There’s not much of argument from Philadelphia Eagles fans that they need to acquire a number one wide receiver or at least a legitimate deep threat. According to Overthecap.com, the Eagles have only $9,842,349 of cap space available. This is likely to be a major factor in their free agency moves this season.
Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bears is clearly the top receiver available. He’s got great size at 6’3″ 216 pounds with 4.48 forty yard dash speed and the ability to make the great catch. He had a disappointing season in 2016, when he caught 52 passes for 821 yards and only two touchdowns. A violation of the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs caused him to miss four games.
Despite that blemish and a couple of injuries, the guy is a Pro Bowl stud, who had an outstanding 89 catches for 1421 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2013. In 2014, he caught 85 for 1133 yards and 10 touchdowns. His biggest problem has been inconsistent quarterback play from the Bears Jay Cutler.
If you signed him, it would give Carson Wentz a legitimate number one target. He would force teams to double-team him and that would open up opportunities for all the other receivers. It would make your number two wide receiver Jordan Matthews a better player, as well as tight ends Zach Ertz and Trey Burton.
The problem with signing Jeffery is the fact that the Eagles will have to greatly overpay to sign him and it will likely prevent the Birds from doing much else in free agency. If the Eagles were to get into a bidding war for Jeffery, which is probably what it’s going to require to sign him, they would be probably have to make him one of the highest paid wide receivers in the game.
I don’t think the Eagles are at a point where they can afford to put so many eggs in one basket. I think they need to also sign a veteran cornerback.
The Rams Kenny Britt is a big, veteran pass catcher, who had a good year in 2016, but he’s been an inconsistent receiver throughout his career. He’ll be 29 in September, so I don’t see him taking his game to another level. I think the Eagles would wind up paying him more than he was worth.
Terrelle Pryor of the Cleveland Browns is extremely talented and he has great size and speed, but last year was his first-season playing the position. I think signing him to a big contract would be too much of a gamble because you might find out that he as a “flash in the pan”, now that teams have a book on him.
The Washington Redskins Pierre Garcon is a tough, veteran possession receiver. He’s outstanding when it comes to working routes over the middle. He will make the tough catch and take the hit. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the deep speed, which the Eagles are severely in need of. Garcon is also near the end of his career because he turns 31 in August.
Robert Woods of the Buffalo Bills is a potential target for the Eagles because he’s young with good speed. Woods has been playing the role of second receiver for the Bills, He had his best year in 2014 when he caught 65 passes for 699 yards and 5 touchdowns. Last year, he caught 51 passes for 613 yards with 1 touchdown and a 12 yard per catch average.
He doesn’t have the deep speed of DeSean Jackson or Kenny Stills, but like Stills, he’ll be turning 25 in April. Despite the fact that he is a young receiver, who could grow with a young quarterback like Wentz, Woods isn’t the deep threat that the Eagles need.
The Patriots Michael Floyd has the type of speed, size and youthful qualities that would normally have NFL GM’s falling all over themselves to sign him. Unfortunately, Floyd is serving a 24-day jail sentence because he was so intoxicated while driving that he had passed out, when the police approached him in the vehicle.
If he stays out of trouble he could be a steal, but that’s a big if. Floyd is 6’3″ and he weighs 220 pounds. He ran a 4.42 in the forty yard dash at the NFL Combine when coming out of Notre Dame. This young man has the ability to do everything you would want from a wide receiver. He can make the tough catch in traffic across the middle and take the hit.
Floyd also has the speed to get behind the secondary. He’s had some good years in the NFL, when playing second fiddle to Larry Fitzgerald for the Arizona Cardinals. In 2013 his second season, Floyd caught 65 passes for 1041 yards and 5 touchdowns. He’s averaged 15.4 yards a catch.
The big problem with Floyd is his problems off the field. He got in trouble in college at Notre Dame and trouble found him last year in Arizona.