The bad news is that #17 will be the key receiver for the Eagles this year.
The good news is that Alshon Jeffery will be wearing that and not Nelson Agholor.
— Mighty_Titan (@TitanicS) November 20, 2016
— Philly Nation (@Philly__Nation) March 10, 2017
You don’t have to be a football guru to notice a small difference in those videos. One guy can catch, one guy can’t.
Jeffery reportedly turned down a better offer from the Vikings to come to Philly to play for a 1-year, $14M deal. There is a good and bad side to that. The good news is that it shows Jeffery wanted to be here. He wanted to play for the Eagles and with Carson Wentz. The downside is that he is only here on a 1-year deal. Will he be worried about stats, as he tries to earn a mega-deal for the future? Will Jeffery have one eye on 2017 and one to the future?
There is no question that he is a major upgrade for the passing game. Wentz now has a workhorse receiver to get the ball to. Jeffery is one of those players who is so big and talented that even when he isn’t open, he is open. He can make tough, contested catches and that is something that has been missing from the Eagles for a while.
Howie Roseman didn’t stop with Jeffery.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 9, 2017
Former top-10 pick G Chance Warmack reunites with college coach Jeff Stoutland on the #Eagles O-line.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 9, 2017
#Eagles expected to retain Allen Barbre, per NFL sources. Allowed him to shop around for trade, but will bring back versatile OL at $2.25M.
— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 9, 2017
So the Eagles added a pair of starting WRs, they signed a G with 48 career starts and they kept the starting LG from 2016 (who can also play LT or RT). The Eagles got better today.
They cut DE Connor Barwin. That move had to be made. Barwin struggled in 2016 and his release gave the team almost $8M in cap space. Barwin was an Eagle for 4 years, but it feels like he is one of those guys who will always be an Eagle because of how great he was in the community. Barwin embraced Philadelphia and did everything he could to help this city out. Kudos, sir and good luck elsewhere.
Barwin will go to a 3-4 team and get a chance to use his versatility. He isn’t a great pure pass rusher. He needs to be doing a variety of things to be at his best. He can be an effective player for a few more years, but definitely needs the right system to take advantage of his skill set.
Bennie Logan, the Eagles top free agent, was quiet today. No rumors. No visits. The whole DT group was quiet. Brandon Williams got a deal in the evening and that will set the market. Dontari Poe, Johnathan Hankins and Logan will follow. I don’t have a good feel for Logan’s future. The Eagles don’t want to lose a good DL, but the cost has to work.
No real updates on Jason Kelce and Mychal Kendricks. The Eagles are shopping them, but haven’t worked anything out yet. The first day of free agency can be tough for working out trades so this could go on for a bit. If the Eagles get desperate for cap room, they have to just cut the guys. They don’t want to do that since both players are talented and have some value. They just have to find a team that is willing to sacrifice a pick for them.
The Eagles won’t be doing much else unless they can free up more space. There are still some good CBs on the market. If they lose Logan, the Eagles might have to make a move at DT. They could add a WLB to replace Kendricks. Just don’t expect huge moves. They will go bargain hunting.
That’s what they did with Torrey Smith. He signed a 3-year deal, but it is really just for one year. The Eagles like him and his speed, but don’t want to commit to a player who has struggled in recent years. Smith will be playing with a good QB in a solid passing game for the first time in a few years. That should bring out the best in him. Obviously the key word there is “should”.
The Eagles didn’t commit long term money to the WR position so that can still be addressed early in the draft. The team doesn’t have to force anything. They can use pick 14 on just about anything aside from a QB, P or K. After that, all bets are off. The prevailing wisdom will have the Eagles going for a CB, but they can still take a WR if the right guy is on the board. The Eagles want to surround Wentz with talent.
One of the benefits to the moves made today is that the Eagles added good people. I did worry a bit about Terrelle Pryor and some baggage he might bring with him. I worried a little about Kenny Britt, who used to regularly get in trouble in NJ. Jeffery and Smith a very good guys who will help the Eagles, on and off the field.
There is plenty more work to be done, with trade talks and adding minor players to fill roster holes. For now, Howie Roseman and the Eagles front office are off to a good start. Wentz has legitimately talented receivers. The OL has more depth than in a long time. Lots of holes still to fix, but Howie and his staff certainly are off to a good start.