After a 3-13 season with the Chicago Bears, Alshon Jeffery made a bold statement to the media following the 2016 season. His exact words were, “I guarantee you we’ll win the Super Bowl next year.”
At the time it was a bold statement, many were confused as to why Alshon would even say such a thing. He was a pending free agent following the end of a forgettable season for the bears, but Jeffery kept his cards in line and never changed his poker face.
In March of 2017, the Eagles signed both Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith to separate deals. Smith had a two year deal with a team option, Alshon signed a one year deal worth up to $14 million. It was another bold move by Jeffery to bet on himself once again.
He came into that season ready to put it all out on the line, he believed in not only himself but in every individual around him. The energy and focus became contagious at the time. Jeffery finished that season with 57 receptions, 789 receiving yards, and 9 touchdowns while playing all 16 games with a torn rotator cuff. Not to mention, the Eagles also made sure he delivered on his promise and went on to win Super Bowl 52 with their number 1 wideout leading the charge.
Now, why am I taking you down memory lane? Well before I answer this we need to speak about last season. Jeffery appeared in only 13 games as he was still recovering from surgery. He finished last season with 65 receptions, 843 receiving yards, and 6 touchdowns. Here’s a fun stat to add, if Alshon had played the whole season while averaging the same 64.8 yards per game, he would’ve finished the season with 1,037 receiving yards.
Either way, it was a good season for the South Carolina product. Let’s not forget, in both of his seasons with the Eagles, he’s had to play with two different QBs due to Wentz’ injuries.
Now we’re here. On the verge of training camp with the team’s offseason buzz continuing to grow. You hear it all, from the chemistry of DeSean Jackson and Wentz to how J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is making strides. But not much has been said or heard about in regards to the Eagles number one wideout. He’s been fairly quiet since that last play against the Saints in the playoffs.
Recently though, Sportingnews.com released an article with their top 25 Wide receivers for the 2019 season. There’s a lot of great talent on the list but there’s one name, in particular, that seems to be missing. Alshon Jeffery is nowhere to be found. A list that holds players such as Robert Woods, D.J. Moore, Tyler Boyd, Amari Cooper, and Mike Williams.
Call me biased, but I 100% believe Alshon is a top 15 wideout. Why? Well, hear me out. Did you know that of the 25 players selected, only one has won a Super Bowl? I feel like that doesn’t really matter to you right now but it should. Alshon impacted the Eagles wide receiving core with his presence alone.
How about the fact that Jeffery improved his catch rate from 52% in 2017 to 71% in 2018. Big difference, see Mike Evans made a similar improvement and he’s on the list at number 13 but his catch rate only went from a little above 50% to 62.3%.
What about players like Robert Woods, Tyler Boyd, and Tyler Lockett? Boyd finally had his breakout season last year but did it come at the expense of the AJ Green injury? Lockett also had a similar year as Boyd, in stepping up while the Seahawks offense had issues with injuries as well. As for Robert Woods, maybe it was bound to happen but with a healthy Cooper Kupp next year, will he produce similar results?
I ask all of these questions because Jeffery deserves more than what the national media has given him. The great thing about Alshon is that he doesn’t even care about the attention, he just wants to win. The team made a huge move to possibly help Jeffery excel this year, with the addition of a deep threat in DeSean Jackson, the likelihood of teams double-teaming Jeffery has faded significantly.
We may see a different Alshon this coming year when you consider all of those factors. He finally has a healthy Wentz to rely on, barring any setbacks. He has the big play distraction in DeSean Jackson and consistent distractions of Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. The team is stacked with prolific weapons but it still has only one true number 1 wideout. With Alshon being in the prime years of his career, I expect him to solidify himself as not only a true number 1 but a top 15 wideout for this coming season.
After being one catch away from a possible Super Bowl return last year, one can only look forward to seeing the play of Jeffery this season. It’s time for Alshon to separate himself from the pack.