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Assessing The Eagles: Wide Receiver

DeSeanJackson12Current State: D-Jax voiced then partially recanted his desire for a new contract. At the end of the day, DeSean will be in camp, on time, and will continue on his 2013 success in the Chip Kelly offense.

-Riley Cooper is coming off his best season and is entering free agency. Cooper is really a WR 3 or 4, who overachieved when forced into the WR-2 role due to injuries. He did develop a noticeable and not to ignore chemistry and trust of Nick Foles which is something that must be taken into consideration.

-Jeremy Maclin was prepared to have his coming out party in the Chip Kelly spread offense before his knee injury. Maclin’s speed would have opened up Chip Kelly’s offense even more, but now the question of whether to sign the free agent and how healthy he has rehabbed will be a decision left for the Eagles front office to make.

-Jason Avant makes close to 4 million dollars in 2014, a salary hit not worthy of his expected role moving forward. He is a great leader and has established his role well since being drafted out of Michigan, but is his skillset best served for another franchise?

-Damaris Johnson and even Benn are all under contract for 2014. Johnson and Benn will have a hard time making this team if kept long enough to be given that opportunity.

– Brad Smith came to the Eagles late in the season, and was used sparingly in packages that were noticeable with what direction they were heading in. Neither Johnson nor Smith showed the ability to make a big play as a kick returner, adding fewer reasons for the Eagles to welcome them back to their 2014 roster.

Moving forward: The Eagles front office/coaching staff can opt to shuffle the deck with their receiving core or bring back the familiar faces from the 2013 season. With Foles at QB, I would have to think that it alters the need for certain types of WR’s with the spread style of offense.

There is part of me that could see the Eagles bringing every WR back for 2014, including Maclin. There is also a feeling that the Eagles could look to free agency and the draft to rebuild and retool their receiving core.

As previously mentioned, Desean Jackson is under contract, it may not be the one he currently desires; but he will be a member of the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles.

Hopefully Maclin can be signed for a one year deal. The problem I see occurring is another team that has a lack of depth at the receiver position and significant cap flexibility offering Maclin a multi-year deal. In the end I see Maclin taking a three year deal with another team; and another former first round pick no longer contributing to our franchise.

Cooper will be back, signing a four year deal which he may only play half of those contractual years in Philadelphia.

Avant will restructure his deal and return to Philadelphia, and Brad Smith will get a chance to make the team with a full off-season and training camp to fully learn the Chip Kelly offense.

The Eagles will draft a receiver but the likelihood of it being prior to the third round is slim. I could see the Eagles bringing in a familiar name once free agency opens up, but I would expect any “shock” signing, especially with the lackluster WR talent that will be available.

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Posted by on Jan 15 2014. Filed under BREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

44 Comments for “Assessing The Eagles: Wide Receiver”

  1. What if the Eagles decide to move on from the likes of Maclin and Cooper and just draft their replacements? I like Odell Beckman jr and I like Kelvin Benjamin if they decide to gut their wrs crop and replenish it with young, fast, hungry, durable guys. And both Beckman and Benjamin have size too.. Beckman is 6’0 190 and Benjamin is a giant at 6’5 235. Some great prospects here..

    • If Foles had a few years under his belt, I could see the Eagles being comfortable with a full re-tool of WR’s.

      • Good point Jeff, the Eagles don’t seem to want to change anything too drastically, so Foles will have some familiarity there.. If this is the case, I hope Foles sets up a passing camp with the skill guys..

