Wentz-Jeffery Dynamic is Shelved
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - When Alshon Jeffery first arrived in Philadelphia, people tend to forget that Carson Wentz is actually what got him here.
Jeffery was supposed to be a big-ticket item on the free-agency market after the 2016 season, his last in Chicago. Some injury concerns and a positive PED test affected the market, however, and instead of setting a new financial bar for the receiver position, the lengthy wideout decided a one-year, prove-it deal was the way to go choosing Philadelphia over more years and money from the Bears' divisional rival in Minnesota, which obviously understood Jeffery's strength as a player.
The tipping point for Jeffery was the uncertainty at the quarterback position at the time with the Vikings vs. Wentz, who was coming off a promising rookie season with the Eagles.
By the end of the 2017 season, Jeffery became something of a football Nostradamus as the Eagles won Super Bowl LII and while Nick Foles was taking the snaps on that February night in Minneapolis it was Wentz who did much of the heavy lifting to carve the path for the Eagles.
Since then, however, things have gotten far rockier in the relationship between the two, or at least that's the perception, due to the various leaks in the Philadelphia locker room that are often directed back at Jeffery because of his relationship with ESPN reporter Josina Anderson.
For what it's worth, Jeffery denied he was the source of an Anderson anonymously-sourced story this year that took veiled shots at Wentz. Howard Eskin, the sideline reporter for the Eagles' Radio Network, claimed Jeffery was indeed the one talking out of turn although Eskin's history of concrete sourcing is not exactly reliable.
With Jeffery now lost for the season with a Lisfranc injury, Wentz was asked about his relationship with Jeffery during his weekly press conference on Thursday.
“I have a great relationship with Alshon," the QB1 insisted. "He’s been an awesome teammate ever since he got here. When he first signed here, we went to dinner and we got to know each other, and we both had high expectations for each other.”
The high expectations haven't been reached since Super Bowl LII and there is at least a possibility that the Eagles move on from Jeffery in the offseason, although doing so would be a tough pill to swallow from a salary-cap standpoint after the Septemeber restructure that guaranteed the veteran's 2020 stipend.
That's a front-office decision, however. As for Wentz, it's obvious he's close to some players like Zach Ertz and the now-departed Jordan Matthews. His dynamic with Jeffery is more business-centric.
That said every employee in every workplace develops both friendships and relationships that never extend past colleagues at the office.
Wentz and Jeffery are the latter and that's not by definition dysfunctional.
“It’s been awesome getting to know him as a guy and as a teammate and seeing the plays he’s been able to make over the years, this year as well, I love that guy,” Wentz said. “The injury is really unfortunate.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen