Javon Hargrave is headed to the San Francisco 49ers in free after inking an $84 million deal. His exit was expected, although it doesn’t make it any more palatable, especially since he’s joining a heated NFC rival. That means the Philadelphia Eagles are in the market for a new pass rusher.
Jordan Davis is the in-house candidate to replace Hargrave at the nose tackle spot, but the team will likely be looking to fill two spots assuming Fletcher Cox leaves in free agency. The latter is far from a foregone conclusion. Cox could follow Brandon Graham’s lead and come back on a hometown discount. Either way, Hargrave is gone, and another versatile chess piece could join the board.
One name to keep an eye on is Zach Allen of the Arizona Cardinals, according to Inside the Birds. The 25-year-old is a bit of tweener who is able to play multiple positions on the defensive line. Allen recorded 5.5 sacks and 20 quarterback hits in 2022, plus 47 total tackles (10 for loss). He had pressures from 35 different spots while earning a 71.6 grade on 427 pass-rush snaps (via Pro Football Focus). His “relentlessness” and versatility have been called his biggest strengths.
UPDATE: Allen plans to sign a three-year, $45.75 million deal with the Denver Broncos, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The move will reunite him with Vance Joseph, his defensive coordinator last year in Arizona who took over the same role in Arizona.
Joseph raved at length about Allen’s improvement last season. He bulked up and started winning his 1-on-1 battles, especially in the trenches. Remember, the 6-foot-4, 281-pounder went in Round 3 (65th overall) in 2019 but some talent evaluators saw first-round talent.
“He’s got bigger and stronger since his rookie year,” Joseph said, via Cards Wire. “That was Zach’s main issue. It wasn’t ability or how he played or his smarts — it was his body. He’s changed his body so now he’s making more plays in the trenches.”
Raiders Sign Marcus Epps to 2-Year, $12 Million Deal
The Las Vegas Raiders inked safety Marcus Epps to a two-year deal worth $12 million. It includes “nearly $8 million guaranteed,” according to NFL Network’s Tom Peliserro. The former sixth rounder out of Wyoming started all 17 regular-season games for the Eagles in 2022. He registered 94 tackles, 6 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble.
Epps was a pleasant surprise in his first year as a full-time starter in Philly. His exit makes it doubly important for the Eagles to lock C.J. Gardner-Johnson up to a long-term deal. They are looking at a starting safety tandem of Reed Blankenship and K’Von Wallce right now.
Tennessee Titans Agree to Terms with Andre Dillard
The Eagles lost former first-round pick Andre Dillard to the Tennessee Titans in free agency. He should be penciled in as the starting left tackle there after signing a three-year, $29 million contract, per ESPN’s Dianna Russini. The Washington State product saw action in 43 games, including nine starts, during his four years in Philly.
Meanwhile, the Eagles brought back tackle Brett Toth for added depth on the offensive line (via ESPN’s Field Yates). The team had released the former Army standout on March 9. Now the versatile player – Toth has played center, right guard, right tackle, and even tight end – returns to the nest.