The Philadelphia Eagles are the sole undefeated team in the league. At 5-0, the Birds have been sitting pretty, ranked No. 1 in the NFL before Sunday’s Week 5 game.
Unlike previous seasons where fans could handpick the best players, the Eagles entered 2022 as a well-rounded team, with a slew of talent at each position. In fact, much of Philadelphia’s strength lies in players whose time is limited. But, before their contracts expire, here are six players who have earned an extension.
SIX EAGLES PLAYERS WHO HAVE EARNED CONTRACT EXTENSIONS
Jalen Hurts: Quarterback
Extending Jalen Hurts’ contract is really a no-brainer at this point. During the offseason, the quarterback knew he needed to work on his passing game, and he did just that. Throughout five games, his accuracy has improved as he’s completed 1,359 passing yards, averaging 271.8 yards a game.
Luckily, he’s also still a success on his feet, making him the ultimate dual-threat quarterback. Hurts has rushed for 266 yards, scoring six touchdowns. He’s proven to be someone the Eagles can count on when the opposing defense is strong, and the best part is, he’s always striving to do more.
After Philadelphia’s win against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, Hurts expressed his will to do better.
“We’re a really good football team. But we’re still growing. We’re still learning. We haven’t played out best yet, so it’s just a ton to learn from. I’m hungry and eager to get to that point, but it’s a process. Rome wasn’t built overnight.”
The Eagles would be wise to keep Hurts around and to use their first-round pick(s) in next year’s draft to build upon their depth to help the 24-year-old out.
Miles Sanders: Running Back
There were concerns about Miles Sanders during the 2021 season. The running back has failed to complete a 1,000+ yard season, and the slow start to Philadelphia’s rush game paired with his injuries, didn’t prove beneficial.
Now, in the final year of his rookie contract, Sanders is playing with purpose.
This season, he’s completed 414 rushing yards, averaging 4.8 yards per attempts. And, in an effort to rise to the top, Sanders is third in rushing yards, behind Nick Chubb (Browns) and Saquon Barkley (Giants).
Sanders credits a lot of his success to the Eagles’ offensive line — ranked No. 1 in the league. He states that he uses practices to study their moves to help him plan his routes.
“Just trying to be in tune with the line. Doing my best to try and understand what their job is to do and just trying to marry it with what I’m trying to do, and just trying to be the best run team possible.”
Brandon Graham: Defensive End
After Graham’s season-ending injury in 2021, it was fair for fans to wonder if he was nearing retirement. But, the defensive end is not ready to call it quits just yet.
Some say Graham returned for 2022 better than before, with energetic gameplay and a smile larger than life. Now in his thirteenth season, he is the longest-tenured athlete in Philadelphia and hopes to continue his career with the Birds.
After Week 3, Graham was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week, after recording a season-high six tackles, 2.5 sacks, two tackles for a loss, a pass defended, and one forced fumble. In five games, he now totals 14 tackles and 3.0 sacks.
At 34-years-old, age is just a number and if Graham can continue to produce, Philadelphia would be lucky to have him around.
Javon Hargrave: Defensive Tackle
Javon Hargrave brought a massive presence to the Eagles last season. In 2021, he finished with a career-high in tackles (63), and a career-high in sacks (7.5). He also was selected for his first Pro Bowl.
He held up well against the run and quickly became one of Philadelphia’s best defensive linemen.
Despite the poor performance the Eagles’ defense had in Week 1, Jonathan Gannon’s scheme made a quick turn. Philadelphia’s defense now ranks in the top-five in the league and Hargrave has more fuel in the tank to give for seasons to come.
T.J. Edwards: Linebacker
Edwards has been with Philadelphia since 2019, but didn’t become a fan-favorite until 2021. Last season, he finished with a career-high 130 tackles. He’s now the starting middle linebacker, and has been the play caller on the Gannon’s defense.
In five games, Edwards has already had 41 tackles, and could be on his way to a new career-high.
In the past, general manager Howie Roseman has slacked in spending money on the linebacker position. This has caused many issues when the holes have been filled in with lack-luster players. Given the defense’s success this season, Roseman would be wise to lockdown Edwards.
James Bradberry: Cornerback
Bradberry joined the Eagles this year after leaving NFC rival, the New York Giants. On a decent salary, he’s made major moves so far. Paired alongside Pro Bowler Darius Slay, Bradberry has had two interceptions for 32 yards and one touchdown in five games.
The 29-year-old is the 10th most targeted cornerback in the league, allowing the 2nd lowest passer rating among all cornerbacks (29.9). This is elite status, giving the Eagles yet another reason why they should keep Bradberry around.