The Philadelphia Eagles made several offseason moves to bolster a defense that got torched last year for stretches. Following the first phase of free agency, however, many Philly fans are asking one question: What about the wide receivers?
With a glaring need at the position, the Eagles haven’t dipped their toe into the wideout market as of yet, even as prices have shrunk in the second-wave of free agency.
General manager Howie Roseman told Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro he’s looking to upgrade the position but hasn’t found a good fit yet.
“It’s hard to do everything in free agency,” Roseman said. “It’s hard to fix everything that you want to fix in one free agency period. Listen, let’s be transparent about it. We need better play from that position. There’s no doubt about it. I’m not gonna sit here and say it’s not been on our minds. But as we looked at where we could put our resources in free agency and making these decisions and some of them were tough decisions, some of them… There were opportunities that we looked at and dove into and we decided to go in a different direction.”
Injuries decimated the Eagles receiving corps last season, with DeSean Jackson appearing in just three games, and Alshon Jeffery playing in 10. By the end of the campaign, Carson Wentz‘s top wideout target was former college quarterback Greg Ward.
Roseman said when evaluating his receiving corps, he believes getting those players back from injury, first and foremost, will be key in 2020.
“As we look at our receiving group, I think it’s important that we note that it’s, one, we have a lot of time before we play our first game,” Roseman said. “I think, two, also we have some players coming back that we do think highly of and that we do think that can contribute to our football team and have done that and been good players. Sometimes I think in the discussions we just kind of look in the moment in time that we were playing in the playoffs or those last four games and what was on the field there, but our goal isn’t to have those guys only competing for jobs and raising the talent level. I think that we’ve got a lot of time here and we’ll look at every opportunity to improve the team and we also have some guys that are in that rotation that are on our roster that we do think highly of and that we do think will be huge additions and help our team next year.”
Jeffery’s future in Philly has been subject to rumors all offseason, but the GM insisted that the veteran wants to remain with the Eagles, and the team believes when healthy he brings a toughness to the wideout corps. Staying healthy, however, has been a big problem for the 30-year-old receiver, who has played just one full season in the past five years.
After former Eagles first-round pick Nelson Agholor signed with the Raiders, several receivers have found homes this week in free agency on fairly low-money deals. And yet, Roseman still hasn’t ventured into the depth market.
That’s likely to change come draft day.
In what is projected to be a potentially historic receiver draft, the Eagles have been pegged by nearly every analyst to grab a wideout in the first round with pick No. 21. Given the depth at the position, it’s likely Roseman exits the draft with multiple rookie receivers to help fill the weakest spot on a playoff roster.