With Alshon Jeffery re-signed, Eagles are on the edge of becoming an offensive dynasty

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The Eagles shook the foundations of the NFL today for what seems like the umpteenth time this season. Howie Roseman has done an incredible job in building the next generation of Philadelphia Eagles and his mission was completed one step further today with the re-signing of Alshon Jeffery. The 27-year old wide receiver signed a four-year extension with the team today keeping him with the team through 2021.

Building from the ball out has been the ethos of this team since Howie Roseman re-established power following the end of the Chip Kelly Era. It all started with an extension for Pro Bowl Center Jason Kelce. Since then, the Eagles offense has only grown in stability and potential.

A franchise center, a franchise right guard, a franchise right tackle, a franchise quarterback, a franchise tight end and now a number one wide receiver. All of the above are signed through the 2020 season. This isn’t just a core of young potential. Lane Johnson, Zach Ertz and Jason Kelce are all leading their positions in NFC Pro Bowl votes this year while Carson Wentz leads the entire NFL.

Howie Roseman has been very meticulous in his contract negotiations and while some decisions over the last few years have raised question marks, the long-term plan has always been one of complete sustenance and growth. The Birds have a core that will only get better as time goes on…and the most exciting part is that draft picks in the years to come have the potential to deliver that same potential at the positions not yet filled with a long-term solution. Building from the ball out has given the Eagles a tremendous opportunity to emerge as a championship contender for the next five seasons while other powerhouses face uncertainty.

“I know I’ve said this a lot, so I’m going to sound repetitive, but it’s hard to find offensive linemen.” Those were the words from Howe Roseman after the announcement of the final 53-man roster.  “It’s hard to find those guys. When we look at the market for those guys and what they get paid and having the opportunity to maybe keep them together and all of them under contract going forward, we think that’s a good issue for us to have.”

Chemistry takes a while to build. Just ask Zach Ertz, who is on course to complete his second year in a row with the same quarterback for the first time in his career. The injury to Nick Foles in 2014 forced Mark Sanchez into the fray and of course then came the Sam Bradford saga. It took Ertz a while to heat up during the regular season…and a lot of that can be put down to the fact there was a complete lack of stability at quarterback.

Even last year, Ertz took most of his Training Camp reps with Bradford as his quarterback until that groundbreaking trade that sent the former first overall pick to the Vikings. With another new offense to learn and a new Head Coach, it’s not hard to see why Ertz didn’t hit the ground running as hard as many had hoped last year. This season is a completely different story.

Leading his position across the board, Ertz led Philadelphia with season highs in receptions (10) and receiving yards (103) in last week’s win over the Bears, becoming the Eagles’ first 100+ yard receiver of the season. Ertz leads the Eagles with a career-high 7 receiving TDs this season, which are the most by an Eagles TE since Brent Celek in 2009.

Moving forward, Ertz will spend the next few years working with Carson Wentz, the leading MVP candidate in just his second season and a player who has taken the league by storm. With 28 touchdowns to his name, Wentz has enjoyed a breakout like no other and with some incredibly efficient offensive line talent in front of him, has been able to navigate the pocket with confidence and sling it with complete trust in his receivers and tight ends…leading us to the extension of Alshon.

Through the opening five weeks of the season, the only wide receiver in the entire league to be matched up against more top-25 corners than Jeffery was Dez Bryant. Nearly 50% of passes that went in Jeffery’ direction were against top-25 rated corners. When Jeffery does get an opportunity to wreak havoc, he does. There have been flurries of big catches in clutch situations that only number one wideouts could make…and when you factor in his streak of 5 touchdowns in 4 games, it’s safe to say that production isn’t evading him any more.

The Eagles offense has opened up tremendously since the arrival of Jeffery. Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz have amassed a total of 13 touchdowns and 1,077 yards already this season. Mack Hollins caught an unsuspecting Defense off-guard for a 64-yard score on a Monday night game not long ago and has since broke out as “backpack Mack” and the ball is being spread around more than we have ever seen before in Philadelphia. Every receiver is a threat…and you don’t see that in offenses where there isn’t a commanding number one wideout to draw attention.

Through careful negotiations and a mindset to build a sustainable contender for the next half decade, the Eagles are becoming a dynasty. Without even looking at the defense, the Eagles have franchise talent at the positions that matter most signed for the next four years. An incredible feat and one that sees the team emerge as one of the deepest and most threatening in the NFL. The ceiling is so scarily high and the terrifying part is, giving a group of such selfless players a four-year window to grow is only going to push it higher. The Eagles aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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