After weeks of speculation, the Eagles finally appeared to have settled on a free agent wide receiver..but it isn’t the one that many were hoping for. ESPN’s Adam Schefter and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirm that the Eagles have agreed to terms with Torrey Smith.
Torrey Smith, 3-year deal for $15mil with the Eagles, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2017
Source: Torrey Smith has a 3-year deal for $15mil with the #Eagles
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 9, 2017
The 28-year old was notably linked with the Eagles prior to the trade deadline, but with the asking price set to be just out of the Eagles reaching distance, Smith remained with former Eagles Head Coach, Chip Kelly.
Smith ended a disappointing 2016 with just 267 yards and 3 touchdowns after signing a huge contract and failing to live up to the hype. However, it’s easy to forget his time in Baltimore, where he never caught less than 49 passes per season and of course had an emphatic 1,128 yard year back in 2013. Smith is the perfect wide receiver for Howie’s “low-risk, high-reward” ethos and fits the “28-year old free agent” mould extremely snugly.
Smith also has ties in Philadelphia. It was Andy Weidl who scouted Smith prior to his arrival in the NFL..who of course at the time was working with Joe Douglas. The two know the talent Smith possesses and this gives the Eagles some leverage when it comes to knowing what he’s capable of and seeing value where others don’t.
Then of course, there’s the money. The deals we have seen for wide receivers so far have eclipsed $8M per year. A three-year deal at $15M in total sees an average of $5M being paid to the former Niners wideout per year, which is far more friendly for a team who still rank 28th in cap space even after releasing Connor Barwin.
With just 267 yards and 20 receptions last year, Smith was not the most attractive free agent target..further cementing Howie’s low-risk mentality and giving the Eagles some much needed breathing room with a market that’s thriving on the team’s desperate need for help on the outside.
He may not be the star that the team covet, nor be the reliable receiver Wentz needs..but what he does bring is a lot of experience and past excellence that could be rekindled by one of the league’s most renowned wide receiver coaches and a vision from the new faces inside the front office.
It could also mean that the Eagles are going to attack the WR position when the NFL Draft rolls around..but there is still plenty of time between now and then.