  2. 1) Re-sign Cooper (3-4 Year Deal) & Maclin (1-2 Year Deal)
    2) Flat out Release Avant, D Johnson & A Benn
    3) Draft a WR in the Mid-Rounds who fits Kelly Scheme, WR’s that have size and can block.. Since Eagles would have D-Jax/Maclin, Eagles need a Slot/Bigger Target at WR — Here some Players for Eagles to check out
    4th Rd – Kasen Williams (Washington 6-2 215lbs)
    4th Rd – Cody Latimer (Indiana 6-2 215lbs)
    4th Rd – Jeff Janis (Saginaw Valley 6-3 220lbs)
    6th Rd – Cody Hoffman (BYU 6-3 210lbs)
    6th Rd – L’ Damian Washington (Missouri 6-4 205lbs)
    7th Rd – Matt Hazel (Coastal Carolina 6-2 198lbs)

    4) Sign-Free Agent WR/Returnman Ted Ginn Jr to handle the #4th WR duties and to be the Returnman on Kick-offs/Punts

    5) Bring back B Smith, J Maehl, Cunningham to compete in Summer Camp

    • This is a likely scenario.. but remember, chip wants more speed and more size at every position including at WR. I see them going offense early and often in the draft..

    • Paulman…. I’m in full support of your breakdown. I feel with the college guys you break down, I’ll be watching this years draft with an eye for more names then ever before. Keep up the great work, I have many more positions to be assessed, so bring the researched names for Philly fans to watch out for.

  3. -Eric Decker will be a FA..and is only 26 and 6-3″..pretty good returner.

    • He was an unknown before manning. I think Riley Cooper and Decker are almost the same player with Cooper better than him by a smidge, esp being that there is a huge discrepancy between getting balls thrown to you by Peyton Manning or from Nick Foles.. I give the edge to Riley Coop..

  4. The issue with drafted WRs is they often take s season or more to develop. Most come in the 20-40 catch/ 300 yard range first year, and really ‘break out’ year 3. (this of course excludes the top 10 pick types, but the Birds won’t be getting one of those)

    So if they do draft a WR (and I think they will at some point) I hope no one thinks he’ll come in and set the world on fire.

    I have a feeling it’ll be the same trio as this year (perhaps with Maclin) with a draftee ready to take a starting role the following season.

  5. I have my own Ideas on what the Eagles should do. I would Trade Djax and our 2nd round pick to KC for Dwayne Bowe. Then I would signe Eric Decker and Riley Cooper…Draft a young big guy to go along with those 3…..Tall Big Strong Exactly what Chip wants. The Bowe thing is doable but not likely cause you don’t see it happen much in the NFL. Think about it, In one years time we can go from Avant and the Mighty Midgets to These 3 guys…Keep Brad Smith as a 4 and the Big rookie you draft as #5.

    • that would be an awful trade for us xev. bowe blows, has lost most of his skills and is almost 30. NOWAY

    • X, that trade is ridiculous! Now if a 2nd & Bowe the other way, I might bite. But right now, although I can’t stomach DJax, he is better than Bowe.

  6. Kenny Britt is another 6-3 guy only 25..maybe to take a flier on….

    • I was about Britt a few years back, but between injuries, off-field run ins with the law and a questionable desire to play football, his skill potential maybe less then the headache potential.

      • Britt has completely ruined his career before it could even get started. Id stay faaar away from this guy..

        • I think the risk reward might be worth it…he won’t cost much..just my opinion

          • rep, there is zero reward, with guys like Britt. Dude is wasted talent, with a brain of a head of lettuce. No thanks. I’d rather bring back Maclin, on a 1 year flier, before signing him, & I don’t want Maclin.

  7. I have to think we will see Ertz used more in the WR formations in 2014 as well as the normal TE role. Not to the extent that the Saints use Graham, but Ertz was used in multiple sets while attending Stanford. We missed out on having Jason Witten years back by drafting L.J. Smith, but I have a feeling Ertz will be better than Eifert out in Cincy, and has the skills, work ethic and smarts to rack in a Pro-Bowl or two during his NFL career.

    • ertz had a solid year and missed all of our otas last year. im excited to see what he brings with a full diet of an nfl offseason going into his 2nd year.

