The 2016 cast of wide receivers for the Philadelphia Eagles was a sorry, pathetic bunch. Nelson Agholor, Jordan Matthews, and Dorial Green-Beckham highlighted a terrible group that was both inept and ineffective. Not since the days of Charles Johnson and Torrance Small have the Eagles seen a group of wideouts so bad.
One of the team’s top priorities has been to upgrade the position. Howie Roseman went out and signed Alshon Jeffrey and Torrey Smith through free agency, while drafting Mack Hollins and Shelton Gibson in the fourth and fifth rounds.
The wide receiver overhaul creates a good deal of questions for last year’s crew. The four new additions are almost guaranteed to make the roster, with the exceptions possibly being Smith and Gibson. I fully believe that roster spots are both theirs to lose, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that if Smith shows he’s done during camp or that Gibson doesn’t impress enough that they could fall out of favor. But assuming they perform to expectations, this would leave one, maybe two roster spots up for grabs.
Jordan Matthews would be considered a lock to make the roster, assuming he isn’t traded.
Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, Paul Turner, and Bryce Treggs remain in competition for a potential sixth-receiver spot.
Treggs is practically a lock to be released. He’s showed very little last season, and has become buried on the depth chart. Turner is probably gone as well. I think there’s a place for Turner in this league, but sadly I don’t think he’s going to get his opportunity with the Eagles, who never seemed interested in giving him a real shot. Think of him as the Kenjon Barner of wide receivers.
This leaves Agholor and DGB on the bubble.
Agholor has the inside track on Green-Beckham for non-football reasons. Agholor’s release would force the the team to lose more money than they would save if they just kept him. If its a fair fight based on on-field contributions alone, Agholor wouldn’t even have the inside track on Paul Turner. The former first-round pick has accomplished absolutely nothing in his NFL career, and his skillset isn’t even that attractive. He doesn’t have great speed or size. He certainly doesn’t have a reliable set of hands. He’s just an average guy all around.
I’m in the minority on Green-Beckham. I think its way too soon to give up on a young prospect with his physical talent and ceiling. But at the same time, the reality of the situation is that he’s worn out his welcome with two teams in as many years, and the amount of wide receivers that the Eagles have added to the roster clearly spells that they’re prepared and expecting to cut ties with DGB at some point during August.
If the Eagles decide to keep six wide receivers, Agholor probably makes it as the last guy on the roster and will likely be inactive week to week. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Howie Roseman, who has a knack for putting together creative trades, finds a way to unload Agholor to another team that liked him before the 2015 draft inexchange for another team’s disappointing prospect.