Is it time for Hargrave to get an extension?


Eagles defensive tackle Javon Hargrave is coming off a career season, his first Pro Bowl and just turned 29 years old in February.

He’s a prime candidate to get an extension this offseason.

It just hasn’t happened yet. Hargrave is set to enter the final year of the three-year, $39 million contract the Eagles gave him as a free agent in 2020. For what it’s worth, it sounds like he wants to stay.

“I love being in Philly,” Hargrave said earlier this week. “I feel like this is my better years as a pro. Of course I love being in Philly. It’s whatever happens.”

The Eagles are really deep at the defensive tackle position in 2022, but Hargrave is entering the final year of his contract and six-time Pro Bowler Fletcher Cox is also on a one-year, $14 million deal this season. The Eagles drafted Jordan Davis in the first round this year and Milton Williams in the third round last year.

So maybe the Eagles let Cox walk after this season, moving on from an all-time great. But would they really let Hargrave walk too? Especially when he appears to still be in the prime of his career?

Aside from the obvious of why the Eagles would want to keep Hargrave around, it would make sense from a financial standpoint too. In 2022, he has the highest cap hit on the team with a figure of over $17.8 million. So if the Eagles were to extend him, they could pay out a good chuck of that in a signing bonus and save some cap room for this coming season.

It’s worth noting that the Eagles have not yet even restructured this deal. These maneuvers have been so commonplace for them in recent seasons that it stands out when they don’t restructure somebody with a nearly $18 million cap hit.

Back in 2019, Hargrave played through a contract year, the final season of his rookie deal with the Steelers. That time it worked out for him as he signed a $39 million contract as a free agent. You would understand if a player found the unknown of a contract year to be stressful, but Hargrave doesn’t see it that way.

“Not really,” Hargrave said. “I think I approach every year as a contract year in the NFL.”

Last season, Hargrave put up the best numbers of his six-year NFL career. He set career highs in starts (16), sacks (7 1/2), tackles (63), tackles for loss (9) and quarterback hits (18) on his way to a Pro Bowl nod. Hargrave got off to a really hot start in 2021 and then his numbers cooled as more offenses began to shift their protections his way. Still, it was a very good 2021 season.

So what’s next for Hargrave?

“I think it’s just always growing and getting better,” he said. “I had one of my better seasons last year. It’s just trying to be even better this year. I think that’s just the goal going into every year, just being the best player I can be for the team.”

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