“Last year I showed I’m one of the most elite, one of the best at what I do,” Reddick said after Tuesday’s practice, the first padded session of the summer for Philadelphia. “In the top five [edge rushers]. When you talk about Haason Reddick, if I’m not in that category now I’ve got a question for you – do you know football?”
Some do but some most certainly don’t. Pro Football Focus graded Reddick as the 10th best edge rusher in the NFL last season and when it came to rushing the passer he was No. 3 behind only two unquestioned superstars: Cleveland’s Myles Garrett and Dallas’ Micah Parsons. Defensive Play of the Year Nick Bosa was No. 4, a tad behind Reddick, who was named a second-team All-Pro.
The point here is that plenty of savvy football observers who know exactly what Reddick means to what was the second-ranked defense in the NFL last season.
Reddick, who has been dealing with a sore groin early in training camp, responded to his No. 48 ranking in the NFL Network’a annual top 100 players list.
“At this point now, man, I’m done talking like I have anything to prove to anybody,” said Reddick. “I’ve put enough work out there. I’ve put enough film out there, enough tape out there that my play now speaks for itself. People can make their opinions off of that. I don’t have to second-guess myself. I don’t feel like I have to show anybody anything. I’ve done that all.
“I’m done talking like I have anything to prove to anybody.”
Reddick was relentless as the best player on what was a historic pass rush last season. The Eagles were only the fourth team in history to generate 70 sacks and were the first to have four different players reach double-digits, a group Reddick led with 16 sacks in the regular season then 3 1/2 more in the postseason.
Overall, Reddick has had at least 10 sacks in each of the last three seasons for three different teams, his last year in Arizona, a one-year sojourn to Carolina with his former Temple coach Matt Rhule and then with the Eagles, after signing a three-year, $45 million contract. Only Garrett (44) has more sacks than Reddick’s 39 1/2 over that span.
One year into his current deal Reddick has greatly outperformed it by any objective measure and Howie Roseman is sitting on a massive bargain with Reddick at No. 16 16th in annual average salary among the league’s edge rushers.
“You all see it. You all know what’s going on,” Reddick said.
The Camden, N.J. native did not intimate that he is feeling disrespect from the Eagles’ organization, however.
“I’m just worried about being the best version of myself and let everything else sort itself out,” he said.
Another similar season would almost demand Reddick be put at the top of the edge-rushing market with an extension even with a bit of a hometown discount.
“Is 20 (sacks) within reach?” Reddick said. “Listen, 19 1/2 last year. And like I said, be better than I was last year. And in order to be better, that’s the goal that I set for myself. Nobody placed that goal on me. That’s what I have for myself. Now it’s up to me to go out there and try to fulfill it.”
Reddick has his own take on the lag between production and reputation, one that rewinds back to being the No. 13 overall pick in 2017 with Arizona. The Cardinals looked at his raw athleticism and tried to pound the square peg of pass rusher into the round hole of off-ball linebacker for three full seasons.
“Now I’m at a point where even though my production is crazy – last year I had a crazy productive year – the name is catching up with the work,” he said. “The first couple years kind of put me behind but I’m here, I’ve shown it already.”
The bill isn’t due today for the Eagles but it’s coming.
“Those things have a way of sorting themselves out,” Reddick said. “I’m just going to come out, continue to work, and be a better version of Haason Reddick. Continue to be a great teammate. Go out here and work hard for the guys and let those things sort themselves out as they should.”