The Philadelphia Eagles face the task of rebuilding the team’s wide receiver corps heading into the 2020 offseason.
The goal for Howie Roseman and company will be replacing the likes of Nelson Agholor and, most likely, Alshon Jeffery. Philadelphia’s primary objective in entering free agency appears to be the cornerback position, as many reports have stated.
Still, there’s a cost-effective option at the receiver position hitting the market that could provide the team with the skillset needed — that being Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Breshad Perriman.
Perriman enters free agency for the second consecutive year and is searching for more of a commitment after proving his overall improvement in Tampa Bay. The former first-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens out of the University of Central Florida has gone through a rocky start to his young career.
Perriman missed his entire rookie season to injury and faced an uphill battle to provide the first-round impact Baltimore was expecting of him. The receiver’s best season to date with the Ravens came in 2016 after hauling in 33 receptions on 66 targets for 499 yards (five drops), 15.1 yards per catch, and three touchdowns.
Perriman failed in providing the Ravens with any production in 2017 while suiting up for 11 games offering only ten catches for 77 yards.
The Ravens took a chance on Perriman in the first round due to the speed the receiver put on full display during the 2015 NFL combine after running a 4.24 and 4.27 in both his 40-yard dash attempts. Injuries, inconsistency, and lack of production ultimately led to his exit in Baltimore, but the 26-year-old has shown the ability to take the top off a defense.
The Cleveland Browns added Perriman to the roster in October of 2018, and although he only suited up for ten games with the club, Perriman showcased his speed. While picking up the team’s offense on the fly during the regular season, and dealing with a quick head coaching switch, the receiver averaged 21.3 yards per reception on 25 targets (16 receptions) for 340 yards (longest being 66 yards), two touchdowns, and zero drops on the season.
The Browns went into the 2019 offseason trying to retain Perriman, but after the team’s acquisition of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Perriman and the Browns mutually agreed to part ways.
Perriman signed a one-year, $4 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first day of free agency replacing the speed the team lost after trading DeSean Jackson to the Eagles.
Buccaneers’ head coach, Bruce Arians, values fast receivers in his offensive system and found exactly that with Perriman in 2019, who enjoyed a career-best season while being targeted 65 times for 36 receptions, 645 yards (averaging 17.9 yards per catch), six touchdowns, and only one drop.
Perriman dealt with an injury early in the season and struggled to make an impact his first five games with the Buccaneers after just posting a measly three catches for 16 yards.
As the second half of the season rolled on, so did Perriman, as the receiver scored five times in the last four games going over 100 receiving yards for three of those contests. Buccaneers quarterback, Jameis Winston, also posted a 94.7 quarterback rating when targeting Perriman.
Perriman again hits the open market in 2020, searching for more commitment from his next team after providing a small sample size of the ability he offers for an offense.
The Eagles require what Perriman brings to the table — speed, speed, and more speed.
Getting DeSean Jackson back for the 2020 season is enormous for Philadelphia, but relying on the 33-year-old receiver after missing almost entirety of the 2019 season isn’t the course of action the Eagles should take. The eventual departures of Agholor and Jeffery also require the need to bring depth at the position as the Eagles look to the draft for a long-term solution for their hole at No. 1 receiver.
The loss of Jackson’s speed made its presence known throughout the 2019 campaign. With the addition of Perriman, the Eagles could have another receiver on hand to rely on for the offense to still run smoothly, while also being cost-efficient.
The Eagles receivers (including tight ends) had as many 100-yard receiving games in 2019 as Perriman in the same season. Philadelphia’s quarterback, Carson Wentz, also finished 9th in deep accuracy despite having 12 accurate incompletions. The deep ball is where Perriman thrives after having 11 receptions and three touchdowns off of 28 targets of 20+ yards passing, according to Pro Football Focus.
Perriman’s past season in Tampa Bay may be an indication of what’s in store for the receiver’s future. At the age of 26, the former first-round pick could provide Wentz with the continuity the quarterback has been searching for in a down-the-field threat since he’s arrived in Philadelphia.
Injuries will be a concern going forward for Perriman, which the Eagles are too familiar with in their wide receiver corps. Still, the cost and the potential are worth a look in Philadelphia.
The Eagles are poised on adding speed this offseason, and Perriman could provide that skill set to the team’s wide receiver group.