Alshon Jeffery

Eagles Started Shopping Alshon Jeffery In October

In September, the Eagles agreed to guarantee the bulk of Alshon Jeffery‘s 2020 base salary. One month later, they were already looking to trade the wide receiver, according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Eagles GM Howie Roseman was looking for an exit strategy as Jeffery’s production dropped and his injuries piled up. In the fall, Jeffery was also accused of anonymously ripping into quarterback Carson Wentz and other teammates through the press.

Jeffery quickly found out that he was on the block and that only furthered the divide between him and the team. The trade deadline came and went without a taker for Jeffery – he remains on the roster today and Roseman is still looking for a way out.

Obviously, the elephant in the room is Alshon,” Roseman said during a recent conference call. “Alshon’s got to get healthy. That’s the No. 1 priority for us and for him. He understands. He knows what’s being said about him. He understands that he has a lot to prove and he’s anxious to do that. So he’s not living in a bubble.”

Right now, it’s hard to see the Eagles finding a trade partner for the mercurial and oft-injured Jeffery. With more guaranteed money on the way, the Eagles would have to eat a big chunk of his salary in order to facilitate a trade, meaning that they’d get little value in return.

At this point, the Eagles can only hope to smooth things out with Jeffery, especially with DeSean Jackson coming off of a core muscle injury.

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Eagles Exercise Options On Carson Wentz, Alshon Jeffery, Others

The Eagles picked up Zach Ertz‘s 2021 option earlier today, but that wasn’t the front office’s only move. The NFL transactions report shows that the organization exercised the options on quarterback Carson Wentz, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, defensive end Brandon Graham, offensive guard Isaac Seumalo, and defensive lineman Malik Jackson.

As Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes, these moves were merely “procedural,” and similar to the Ertz move, they’re not all that surprising.

Jordan Dajani and Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports provide some helpful insight on these moves. For instance, Wentz’s option had to be exercised by today. Otherwise, his 2020 salary was set to jump to more than $30MM, and the remaining four years of his extension would be void. Instead, the quarterback will earn a $1.38MM base salary with a cap hit of $18.65MM.

The Jeffery move is a bit surprising, as the team was reportedly looking to move on from the wideout. On the flip side, the organization would have been hit with more than $16MM in dead cap by making the veteran a post-June 1st cut. Therefore, it’s not shocking to see the organization make a procedural move until they find a potential trade partner.

Per Dajani and Kerr, Graham will earn a $1.36MM base salary with a $6.28MM cap hit in 2020. Seumalo’s option bonus means the 2022-24 portion of his contract kicks in, while Jackson’s $2.4MM option bonus prevented his base salary from jumping to $10MM.

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Eagles Looking To Move Alshon Jeffery, Who Would Welcome trade

Alshon Jeffery and the Eagles could be headed for a parting of ways. Philadelphia is looking to move their star receiver, sources told Connor Hughes of The Athletic

Hughes adds that Jeffery “would welcome the change of scenery,” but the receiver’s rep quickly refuted that. Jeffery “loves being in the city of Philly and playing for the Eagles,” his agent Tory Dandy tweeted. As Hughes points out, Jeffery’s contract is currently a significant hurdle. If the Eagles hadn’t restructured his contract back in September they would’ve been able to get out of his deal fairly easily, but now they’d be looking at a $26MM cap hit if they wanted to cut him.

There was a lot of drama surrounding Jeffery and the team last year, as he was alleged to have been the source of critical comments about Carson Wentz that surfaced in the press. Sources confirmed to Hughes that Wentz and Jeffery “never saw eye-to-eye and their relationship was testy.” Thanks to the restructure, Jeffery is guaranteed a base salary of $11.5MM for 2020.

Hughes thinks the Eagles will pursue a trade, and that they will look to split some of the money owed to Jeffery. The South Carolina product just turned 30 and is coming off Lisfranc surgery that could sideline him for most of training camp, so Hughes understandably thinks it will be hard to find a trade partner. Many seem to expect that the Eagles will eat the $26MM and cut Jeffery if they have to.

If that happens and Jeffery becomes a free agent, Hughes writes that it “shouldn’t take long before the Jets make a call.” Because of offset language in his contract, any team will be able to sign Jeffery for the league minimum should he reach the open market. Hughes notes that he has plenty of ties to the Jets’ current regime, as New York’s GM Joe Douglas spent time with him in Philly and Adam Gase coached him in Chicago. We should know a lot more about Jeffery’s situation, and where he’ll be playing in 2020, soon.

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Latest On Eagles, Alshon Jeffery

Contractually, the Eagles seem to have little choice but to keep Alshon Jeffery for the 2020 season. However, a clause in his deal could allow them an escape hatch, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes.

