Eagles appear to be out of Brandin Cooks race, turning attention to Alshon Jeffery

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It’s been a chaotic few hours for the Philadelphia Eagles, who have only just signed Torrey Smith to a three-year deal, worth $15M. However, with Smith regarded as a low-risk, high-reward, endeavor, the Eagles are still left searching for that highly anticipated free agency star.

At the beginning of the day, it seemed to be Brandin Cooks that the Eagles were hot on the tail of. But over the last few hours, the pendulum has swung and momentum has shifted.

It’s not so long ago that the Eagles were considered as the third team in the hunt for Brandin Cooks. But with the signing of Torrey Smith, a proven deep threat who comes at a much cheaper price, their attention seems to have shifted to Alshon Jeffery.

Both the Eagles and the Colts are in dire need of a star wideout and Alshon Jeffery would no doubt tick the boxes. Although his 2016 season was stagnated due to a suspension, Jeffery had his best years under a WR coach who now finds his home in the City of Brotherly Love. 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.

However, the Eagles aren’t exactly blessed with cap space..and signing the most decorated free agent wide receiver would come at no small price. Although the market has somewhat dropped from what many had predicted it to be, Jeffery is still going to set the Eagles back massively.

I reported just a few weeks ago that the Bears star was not the receiver at the top of the Eagles free agency shopping list..but with nearly every other receiver, including DeSean Jackson, Kenny Britt, Kenny Stills and Pierre Garcon all securing new contracts before the Eagles could even get their foot in the door, their bid for a star may leave them with little room to breathe.

The Saints had demanded a tall order for Brandin Cooks, one that the team simply didn’t have the means to match. Even releasing Connor Barwin only moved them from 31st to 28th in total salary cap rankings, despite freeing up $7.75M. Factor in the contract of Torrey Smith..and the Eagles aren’t exactly in a position to backload a huge deal.

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For now, it all comes down to how the Eagles view Torrey Smith. Is he a number two receiver, or do Joe Douglas and Andy Weidl, who know him well, believe that with the help of Mike Groh, he could rekindle that blistering Ravens form? If they’re still looking for a star..it’s a case of weighing up the Draft potential against the immediate impact that Jeffery or Cooks would make. According to a source, the Eagles weren’t exactly willing to give peanuts for Cooks; a statement of the market perhaps.

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It will be interesting to see if the Eagles can outbid a desperate Colts team in order to acquire the services of Alshon Jeffery. If they can and also do so at a cheaper rate, this will have been a bold step from the GM who prided the team’s new direction on “not making any shortsighted moves” and continuing to state that they won’t rush into anything. If they don’t, then the run up to the Draft will be an incredibly exciting time to be an Eagles fan.

 

Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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