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Eagles DE Bryce Huff Has One 'Big Knock' on His Game; Five Thoughts on Signing

New York Jets pass rusher Bryce Huff was the first player the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to sign when the start of legal negotiating began on Monday
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Bryce Huff was that “other” player who the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to terms with during Monday’s frenzied beginning to the legal negotiating period leading up to free agency on Wednesday when all deals can officially be announced at 4 p.m.

Saquon Barkley stole the thunder from this signing since the former New York Giants running back agreed to terms about an hour after it was announced that Huff did.

Here are my five thoughts on the other monster contract handed out so far by the Eagles:

Bryce Huff

Bryce Huff

Run game. The big knock on Huff is that he can’t play the run, and he really can’t. He was a situational player and got just 42 percent of the New York Jets’ defensive snaps. He’s just not a three-down player. Not, yet. Maybe not ever.

The Eagles hope that can change on their watch. He may never fully develop into a true edge-setter, but maybe he can be brought far enough along to be considered, at the very least, adequate, and to the point where the Eagles don’t have to hold their breath when they use him on run downs.

Value. Yes, $17 million per year for a pass rusher is value. Remember, the Eagles got Haason Reddick two years ago at $15 million per year.

It’s also true, though, that Huff wasn’t considered much of a pass rusher until last year when he had a breakout season with 10 with 68 quarterback pressures in 312 pass-rushing opportunities and an NFL-best 21.8 percent pressure percentage, according to Next Gen Stats.

Huff had 1.5 of his sacks in the Jets' upset win over the Eagles during the season. Rightt ackle Lane Johnson did not play that day, so Huff did his damage against backup Jack Driscoll.

The Eagles are banking on him continuing to ascend.

Bye bye … who? Bringing in Huff most assuredly signals the end for Haason Reddick or Josh Sweat. There doesn’t seem to be a path for both to return now. Probably only one will be back. If I were to bet who it would be, I would say Reddick.

Nolan Smith. We’re about to find out if Nolan Smith was worth the first-round pick the Eagles spent on him last spring when they used the second of their two choices in that round to bring in Smith as the 30th overall selection. 

There have been reports that Smith had a procedure done on one of his shoulders. He will be counted on for more than just the 188 defensive snaps (16 percent) he got in his rookie season. Will he hold up?

The rotation. Joining Huff in the edge rotation will be Smith, one of Reddick or Sweat, and Brandon Graham. Maybe Tarron Jackson? That’s four. Do the Eagles need five? I say, yes, because Graham’s role will consist of about 20 snaps per game as he enters his record-setting 15th season with the team.

Expect a fifth option to arrive in the draft next month.