3 takeaways from DeVonta Smith’s contract extension with the Eagles

Eagles devonta smith
PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 26: Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) celebrates a first down during the game between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Eagles on December 26, 2021 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire)

The Philadelphia Eagles sent shockwaves through the NFL today when they signed WR DeVonta Smith to a 3-year contract extension. Here’s what this move means for both Smitty and Philadelphia’s beloved Birds.

Howie Roseman does it again

I wrote an article not too long ago about the importance of this extension, if and when it ever happened. The Eagles only had until May 2nd to exercise Smitty’s fifth-year option, and the wide receiver market is about to spike once again.

DeVonta Smith is one of the best young wideouts in the NFL, but he’s surrounded by draftmates who will also be searching for paydays soon. Ja’Marr Chase, Jaylen Waddle, Amon-Ra St. Brown, and Nico Collins are just a few names on the fringe of an extension, and a failure to work something out this offseason would have seen the Eagles left behind the 8 ball, mortgaging for a player, who while ultimately deserves it, becomes significantly tougher to overpay due to the surge in price and demand.

Eagles devonta smith
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith, left, is pursued by New England Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones, right, as he scores on a touchdown pass from quarterback Jalen Hurts in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

It’s not just that group, either. Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, and Brandon Aiyuk will all be looking at this deal knowing that their own prices just went up. Paying DeVonta Smith early ensures the Eagles keep him around long-term and don’t risk being unable to afford an inflated price once several of these players reach new deals.

For context, Sportrac projected Smitty’s a average annual value at $23M. His new $72M extension sees an AAV of $23M.

Howie Roseman strikes again.

DeVonta Smith helps the Eagles build a foundation

DeVonta Smith’s contract extension is the cherry on what has become a gorgeous looking cake. A flurry of internal moves have set the Eagles up for mid/long-term success, extending their Suepr Bowl window substantially.

The Eagles have the following offensive players under contract for at least the next 3 years:

Jalen Hurts
Saquon Barkley
Landon Dickerson
Jordan Mailata
Tyler Steen
DeVonta Smith
A.J Brown

There’s an offensive core, and then there’s whatever lab-created roster this is. The Eagles have some of the best players at their positions in the entire league and a foundation to really build something special on, and that’s without even looking at the offense. This is a really special group of players and one that’s bound to create a multitude of magical moments over the next few years.

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith, center, celebrates after his touchdown with offensive tackle Lane Johnson, left, and center Cam Jurgens, right, in the first half of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

A legacy in the making

Eagles fans had been crying out for a legitimate WR1 ever since the days of Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson came to an end. Many came and tried to fill those shoes, but they just weren’t the right fit. The Jalen Reagor experiment fell flat on its face, but the decision to aggressively move up and draft DeVonta Smith proved to be one of the best draft decisions in recent memory.

The Slim Reaper broke the team’s rookie receiving record and has only gotten better. Despite sharing targets with one of the best wideouts in the league, he’s registered back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and has found the endzone 14 times in that span.

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Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) high fives Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni during the second half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

When all is said and done after these next 4 years (3 years + the 5th year option that was exercised in the extension), DeVonta Smith will have spent 7 years in Philadelphia, and the ceiling is truly remarkable at this point. He’s one of the most gifted route-runners in the NFL and one of the most electric playmakers Philadelphia has ever seen. We could well be witnessing the birth of an all-time great in the City of Brotherly Love, a player who could one day be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson…if he isn’t already.

Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire