Eagles’ Haason Reddick demands recognition as one of the league’s top edge rushers – ESPN – Philadelphia Eagles Blog


PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Haason Reddick smiled when it was pointed out how his reputation always seems to trail behind his production.

It was a conversation he was having with an associate just the other day, Reddick said. He believes the slow start to his career created the lag effect. But after finishing second in the NFL with 16 sacks during the regular season in 2022, and adding 3.5 more takedowns during Philly’s postseason run to the Super Bowl, the only logical next step is for his name to slingshot toward the top.

“Last year I’ve shown [I’m] one of the most elite, one of the best at what I do,” said Reddick, who has been limited early in training camp with a groin strain. “Top five. When you talk about Haason Reddick, if I’m not in that category for you, now I’ve got to question, ‘Do you really know football?’”

The evidence is becoming harder to ignore. His 39.5 sacks since 2020 are third-most in that span behind only Myles Garrett (44) and T.J. Watt (43). He has also forced the most fumbles (13) during that time.

Reddick, 28, is the only player in NFL history to record double-digit sacks in three straight years with three different teams, posting 12.5 sacks with the Arizona Cardinals in ’20 and 11 with the Carolina Panthers in ’21 before the Camden, New Jersey native inked a three-year, $45 million deal with his hometown team last offseason.

The problem with a trailing reputation is that the money doesn’t quite match the output, either. His average annual salary of $15 million is tied for 19th among edge rushers, according to Spotrac. Watt is at the top of the NFL at $28 million a year followed by Joey Bosa ($27 million), Garrett ($25 million) and Khalil Mack ($23.5 million). Nine edge players in all have salaries north of $20 million.

“Y’all see it, y’all know what’s going on,” said Reddick, when asked if he is underpaid. “I’m worried about being the best version of myself, and then everything will sort itself out, truly.”

It took some time for Reddick to hit his stride. A walk-on at Temple University, he starred as an outside rusher for the Owls, but was moved to inside linebacker by the Cardinals after being selected 13th overall in the 2017 draft, and struggled to get acclimated. It wasn’t until his fourth season, in 2020, that he was moved back to his natural position and began to flourish.

With just one season of strong production under his belt, he settled for a one-year, $8 million deal with the Panthers when he hit free agency, and again found a less-than-booming market before signing with the Eagles.

It didn’t slow him down. He set career highs in sacks (16) while racking up 26 QB hits, 11 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles this past season, earning his first Pro Bowl nod. He was not among the Defensive Player of the Year finalists, however, prompting him to tweet, “At some point, this s— gotta stop.”

“At this point, I’m done talking like I have anything to prove to anybody,” he said. “I’ve put enough work out there, I’ve put enough film out there, enough tape out there, that my play now speaks for itself. People can make their opinions off of that. I don’t have to second-guess myself. I don’t feel like I have to show anybody anything. I’ve done that all.”

The goals he has set for himself moving forward are lofty. He wants to rack up 20 sacks this season to top the 19.5 he accumulated between the regular season and playoffs last year. And he’s set his sights on the Hall of Fame.

“I want to be a decorated player,” he said. “I have inward motivation. Nothing else motivates me other than being the best player that I can be because once it’s all said and done, you see Haason Reddick’s name, from this point forward it should be about how did he turn his career around, got to the point that he’s at now, and how he became a legend at whatever it is that he ended up doing.”

Source : ESPN