What does Alshon Jeffery’s contract extension mean for the Eagles moving forward?

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The Eagles have a huge weekend ahead of them but it didn’t stop an even bigger piece of business being announced just hours before they fly to Seattle.

Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery has signed a four-year contract extension, keeping him at the franchise through 2021. After signing a prove-it deal with the Birds during the offseason, Jeffery has exploded into form. With at least one touchdown in his last four games and a total of 7 this season, the 27-year old has 619 receiving yards and leads the team in yards per reception. His presence on the offense will be felt for years to come…but what does it mean for the team moving forward?

 

Cap space:
Let’s start with the Elephant in the room. The Eagles had an estimated $2M worth of cap space after the re-signing of Tim Jernigan. This will undoubtedly tilt the scales further as the Birds backload their contracts. Jeffery was being paid $10M this season, so a guaranteed $27M over the next four seasons is a deal of tremendous value for the Eagles.

The Birds continue to cash in on those who have proven their salt after betting on themselves by signing a short contract with the team. With a slew of pending free agents remaining who are currently starters however, the Eagles will have some tricky decisions to make and may not have the funds to bring back as many players as they’d like. What really matters here however is that the Eagles have signed a number one receiver for the next four years…and that’s point number two.

 

The future:
Carson Wentz has a top receiving target to grow and develop with, along with a franchise tight end, a franchise center and a franchise right tackle. If that doesn’t send shivers down your spine, I don’t know what will. We’ll be posting an article looking deeper into this later. But Jeffery has produced 347 receptions for 5,168 yards (14.9 avg.) and 33 touchdowns in 74 career games. The 2014 Pro Bowl wideout ranks eighth in the NFL with 4,801 receiving yards since 2013. There have been many arguments surrounding Jeffery and his numbers in the opening half of the year which didn’t necessarily correlate with a number one wideout’s production. However, Jeffery’s presence alone has opened up the offense massively and when you look at the numbers of Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor, it’s easy to see what makes him so valuable. But as he continues to heat up, the offense will only get more and more lethal. The Eagles have one of the most dangerous offenses in the league and it’s primed to get better.

 

Cornerstone players:
At the end of the day, it comes down to culture. Since the moment he arrived in Philadelphia, Jeffery has embraced the City, the team and its fans. From his relentless commitment to getting better by staying behind after practice and mentoring the younger receivers, to his chemistry with Wentz that strengthens by the week, Jeffery is the sort of player that a quarterback can grow to rely on.

“Alshon has been a tremendous addition to this organization on and off the field.” The Eagles said via a press release. “We place a priority on making sure we are able to build the team around quality players like Alshon who embrace this team and this city the way he has. We are excited about his future here.”

Carson Wentz took to Twitter to share his reaction:

If Wentz is happy and confident, then that’s the first sign of a team who are going to really achieve sustained success. Chemistry takes time to build. Zach Ertz is entering a consecutive year with the same quarterback for the first time since 2014…and in that year the reins were handed to Mark Sanchez due to injury. The Eagles are building something special and it all starts with players who want to be in that environment and want to thrive. Alshon Jeffery ticks every box as well as providing the dominance and intimidation only a number one wideout can.

 

That’s my wideout:
The Eagles finally have a wide receiver they can hang their hat on. This may be the first time that the Birds have had a number one wideout they can rely on since Jeremy Maclin. A number one receiver who can completely change the offense and give the Eagles the explosiveness and reliability that a young and developing quarterback craves. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and the ceiling is only getting higher.

 

Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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