2017 NFL Free Agency: Philadelphia Eagles Top Wide Receiver Targets
Here are the top five free agent wide receivers the Philadelphia Eagles should target.
Everyone who watched the Philadelphia Eagles in 2016 knows that they need to get their quarterback Carson Wentz some wide receivers. It was pitiful watching the poor play from the Eagles wideouts this season and it is one of the biggest needs that should be addressed this offseason. Many feel that the Eagles could draft a wide receiver
Many feel that the Eagles could draft a wide receiver in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, which they could. Though, even if they do, I feel that they will also sign at least one free agent wide receiver because they were that bad there in 2016.
Jordan Matthews had a solid year, but he is never going to be a No. 1 receiver for the Birds. He fits well in the slot and is a great compliment guy if the Eagles had a legitimate No. 1 guy—but they don’t.
Luckily for the Eagles, this free agent wide receiver class has some potential to provide them with a starter or two. It gives the Eagles the opportunity to help Wentz and surround him with formidable guys he can trust.
There is no doubt the Eagles will be buyers in the free agent wide receiver market, but the doubts are about which receiver they will be able to get. Here are the top five receivers they should target in free agency this offseason in order from least important to most important.
5. Kenny Stills
It seems that every single year, Eagles Twitter falls in love with a player who they feel can be a cheap, solid option for their team. Then, when that player fails to reach expectations, they turn on him and want him out. This offseason that player is former Miami Dolphins wide receiver, Kenny Stills.
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The Eagles lack a deep threat and according to a lot of fans, Stills could fit that role perfectly. But can he realistically be a solid option for the Eagles? If Stills does not re-sign with Miami, he will be on his third team in five years. I am no football genius, but good NFL players do not bounce around from team to team like that. So why is he on the move again? Well, Stills struggles to catch the ball at times. His worst one came last season when he dropped a sure touchdown. Could you imagine if Stills did that in Philly? The fan base would turn on him quickly.
Stills can obviously stretch the field, but can he do more than that? The narrative I am getting at here is that Stills has a lot of questions behind his name. That does not mean the Eagles shouldn’t sign him, which is why he makes the list. But it does show you why he is No. 5 and not higher. The Eagles would be taking a huge risk signing Stills and he could end up adding to the poor play of their current receivers.
30 percent chance the Eagles sign him
4. Kenny Britt
Another receiver named Kenny in free agency, but this one is Kenny Britt. The former Los Angeles Rams receiver had a solid year and was one of the only bright spots for the Rams putrid offense in 2016. Britt caught 68 passes for 1,002 yards and five scores in 15 games last season. It was the most receptions he has ever had in a season and yards too.
He did that with two of the worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL but still managed to be the Rams first 1,000 yards receiver since 2007 (yeah, wow). The fit with the Eagles is intriguing because of wide receivers coach Mike Groh. Under Groh last season, Britt looked like a completely different player and now that Groh made the move to Philly, do not be surprised if Britt follows.
Britt would be a big-bodied veteran that Wentz could trust in the passing game. He stands at 6-3 and having a reliable pass-catcher is something that would be huge for Wentz. Britt would be able to make a smooth transition to the Eagles offense because of Groh and it seems like the stars are aligning for him to catch passes in an Eagles uniform next season. He isn’t the top priority guy, but he is definitely someone that would upgrade the Eagles receiving corps.
75 percent chance the Eagles sign him
3. Terrelle Pryor
Who knows if the former Clevland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor will even get to free agency. But as of now, he is poised to test the waters. And if he is testing the waters, he should be high on the Eagles priority list.
Pryor is an interesting case in the NFL for those who do not know. He is a former Ohio State quarterback turned NFL wide receiver, but 2016 was his first full-time season at the position. He turned that into 77 catches for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. Just like Britt, he did that with horrendous quarterback play.
The Eagles obviously need to beware that Pryor is a one-year wonder because he is so new to the position. However, they also are aware that Pryor could be a star in the making. Switching positions at any level of football is tough but playing two different positions in the NFL shows what kind of player you are. Pryor may never be a legitimate No. 1 guy, but he has the potential to be and has the floor to be a real No. 2 guy that can catch 70 plus passes for 1,000 yards each season.
Add in the fact that Pryor is a Pennsylvania guy (he won the state championship in high school) and you can see this being a potential great fit. The biggest problem is that he will most likely re-sign with the Browns so the Eagles won’t even have the chance to sign him. However, if he hits the market, the Eagles need to go after him.
15 percent chance the Eagles sign him
2. DeSean Jackson
I’ll admit that I have a bias when it comes to DeSean Jackson. I believe that he is the greatest deep threat in NFL history and will one day be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because of it. You will look back at the game of football and say there is only one Jerry Rice and there is only one DeSean Jackson. No one has been able to do what he has done in the NFL and even at 30 years old, he is still the best deep threat in the game.
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People are arguing that he is bound to lose a step, but I am willing to pay the man and find out when he finally will. I mean, he did burn the Eagles this past season for an 80-yard touchdown, so I think he still has it. Jackson has 22 touchdowns that have gone 60 or more yards, which is second best behind Rice.
Adding a deep threat that can stretch the field would be huge for the Eagles and give them the big play guy they’ve missed since they had Jackson before Chip Kelly axed him. As Jimmy Kempski of Philly Voice pointed out, Jackson is willing to return to the Eagles.
A reunion is needed in the City of Brotherly Love and the Eagles need to make sure they get it done. Jackson isn’t the No. 1 receiver they need, but I would argue that he is 1B.
85 percent chance the Eagles sign him
1. Alshon Jeffery
There is no debating the importance of the Eagles signing free agent wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. Obviously, the price tag is going to be high, but the Eagles need a legitimate No. 1 receiver and Jeffery will be just that for them.
He is a stud receiver on the outside and any Eagles fan acting as if the Eagles do not need him will be the same fans complaining that they wish they have a No. 1 receiver during the year. There is also the argument that they could draft their potential No. 1 receiver. I love the idea too, but nothing is guaranteed in the NFL Draft. Look no further than Nelson Agholor, who is terrible and was a first-round pick.
Signing Jeffery comes with no questions on how he will play because his sample size is already big enough to gauge how good he will be. Jeffery has already played two seasons in the NFL catching over 80 passes for 1,000 plus yards, and seven plus touchdowns. Stop overthinking this situation, the Eagles need Jeffery and he would be Wentz’s No. 1 target right away.
Stop overthinking this situation, the Eagles need Jeffery and he would be Wentz’s No. 1 target right away. There is no doubt that he is the No. 1 target for them in free agency this offseason and if they were able to land him, they would get another cornerstone player to add to their offense.
50 percent chance the Eagles sign him