The Philadelphia Eagles signed Josh Sweat to a three-year contract extension through the 2024 season, according to an official announcement from the team. Sweat’s contract is worth $40 million with a max value of $42 million and $26.92 million guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport.
Sweat’s extension comes exactly one week after the Eagles signed starting left tackle Jordan Mailata to a multi-year deal. The team is clearly aiming to lock up some long-term pieces before the players would otherwise have a chance to test the free agent market following the 2021 season. It’s not totally unlike how the Eagles went on a run of locking up a core to build around (Zach Ertz, Lane Johnson, Malcolm Jenkins, Vinny Curry) back in 2016.
As is the case with Mailata, there’s reason to believe the arrow is pointing up on Sweat. The 24-year-old is coming off a career 2020 season in which he had six sacks. Sweat followed that up with a strong training camp this summer; many believed he was one of the top practice performers. He was regularly living in the backfield.
There’s often a risk/reward factor to be weighed when signing young players to extensions. The Eagles typically like to beat the market to the punch and pay for projection as opposed to waiting for players to fully prove it. The benefit to this tactic is that the team can save money by not having to pay more down the road. The downside to this tactic is that they could be overpaying if the player doesn’t quite make the leap. Or that they get hurt, which is relevant with Sweat since concerns about his knee caused him to fall to the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Eagles are clearly counting on Sweat to be a key defender for them moving forward. He’s off to a solid start in that regard, grading out as PFF’s 19th best edge rusher after Week 1. Sweat didn’t officially start the Eagles’ season opener but he did play the most snaps at his position.
For those curious about the financials, Sweat’s $13.3 million annual value puts him as the NFL’s 22nd highest paid edge rusher. He’s right between Whitney Mercilus and Yannick Ngakoue.
Sweat’s extension might not bode well for Derek Barnett’s chances of re-signing in Philly. The 2017 first-round pick is playing on his fifth-year option with him and the Eagles unable to reach a long-term agreement. He’s currently set to be a free agent after 2021.
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