Last season, a WIP reporter alleged that Jeffery was the anonymous team source behind unflattering comments about quarterback Carson Wentz. Jeffery’s deal, like many, includes default language against “any public comment that criticizes the team, teammates, coaches, ownership, etc.” The Eagles, meanwhile, retain the right to put that into motion if the team “reasonably determines, in its sole discretion” that a default is called for.

It would be a messy war to wage, but the Eagles engaged in a similar battle with Terrell Owens after he slammed Donovan McNabb. The big difference, of course, is that Owens was on-the-record and Jeffery been largely complimentary of Wentz publicly.

Such a move seems unlikely, but it’s worth keeping in mind as the Eagles try to improve at wide receiver this offseason. As it stands, they’re bound to just about every WR in the group, save for pending free agent Nelson Agholor.

Jeffery’s four-year, $72MM deal gave him a whopping guarantee of nearly $55MM. And, thanks to a restructure, releasing him now would cost the club more than $26MM. An outright release without defaulting his deal is simply off the table. Trading Jeffery, in theory, could be more palatable – it’d shave $10MM off of the cap hit, though teams probably aren’t lining up for him at this stage.

The most likely outcome is that the Eagles will bring back Jeffery with the hope that he’s happy and healthy. They’ll also have to hope that he finds the same kind of chemistry with Wentz that he had with Nick Foles.

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Eagles Notes: Schwartz, WRs, Groh, Staff

In a rookie receiver class that included big seasons from A.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and others, the Eagles did not get much from second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The Stanford prospect caught 10 passes for 169 yards, even as the team losing each of its starters created consistent opportunities. The Eagles bypassed Metcalf for Arcega-Whiteside, but Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer notes the team placed a higher grade on the eventual Seahawks starter. But Metcalf having failed an Eagles physical meant the team did not want to use a second-round pick on him, McLane adds. Metcalf amassed 900 regular-season receiving yards and posted 160 in Seattle’s win over Philadelphia in Round 1. Regardless, the Eagles will likely be linked to first-round wideouts this year. The Eagles are “all over” this year’s wideout and cornerback classes, per Matt Miller of Bleacher Report.

Here is the latest from Philadelphia:

  • The Eagles restructured Alshon Jeffery‘s deal to create 2019 cap space, guaranteeing the veteran receiver’s $9.9MM 2020 salary. It would cost the Eagles more than $26MM to release the soon-to-be 30-year-old target, but McLane notes offset language is included in Jeffery’s deal. It is unclear, however, how much the Eagles would save if another team signed Jeffery after a release. Howie Roseman has done well in recent years to create roster-improvement avenues for the Eagles. But with Jeffery and 33-year-old DeSean Jackson‘s money nearly fully guaranteed, the veteran GM may need to get creative to improve Philly’s wideout situation.
  • Roseman appeared to hint at the Eagles’ window closing with their current nucleus, and McLane expects the team to cut ties with some regulars to infuse the roster with younger talent (Twitter link). Roseman projects the Eagles to hold 10 draft picks in April, meaning three compensatory selections, and held off dealing two first-round picks for Jalen Ramsey because of Carson Wentz‘s contract requiring more rookie-deal salaries on the roster (Twitter links via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo and SI.com’s Albert Breer). Roseman has been aggressive on acquiring veterans for draft picks in recent years; the Eagles may change up that strategy in 2020. They currently have 11 starters under contract who are over 30 or will be by year’s end.
  • Jim Schwartz interviewed for the Browns’ HC job on Wednesday, but the Eagles would like him to stay. Doug Pederson would like him to return for a fifth season as Philly’s DC, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
  • Pederson was clear on the statuses of offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wideouts coach Carson Walch, indicating (via ESPN.com’s Tim McManus, on Twitter) both will be back next season. Pederson, however, added all of the Eagles’ staffers remain under evaluation. Despite Schwartz’s interview with Cleveland and Pederson’s declarative statement on Groh and Wach, McLane sees the DC as being more likely to be back than the offensive staffers (Twitter link). It was obviously a rough year for Eagles wide receivers. And Groh’s offense — likely as a result of the frequent starter unavailability — ranked 14th in DVOA in his second season at the helm.

Eagles Place Alshon Jeffery On IR

Alshon Jeffery‘s season is over. On Thursday, the Eagles announced that the wide receiver has been placed on injured reserve. 

Jeffery was forced out of Monday night’s game with a foot injury and after the swelling went down, team doctors learned that he’ll need more than just a week or two of rest, ice, compression, and elevation. It’s a bad break for the Eagles, who are fighting for the NFC East title and a chance to add another Super Bowl ring to their collection.

Jeffery’s season ends with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns for the 2019 season. It’s a step down from his 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 and the 11.4 yards per catch average marks a career low. The Eagles will hope to have him back at full strength in 2020, when he’ll continue to play on his four-year, $72MM deal, which includes a substantial guarantee of $54.595MM.

