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Eagles, Reddick shake hands and walk away

It is a matter of pure mathematics.

Nothing else enters into it.

In their hearts, Eagles fans would love to see Haason Reddick play out the rest of his career in Philadelphia just a few miles from where his athletic journey began. The Haddon Heights graduate from just across the Delaware, the Temple University star from just off the north end of Broad Street could have ended his NFL career like a Jason Kelce or Fletcher Cox.  

The math just didn’t add up.

Heading into the final season of a three-year deal that brought Reddick to South Philly after four frustrating years in Arizona and a breakout year with Carolina, rumblings that Reddick and the Eagles weren’t quite on the same page began to form after the Eagles faltered down the stretch of last year’s lost season.

First, it was reported that Reddick was granted the right to seek a trade. The player’s camp responded that he’d never asked to be traded but was hoping to negotiate an extension to stay with the team.

The Eagles kept mostly silent on the matter throughout, at least officially. Reading between the lines, the Eagles made their intentions well known. First, the team signed New York Jets edge rusher Bryce Huff to a three-year free agent deal. Next, the Eagles restructured fellow edge rusher Josh Sweat that made his 2024 salary guaranteed. Finally, the Eagles and Reddick agreed to postpone a $1 million roster bonus due to Reddick until April 1.

The drama culminated with a trade that would send Reddick to the Jets for a conditional 2026 third-round draft pick. If Reddick plays a set percentage and has 10 sacks with the Jets next year, the pick will be upgraded to a second-round pick.

While the trade has been reported, it hasn’t been finalized by the league or announced by either team. Presumably, both teams still have to iron out final details on the deal, which includes who would pay the roster bonus Reddick is still owed. Most likely, the Eagles will gladly take that hit.

Reddick had 27 sacks and helped lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl in his two years with the team. However, Reddick — like the rest of the team — struggled down the stretch last year. He didn’t have a single sack in the team’s final five games, including the embarrassing playoff loss to Tampa Bay.

In the end the unrelenting mathematics of the National Football League came for Reddick. While Reddick is one of the best players in the NFL, with four straight double-digit sack seasons, with his 30th birthday coming in September, he is two years older than Sweat and four years older than Huff.

The Eagles bet on Reddick when they signed him to a three-year contract. Reddick outperformed on that contract and asked for a better deal. For the Eagles, the math didn’t add up.

The final result is that the Eagles traded Reddick and $1 million to get Huff plus a pretty good draft pick a little down the line. The Jets get a little bit older with a proven player who has one year left on his contract but wants to be paid more.

In the cold mathematics of the NFL, it looks like the Eagles won that exchange.

In the hearts of Eagles fans, it would have been nice to have a hometown talent like Reddick get to finish out his career at home. Too bad it didn’t add up.

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