Eagles, DeVonta Smith Discussing Extension

Extending A.J. Brown upon trading for him during the 2022 draft, the Eagles paired that contract with DeVonta Smith‘s rookie deal for two seasons. Philadelphia now appears prepared to have two highly paid receivers.

The Eagles have begun extension discussions with Smith, ESPN.com’s Tim McManus reports. This could be challenging, as the team has Jalen Hurts on a top-market QB deal as well. The team also recently re-upped Landon Dickerson on a guard-record pact and reached a third contract agreement with Jordan Mailata, pairing with Lane Johnson‘s deal — one that leads the right tackle market.

But Smith has become a key performer for an Eagles team that had struggled with homegrown receiver investments prior to the 2021 draft, helping lead to the Brown trade. While the Eagles have time with Smith — thanks to the fifth-year option — they have been proactive with other players on the extension front. Optimism exists a deal will be completed in the near future, McManus adds.

Philly’s cap sheet makes Smith extension talks fascinating. The team has been good at managing its payroll, with restructures and void years regularly coming into play to help Howie Roseman‘s club afford some of the high-priced talent brought in. But this many upper-crust deals on one offense would be an interesting NFL roster-building chapter.

Even with their bevy of high-end contracts on offense — Dallas Goedert‘s and Saquon Barkley‘s included — the Eagles sit fourth in the NFL in cap space, holding just more than $30MM. The team packed in seven void years on Hurts’ deal, keeping the cap hits at a manageable level in the near future. The QB is only attached to $13.5MM and $21.7MM cap numbers in 2024 and ’25. That stands to help the Eagles afford some of their recent extensions. But teams do not make a habit of rolling out two big-ticket receiver deals, and what the Eagles would be aiming to do would surpass where the Chargers and Buccaneers have gone recently. A Smith extension now would also break new ground due to the terms of his rookie contract.

Since the 2011 CBA introduced the fifth-year option, 10 offseasons have brought May deadlines attached to first-rounders’ contracts. In that span, no team has authorized an extension for a rookie-deal wide receiver with two seasons of club control remaining. Through the option, the Eagles can keep Smith on his rookie contract through 2025. That buys them some time, leverage-wise, and the likes of Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb played four seasons on their rookie deals. Because Jefferson and Lamb did so, the receiver market looks set for another spike.

Both players are going into their fifth-year option seasons, and each is in position to break Tyreek Hill‘s receiver AAV record ($30MM). Each could do so by a notable margin as well. With Ja’Marr Chase ticketed for a record-setting deal in 2025 (in all likelihood), the Eagles — who have been early on extensions for O-linemen and QBs, with Carson Wentz being re-upped ahead of Year 4 back in 2019, under Roseman — may be motivated to strike early here.

Smith, 25, does not have a case to land a record-setting contract. Although the slender Eagles pass catcher has put together back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, he is not the No. 1 receiver on his own team. Brown broke a longstanding Eagles single-season receiving yards record in 2022; he is attached to a $25MM-per-year extension. The Brown-Smith tandem has crossed the 1,000-1,000 barrier in each of its two seasons together.

With the salary cap ballooning at a record rate this year, though, players are cashing in. This represents good news for this wideout crop, though it will be interesting to see where the Eagles are comfortable going for the 2020 Heisman winner.

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