    • More good stuff Jeff, check out this quote from Ertz “Each player coming out of college likes to think they can make a difference in this league, whether it’s true or not, but I think I kinda showed this year that I can make a difference and affect the team outcome, I think I had a good rookie year, but at the end of the day I want to be one of the best tight ends ever to play, and I’m going to set my standard for that, and work toward that goal.”

      Sounds to me like this kid has his mind set on dominating this league from the TE position. Expect him to be starting over Celek next season.. Also look for Matt Barkley to give Nick a run for his money for the starting QB job.. you heard it here first..

      • Barkley to give Foles a run for his money? I don’t see it, but if it were to push each to be better I am all for it.

        • barkley will never push any nfl starter for job ever. he blows

          • Not anytime son, that’s for sure ..
            This System is just not a good fit for Barkely, who will likely be moved/released/traded come next Off-Season

            I believe GJ Kinnie can run this Offense efficiently enough as the back-up on a short-term basis..

            • I will continue to post this wherever anyone states that Barkley is gonna push Foles.

              I an evaluating Barkley on his college and HS career too where he was presented with the best talent around him and that is why he was successful. Not on his 1-2 games in the NFL. Mater Dei is an effin football factory and a USC feeder school and then SC consistently had the best skill position players as well. Put that together with a very offensive minded conference in the Pac 12 and you have gaudy college stats much like Leinart and Sanchez. Both = busts.

              I don’t think that he will be anything more than a back up in the pros and I would be really surprised if he was the backup next year. I think that they add a vet to back up Foles.

  8. Ginn must be signed for return duties the most and he gives you speed as a wr also and as far as the bowe for jackass trade goes hell no they would have to give us a3rd and more for djack I love his play hate his attitude

    • I agree gloomy! Ted Ginn would be the perfect fit for our return man! DJax stays put.

      • We were 26th in kickoff return/punt return average last year. I feel the Eagles have had more Reno Mahe talent in the return game then actual threats to take one to the house. We need to get a guy in here. If you look at some of the FA WR’s, several have proven NFL track records in the return game. I would still like to personally see more of Brad Smith. Not saying he could be the guy, but he offers a lot, has done it before, and is under a cheap salary for 2014.

        • Another Talented and under the radar signing would be Jacoby Ford from the Raiders who also can return Punts/Kick-Offs and be that 4th/5th WR
          I think Ginn has more upside as a Receiver and has more size than Ford who is more compact,but still can fly when healthy..

        • Ginn, or Hester would fine with me. Smith was as useless as tits on a bull. Jack-of-all trades, master of nothing. He’s a shot player, at 30. See ya!

          • Hester’s toast.. Too old and doesn’t docanything else but return
            I like agin, bigger, can play WR a lot more than Hester who is at the end of the line…

  9. DJAX Was asked by a media person if he thought he deserved a new contract. SET UP!!!!

    • “set up”??????????????????????

      You have a low opinion of Jackson’s ability to handle simple questions. How was this a “set up”. These questions are asked ALL THE TIME. To everyone.

      The simple response:

      “Man, we just lost a playoff game and that’s all I can think about right now. Eagles have always treated me well. I leave all that contract business to my agent. RIght now all I’m thinking about is getting back at it so we can have a better year next year.”

      Really difficult.

  10. No set up all you have to say is I’m not even thinking about that right now my team just lost a fought playoff game I’m still not over this loss it hurts instead of going into money

  11. I’ve been waiting for the eagles to draft a big athletic receiver for years but we never did. Most of the elite receivers are atleast 6’2. I think if we want to become an elite offense we need to draft one this year. Desean is good but isn’t elite. He disappears at times and can’t always be relied on. I love maclin but I think it’d be a mistake to not draft a potential star receiver this year considering how good this receiver class is. I also think we need a slot receiver maybe maclin could fill this role. Ideally I would love to have desean, mike Evans, cooper back on a 3-4 year deal, maclin on a 1 year deal, avant if he restrucres his deal, and brad smith because he’s versatile. Just my opinion.

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