Thursday morning kicked off with the Eagles releasing defensive end Connor Barwin and then hours later signing wide receiver Torrey Smith, who I broke down in an earlier post. Rumors had been circulating all day that the Eagles were in play for another receiver, whether it was Brandin Cooks, Terrelle Pryor and Alshon Jeffery. Around 4pm, news broke that Jeffery agreed to a 1 year, 14 million dollar deal with the Eagles. As Jim Halpert from The Office would do, let’s lay out a pros and cons list and then a final reaction to the move.
- The Eagles got a legit number one wide receiver for Carson Wentz and the offense.
- Jeffery is 6’3″ 217 and will win almost every 50/50 ball thrown his way
- For a guy with his size, Jeffery also has really good speed and the ability to create separation
- Jeffery runs great routes. Whether it’s a fly route, slant route, out route, fade route etc. he’s a crisp route runner who can get open
- Jeffery has great hands. Rarely will he ever drop a pass, let alone an open pass
- In 2015, Jeffery played only 9 games due to soft tissue injuries (which have been a concern) and in 2016 missed the final 4 games due to a PED suspension
Let that list sink in. I find way more pros than cons with Jeffery, although, the cons are a red flag in some sorts. The PED suspension was concerning for me at least especially for a guy who was about to be a free agent. The Eagles already have Lane Johnson who has been suspended 10 games for PEDs so if Jeffery were to relapse again, he would serve the same 10 game suspension Johnson did; not ideal for someone you’re paying 14 million dollars a year to. The thing is, is that reports surfaced that Jeffery took less money and less security from teams like the Vikings and Colts to bet on himself and the wanting to play with Carson Wentz. You have to believe he took the deal to prove himself and prove the PED suspension was a fluke, all while knowing if he lives up to the hype, he’ll cash in with the Eagles next offseason. That shows me an immense amount of maturity and growth, especially the willingness to be a great player. The bottom line is that the Eagles are giving Jeffery the chance to be one of the league’s best receivers and to grow with Carson Wentz. Assuming Jeffery balls out, the Eagles will undoubtedly re-sign him to a longterm deal. If he has any issues performance or PED related, they get out of the deal with no penalty. It’s a win-win and a major step in the right direction.
One other note, the Eagles signed 25 year old guard Chance Warmack, formally of the Titans. Warmack never panned out in Tennessee, but Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who was the former O-line coach at Alabama, was Warmack’s coach at ‘Bama where Warmack flourished. A good move for the offensive line for sure as Warmack is rumored to be moving from right guard to left.
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