NFL free agency is still about a month away, but rumors are heating up pertaining to the Philadelphia Eagles and what they are going to do. While the Eagles started off hot with a record of 3-0, their shortcomings became more apparent as the season went on. While no one expected them to make the playoffs in quarterback Carson Wentz’s rookie season, they blew numerous games in the fourth quarter, which ruined their chances of advancing to the postseason.
Wentz made his fair share of mistakes, but he received little help from the rest of the offense. His most reliable weapon was 33-year-old Darren Sproles, and his wide receivers were some of the worst in the entire NFL. While Jordan Matthews is a solid possession receiver, he is not a No. 1 wide receiver. Nelson Agholor looks like a bust, and Dorial Green-Beckham is just not that good.
While the Eagles are unlikely to overhaul their entire receiving corps, they could be targeting a talented wideout in free agency. As NJ Advance Media reports, the Eagles are apparently interested in Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garcon.
“Perhaps it is just smoke, but so far the Eagles have been linked through various reports to Chicago Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery, Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garcon, San Francisco 49ers receiver Torrey Smith (via trade), Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and, of course, Washington Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson. That sure is a lot of smoke for there not to be any fire. The Eagles interest in receivers should not be surprising, as their starting set of outside receivers last season — Nelson Agholor and Dorial Green-Beckham — were among the worst in the league.”
Even though all of those options have their flaws, Jeffery is the most intriguing. At only 26-years-old, he still has the potential to be one of the top wideouts in the NFL for years to come. While he is prone to injuries, he has the potential to go over 1,000 yards every single year and score double-digit touchdowns. Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and the rest of the dysfunctional offense in Chicago has stalled his growth, but the talent is there.
From 2013-2014, Jeffery caught 174 passes for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns. In only nine games in 2015, he still managed to haul in 54 receptions for 807 yards and four touchdowns. Last year, he played in 12 games and had 52 receptions for 821 yards and two touchdowns. The yards were there for Jeffery, but he failed to make it into the end zone more than twice.
While Jeffery is probably the best option for the Eagles to pair with Wentz, Jackson or Garcon could also be an upgrade to the current group. Drafted by the Eagles in 2008, they are already very familiar with Jackson. In addition to spending six seasons in Philadelphia, the Eagles have also faced Jackson as a member of the Redskins multiple times over the past few years. At 30-years-old, Jackson may have lost a step or two, but he remains one of the fastest wide receivers in the entire NFL.
Last year, he hauled in 56 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. Not exactly star numbers, but he could be the deep threat that the Eagles are desperately searching for. There have been rumors over the past year stating that Jackson wants to return to Philadelphia, but a recent report from Sporting News claims that re-signing with Washington is his priority. Whether or not Jackson is simply posturing remains to be seen, but the Eagles could benefit from adding him to the roster.
After becoming somewhat of an after thought in Washington, Garcon turned in an impressive season with 79 receptions for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns last year. While the touchdowns were low, he still proved to be a reliable option for Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins to look for to move the chains and secure first downs. Set to turn 31-years-old before the start of the season, Garcon is unlikely to be in the Eagles’ long-term plans, but he could help in Wentz’s development.
[Featured Image by Stacy Revere/Getty Images]