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February 03, 2021

Eagles stay or go: Defensive tackle

Eagles NFL
091019MalikJackson Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Eagles DT Malik Jackson

The Philadelphia Eagles have invested hefty financial resources in their defensive tackles, and have not been as dominant in the trenches as perhaps they should have been, given the cost. Here we'll take a look at which defensive tackles will stay in 2021, and which ones will go.

Previous "Stay or Go" analysis: 

Howie Roseman • Doug Pederson 
Quarterback • Running backWide receiver 
Tight end • Offensive tackle • Interior OL
• Defensive end

Fletcher Cox

Cox made his sixth straight Pro Bowl in 2020, but that was mostly as a result of reputation as well as the lack of DT competition in the NFC. While still a very good player, Cox is not the elite star he once was. 

In 2018, for example, Cox had 10.5 sacks an 34 QB hits. In 2019 and 2020 combined, he had 10 sacks and 19 quarterback hits.

Cox carries huge cap hits each of the next two seasons. He'll count for $23,879,939 in 2021, and $23,779,939 in 2022, the last year of his deal. Additionally, as a result of some previous can-kicking down the road, the Eagles are on the hook for almost $6.5 million on the cap after his contract ends.

#JimmyVerdict: Cox isn't going anywhere this offseason, but there's a remote possibility the Eagles could deal him at the trade deadline if the season gets off to a bad start, as most of us expect.

Your verdict: 

Eagles stay or go: Fletcher Cox

Malik Jackson

Jackson was a decent starter in 2020, but his tenure in Philly will go down as a pretty big disappointment overall, as he had 2.5 sacks in two seasons after signing a three-year deal worth $30 million during the 2019 offseason.

#JimmyVerdict: The Eagles are highly likely to designate Jackson as a June 1 release, as we noted early in January. Go.

Your verdict: 

Eagles stay or go: Malik Jackson

Javon Hargrave

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During the offseason, Hargrave signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Eagles. After missing pretty much all of training camp with a pectoral injury, Hargrave was invisible for the first 10 or so games of the season, before turning it on in December.

Blame the early lack of production on the missed time in camp, or on learning a new defensive scheme, but clearly, this is looking very much like yet another bad free agent contract.

#JimmyVerdict: 2022 is the first year the Eagles can get out of Hargrave's contract, if that's the avenue they wish to take at that time. Until then, they'll just have to hope he plays like he did in December for the entirety of the season. Stay.

Your verdict: 

Eagles stay or go: Javon Hargrave

Hassan Ridgeway

Ridgeway has been OK when he has played, but he has missed 23 games the last three years. 

#JimmyVerdict: Maybe the Eagles will bring him back on a veteran minimum deal. I'd just let him walk in free agency. Go.

Your verdict: 

Eagles stay or go: Hassan Ridgeway

Raequan Williams

Williams was a priority undrafted free agent in 2020, who played six games, and finished with five tackles and a sack. 

#JimmyVerdict: Back in camp.

Your verdict: 

Eagles stay or go: Raequan Williams

T.Y. McGill

McGill is under contract in 2021 for $850,000. 7 games, 9 tackles, 0.5 sacks in 2020.

#JimmyVerdict: Back in camp.

Your verdict: 

Eagles stay or go: T.Y. McGill

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