Haason Reddick does not appear as if he has much left to prove.

He is coming off a 2022-23 campaign in which he recorded 16 sacks, leading the Eagles’ defense and ranking second in the NFL behind only San Francisco 49ers’ edge rusher Nick Bosa.

Not only was he stellar in the regular season, but Reddick also led all defensive players with 3.5 sacks in the 2023 postseason. Reddick, though, still feels he has plenty more left in the tank. 

Over the course of the past three seasons, Reddick has cemented himself as one of the best pass rushers in the National Football League.

Reddick’s first three years in the NFL were not nearly as bright.

Reddick started his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals, where he spent his first four NFL seasons. The Cardinals selected Reddick with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Philadelphia just missed out on drafting Reddick, the hometown kid, as they held the 14th overall pick; the Birds used the pick to draft Tennessee edge rusher, Derek Barnett.

In Reddick’s first three seasons playing for the Cardinals, he was positioned as an inside linebacker. He was miserable, and the way he felt was evident in his play; Reddick recorded just 7.5 sacks through his first three seasons. Reddick’s poor play convinced the Cardinals’ organization to decline his fifth-year option prior to the 2020-21 NFL season. Reddick, not playing up to his high standards or the standards of the Cardinals organization, knew that he had to make a change. 

To Reddick, change meant moving from inside linebacker, where he was miserable, to edge rusher, where he played in college. The transition process for Reddick was made easier by the fact that Cardinals’ primary edge rusher Chandler Jones tore his bicep in week 5 of the 2020-21 season, cutting his season short. After Jones suffered his season-ending bicep tear, Reddick inquired of Cardinals’ DC Vance Joseph as to whether he could move from inside linebacker to Jones’ position of a primary edge rusher. 

As Reddick told Martin Frank of Delaware Online:

“I remember having a conversation with my dad. I just remember telling him that I feel like if I don’t do this, it’s either no more NFL for me, or I’ll be just a special teamer. For Arizona, if I didn’t pan out, they planned on letting me go anyway. For me, it was a simple fact of, if this was going to be my last year in the NFL, at least I get to do it the way I wanted to do it.”

Reddick made the move and recorded 12.5 sacks in his fourth season, his first NFL season as a primary edge rusher. After Reddick’s breakout fourth season with the Cardinals, Reddick left the Cardinals questioning their move just months earlier to decline his fifth-year option, a move that left Reddick a free agent following the   2020-21 NFL season. 

As a free agent prior to the 2021-22 NFL season, Reddick ultimately signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Carolina Panthers. In his one year with the Panthers, Reddick picked up right where he left off in his fourth year with the Cardinals. As an edge rusher with the Panthers, Reddick recorded 11 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, and 68 total tackles. Reddick’s success left a great impression on teams across the league. 

After his phenomenal season with the Panthers, Reddick signed a three-year deal worth $45 million with the Eagles. This move brought Reddick closer to Camden, NJ, where he grew up, and Temple University, where he played college ball. Reddick’s phenomenal play in year one with the Birds indicates that he feels right at home in Philly. 

Reddick surpassed even the Eagles’ wildest expectations in his 2022-23 campaign. In addition to recording 16 sacks during the regular season, Reddick also forced 5 fumbles, recovering 3. Reddick’s statistically solid numbers during the regular season resulted in him receiving All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. And when it came time for the playoffs, Reddick continued his strong play. In the Eagles’ three playoff games in 2022-23, Reddick recorded 3.5 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery.  Reddick feels that he can have an even bigger year in 2023-24 than he did in the 2022-23 season. 

As Reddick said to Josh Tolentino of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

“I’m in great shape. As crazy as it sounds, I feel as if there are still more levels for me to tap into. I’m extremely excited and looking to build on another great year. I want to continue to progress on what I did and what the team did last year. We know our ultimate goals, but it starts with us striving for constant success.” 

In the last three seasons, Reddick has recorded at least 11 sacks, each time with a different team. Now he is home in Philly and is under contract with the Birds for the next two seasons. This is great news for Eagles fans.

The Birds already have one of the best defensive fronts headed into next season, further improved through drafting Jalen Carter in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

Imagine that defensive front with an even more explosive Reddick?
If Reddick still has “more levels to tap into,” as he says, the Eagles’ defense may be in for a historic year. 

Photo: Andy Lewis/Getty Images

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