league, and the Eagles clearly weren't willing to give him the deal he was looking for, despite how much he has meant to the franchise over the past couple of years.

What's next for Philly?

Only time will tell if the Eagles come to regret moving on from Reddick. In the meantime, fans in Philly should familarize themselves with Huff, because he's going to be an integral part of the team's defensive attack next season.

The move also means that second-year linebacker Nolan Smith will see an increased workload in 2024. The Eagles selected Smith in the first round of the draft last year, but he received limited on-field opportunity as a rookie, though Roseman recently admitted that Smith probably should have played more last season.

“In retrospect, just seeing him certainly in the playoff game, one of the guys who played well in the playoff game, maybe giving him a little bit more time during the year and experience, we talked about that,” Roseman said of Smith. ". . . “He's got all the right tools in his body. He's got the right mentality. And at the same time, he's got to go out and show it.”

Now, Smith is likely get more opportunity next season. It also wouldn't be surprising to see the Eagles add an additional edge rusher in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, perhaps even earlier now that Reddick is no longer on the roster.

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