It’s no little known fact that the Eagles are in the market for some wide receiver help this offseason. With a free agency class littered with star talent and potential, the dots that are being connected are obvious. As March 9th draws nearer, the rumors and speculation are ripe. It’s almost difficult to find a pending free agent wideout who the Eagles haven’t been linked with in some fashion..but there has arguably been none more prominent, than Alshon Jeffery.
The connection with newly hired WR coach Mike Groh, combined with 4,549 yards and 26-touchdowns make the 27-year old an incredibly exciting prospect. The Eagles need a star and Jeffery ticks all the boxes. But the Eagles aren’t exactly blessed with cap space..and signing the most decorated free agent wide receiver would come at no small price.
According to a source who requested anonymity, Alshon Jeffery may not be the man at the top of the Eagles free agency shopping list. He cited that the team are well aware of the market and how important “finding the right fit” truly is given the weight of the situation. After setting the standard for DT contracts last year with the monster Fletcher Cox extension, they’re expected to do the same with wide receivers in 2017. The world is watching and if the Eagles decide to pay Jeffery handsomely, it’s only going to ramp up the asking prices and leverage for the other top receivers in the class.
Kenny Stills, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Kenny Britt are all players who have been linked with the Eagles and could likely come at a much cheaper price. If the Eagles are to address the wide receiver position in free agency, the risk and reward have to be balanced. The Eagles are currently the only team projected to be over the cap in 2018 and the large contracts given to cornerstone players are only set to escalate in value due to backloading.
Omar Kelly, a Dolphins beat writer from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, also mentioned something interesting with regards to Kenny Stills.
I've heard 2 things regarding Kenny Stills on these streets. Eagles are in play (Tannenbaum knows this) & there's a California team in play
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) February 23, 2017
If you want to know more on why Kenny Stills would be a perfect fit for the Eagles, look no further.
Then of course there is the off-the-field dilemma. Jeffery was suspended for four games last year after violating the NFL’s PED policy. Injuries and unstable quarterback play have plagued his form in recent season’s and while the Eagles could be a perfect systematic fit, the asking price is going to demand all the chips on the table.
This is set to be one of the most important offseason’s in recent franchise history. With a long-term solution at quarterback, a bolstered offensive line and a ruthless Defense..the Eagles could be just a few developmental season’s away from making a real push for greatness. To do that however, they have to avoid contracts such as those given to Byron Maxwell and DeMarco Murray.
It’s not to say that the Eagles won’t pursue Jeffery, I’m sure every team in need of some receiving stability has their eyes set on the Chicago wide receiver..but the Eagles are in a crucial stage of building their team for the future and have until this point, avoided a complete rebuild. A star receiver and a strong draft could be the catalyst for success in Philadelphia..but the decision has to be the correct one..which is why the consensus is that there is no “clear name” at the top of the pecking order. The margin for error is rapidly shrinking when it comes to building the roster for the future. The Eagles understand that.
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