The Philadelphia Eagles lost their loudest trash talker when Brandon Graham went down. The team needs someone to step up into that all-too-important role. And fourth-year defensive end Josh Sweat is making his pitch.
Fresh off signing a $40 million contract, Sweat has been letting his emotions fly on the practice field. He knows he can’t replace Graham’s vocal leadership, but that hasn’t stopped the 265-pounder from talking trash to his teammates. Javon Hargrave – a guy who called Sweat “big money” earlier in the week – is the one player drawing his wrath right now.
“I like to bring the competition, man, the competition, that’s what I’m all about,” Sweat told reporters on Saturday (Sept. 25). “So when I talk to trash to – especially Hargrave right now, me and him have a little battle going on for fastest get off – I just like to talk trash to people, just to bring it up. It’s all from a good place. And they know that. It’s fun.”
When asked who is winning the battle for “fastest get off” in the defensive line room, Sweat deferred to Hargrave for an answer.
“I ain’t going to say it right now,” he said. “He’ll let you know.”
Sweat wasn’t willing to commit on having an increased role with Graham missing in action either.
“We’ll see, I think so,” Sweat said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I’m just going to play as hard as I can for whatever it is.”
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Rodney McLeod Ruled Out for Week 3
The expectation coming out of training camp was that Rodney McLeod would be ready for the season opener on Sept. 12. Three weeks later and McLeod hasn’t seen a single snap of the 2021 campaign. And he’s out again.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed the starting strong safety would miss the Eagles’ Week 3 matchup on Sept. 27 as he continues to rehab from knee surgery. McLeod remains day to day, according to Sirianni.
“I think he’s been doing good, is looking good,” Sirianni said of McLeod. “Again, he’s day-to-day here, so he didn’t have a setback, nothing like that. Just he’ll play when he’s ready.”
Sweat Talks Contract Negotiations
It sure seemed like the three-year, $40 million contract that Sweat inked last week ($42 million with incentives, plus $26.9 million guaranteed) came out of the blue. The Eagles appeared to have more pressing deals to dole out, namely Dallas Goedert.
But the franchise has long valued the guys in the trenches, especially along the defensive line. The decision to get Sweat – 10 sacks in 41 career games – squared away was a sound one. And the 24-year-old pass rusher is happy they did.
“I just thought it was right. I thought it was a great opportunity and we came to a great agreement,” Sweat told reporters. “And I thought it would be nice to get some nice security before I went out and played football. We came to a nice agreement.”
Sweat didn’t want to get into the exact details on how the negotiations went down. However, he did reveal say that the process “wasn’t quick.” Sweat has no regrets.
“It shows that they have a lot more confidence in me and that’s reassuring,” Sweat said. “I love the city and the fans and stuff like that, very uplifting, and they hold me accountable.”