Eagles bring back WR Greg Ward Jr. on exclusive rights tender

PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 13: Philadelphia Eagles Wide Receiver Greg Ward (84) celebrates a first down reception in the second half during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Philadelphia Eagles on December 13, 2020 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The Eagles announced on Monday that they are bringing back slot receiver Greg Ward Jr. after the Houston product signed his exclusive-rights tender. This tender meant that as long as the Eagles made him a one-year deal at the league minimum, he could not sign for another team.

This is a nice way to start the week for Ward, who caught on with the Eagles as a UDFA in 2017 after converting to WR. Following two years of impressive training camps and preseasons that saw him narrowly miss the roster cut, he bounced back in 2019. A stint with the AAF may have been the catalyst for his rise at the position and when injuries struck, he stepped up to the plate in a big way.

Over the final four games of last season, where the Eagles couldn’t afford to drop another game, the Texas native recorded 21 receptions, 209 yards, and 1 TD, which came against the Redskins in that iconic 4th quarter moment.

His 2020 season was primed to be a big one with a full-time starting role secured. Through the opening nine weeks of the season, he recorded 282 receiving yards for a pair of touchdowns, surpassing his 2019 receiving total with ease. His real shining moment would once again come when the Eagles needed it most.

In the weeks that followed the benching of Carson Wentz, Ward Jr. stood out. Jalen Hurts didn’t take long to find confidence throwing in Ward’s direction, with the slot receiver racking up 92 yards on 9 receptions and a hat-trick of touchdowns between weeks 13-16.

While the slot may be an area that receives an upgrade or an injection of competition over the coming months, it would be unfair to rip the rug from Ward’s feet at this stage. The Eagles need production and value in this crucial stage of their rebuild and Greg Ward Jr. provides both to a new-look offense.

Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire