For the second straight Saturday, the Eagles handed out a contract extension to one of their own, this one a three-year deal to defensive end Josh Sweat, keeping him tied to the Eagles through 2024.
Sweat was scheduled to be a free agent following this season after being selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Florida State. The deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is for $40 million, but could rise as high as $43M and guarantees Sweat $26.9 million.
Last Saturday, just hours before the season opener in Atlanta, the Eagles signed left tackle Jordan Mailata to a four-year extension through 2025, with $40.8M guaranteed on a deal that could go as high as $80M over the four years.
Sweat’s deal comes about 24 hours before the Eagles will host the San Francisco 49ers in their home opener Sunday at 1 p.m.
Also last Saturday, the Eagles restructured the contract of defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, freeing up more than $11M in salary cap space, indicating that another extension would be forthcoming.
This was it, though there are still others in line, including tight end Dallas Goedert, who had hoped to have a new deal done by the time the season started but said the Eagles decided to "go in another direction."
Also potentially in line for a new deal could be safety Anthony Harris or cornerback Steve Nelson, both of whom signed one-year contracts as free agents this past offseason.
The Eagles’ decision to sign Sweat to an extension calls into question whether or not they have decided to move on from former first-round pick Derek Barnett.
Barnett, who was the 14th overall pick in 2017, is just 25 but has struggled with injuries. Still, he has been relatively productive when he has played. In 49 games, he has 19.5 sacks, 104 tackles, three forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
He had three tackles with one QB hit in the season-opening win over the Atlanta Falcons.
As was the case with Mailata, who only began playing football in 2018 when he was picked in the seventh round of the draft, the Eagles seem to be making decisions based on potential and production over pedigree.
Sweat is a year younger than Barnett.
He had a serious knee injury while in high school but was considered the nation’s No. 1 recruit coming out of Oscar Smith High School in Virginia until the injury.
Sweat has said his knees are both 100 percent, however, after the Eagles took it slowly with him during his rookie season.
In 40 career games, Sweat has 10 sacks, including a career-high six in 2020 with 66 tackles and 23 QB hits. In the opener last week, he assisted on six tackles.
The Eagles drafted two players this past spring who can play defensive end as well in Tarron Jackson and Milton Williams, as the team continues to fortify the position with Brandon Graham’s days at that spot winding down somewhat now that he is in his 12th NFL season.
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s Eagle Maven and co-host of the Eagles Unfiltered Podcast. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles or www.eaglemaven.com and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.