Eagles Finally Get a WR1 in Jeffery
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles got their No. 1 receiver, signing the lengthy Alshon Jeffery to a one-year, $14 million deal on the first day of free agency.
Jeffery, perceived to be the top WR on the market, was disappointed in the offers he received, which were expected to reach $15M to $17M per season and decided to bet on himself by signing a one-year deal with Philadelphia versus one that afforded him more long-term security in Minnesota.
Jeffery, 27, hauled in 304 receptions for 4,549 yards (15.0 yards per reception) and 26 touchdowns in five seasons in Chicago and at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, he is particularly adept at high-pointing the football and winning 50-50 balls.
When paired with the speedy Torrey Smith, who was signed earlier in the day, it fulfilled the team's plan to add both a WR with size and one who could stretch the defense. It also enables Jordan Matthews to concentrate on his best position in the slot.
The signing of Jeffery also brings some concerns, however, namely he's missed 17 games since entering the league in 2012 and was suspended for violating the PED policy last season. A second hit for PEDs would bring with it a 10-game suspension.
Playing under the $14.599 million franchise tag in 2016, Jeffery hauled in 52 passes for 821 yards and two touchdowns in 12 games with three different quarterbacks throwing him the football-- Jay Cutler, Brian Hoyer and former Eagles third-stringer Matt Barkley.
From 2013 to 2014, however, Jeffery was extremely productive, snaring 174 balls for 2,554 yards and 17 touchdowns.
In addition to adding Jeffery, the Eagles also signed a new potential starter at left guard in former top-10 pick Chance Warmack, who inked a team-friendly one-year deal worth $1.51M with a $500,000K signing bonus.
The 6-foot-2, 323-pound Warmack made 48 career starts at right guard during his first four NFL seasons with the Titans but never lived up to his promise as an All-American and three-time national champion at the University of Alabama, where he played under Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland for two seasons (2011-12).
Warmack played just two games last season before undergoing hand surgery that ended his campaign.
Meanwhile, Torrey Smith's reported three-year deal is really one-year at $5M (like Warmack, he also got $500K to sign) with two $5M options.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at email@example.com or on Twitter @JFMcMullen