To take Jeffery’s place on the roster, the Eagles promoted fellow wide receiver Robert Davis from the practice squad. And, to fill Davis’ spot on the taxi squad, the Eagles signed receiver Deontay Burnett.

The Eagles might need Davis for more than just emergency situations. DeSean Jackson is on IR and receiver Nelson Agholor was held out of Monday night’s game with a knee injury. Meanwhile, receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside is battling through an injury he suffered against the Giants, though he’s expected to play against the Redskins.

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NFC East Notes: Shurmur, Vander Esch, Eagles

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur is clearly on the hot seat, and everything we have heard this year suggests that he could be fired at season’s end. And as Paul Schwartz of the New York Post writes, the sentiment for bringing Shurmur back for the 2020 season is dimming within the organization because there is simply no concrete reason to suggest that he should be retained. Previous reports indicated that Shurmur could keep his job simply for the sake of giving young QB Daniel Jones some continuity, but Schwartz says the cons of keeping Shurmur outweigh that potential pro.

Schwartz does not offer an update on Big Blue’s plans for GM Dave Gettleman, and the fact that the Giants have historically practiced patience with their GMs and knew that they were tasking Gettleman with a rebuilding job could mean that he is safe for 2020. But will the team trust him to hire another HC since the Shurmur hire has flopped, or will ownership just clean house and start afresh? All options are definitely on the table.

Let’s take a swing around the NFC East:

  • Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch has not played since November 17 due to a neck injury, and while there has been some improvement, the 23-year-old is still not ready to practice, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com writes. The club is not ready to put Vander Esch on IR just yet, but it sounds like that could be a possibility.
  • The Eagles may have lost WR Alshon Jeffery for the season, and as Bo Wulf and Zach Berman of The Athletic write, Nelson Agholor‘s status remains up in the air. Agholor sat out the team’s Monday night win with a knee injury, so Philly may need to make more than one WR roster move. Old friend Jordan Matthews just signed with the 49ers, so Berman believes it’s more likely that the team will promote one or two of their taxi squad wideouts than sign a free agent. Wulf, though, names a few players on other practice squads that the Eagles could poach.
  • Speaking of Jeffery, Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com says the Eagles have no choice but to release the veteran wideout if they cannot find a trade partner for him (which seems highly unlikely). Because the team guaranteed Jeffery’s 2020 salary earlier this year in order to create more cap room, cutting Jeffery will result in an enormous dead cap number of over $26MM in 2020. That seems like an impossible pill to swallow, even if the club were to designate him as a post-June 1 cut to spread out the dead cap money over two years, but Shorr-Parks believes the team will indeed cut Jeffery if he cannot be traded.

Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery Done For Year?

The Eagles topped the Giants in overtime on Monday night, but the win may prove to be costly. Offensive lineman Lane Johnson is “week to week” with a sore ankle and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery suffered a foot injury that is more significant than Johnson’s, head coach Doug Pederson told reporters. 

With only three games left in the regular season, it sounds like Jeffery might be done for the season. That would be a bad blow for the Eagles as they fight for the NFC East crown and an opportunity to capture another Super Bowl ring.

Jeffery hauled in 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. Before Monday’s game, and his early exit to the medical tent, he had 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns for the 2019 season.

Johnson, 29, was on the field for every offensive snap in ten of his twelve games this year. The Eagles will hope to have him back this Sunday against the Redskins as he plays out his recently-inked four-year, $72MM extension, which includes a staggering guarantee of $54.595MM.

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Practice Notes: Eagles, Jets, Cardinals

The Eagles got positive news on the injury front regarding three of their biggest weapons Wednesday, according to Ian Rapoport. Wide receivers Alshon Jeffery (ankle) and Nelson Agholor (knee) are full participants in practice today and running back Jordan Howard (shoulder), while not yet back to practice, is “trending the right way.”

All three players missed Sunday’s game against the Seahawks, Jeffery and Howard have not played since November 3rd. Philadelphia’s offense has struggled mightily in recent weeks. Most of the blame has fallen on the shoulders of quarterback Carson Wentz, but it would surely help their signalcaller to have some more weapons.

Here’s some more notes on practice status around the league:

  • Jets head coach Adam Gase told reporters he expects cornerback Darryl Roberts is expected to return after missing two games with a calf injury, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN. Right tackle Chuma Edoga will not practice today and left tackle Kelvin Beachum will be limited as well. The Jets are in the midst of a three-game win streak in hopes to rebound from what looked like a lost season.
  • While Cardinals offensive tackle Jordan Mills was designated for return from the injured reserve earlier today, cornerback Robert Alford, though, will not be joining his teammate, according to Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Alford, a six-year veteran, fractured his tibia prior to the season and was placed on injured reserve with the possibility to return. However, per Urban, that possibility is no longer an option.

Eagles Notes: Johnson, Ajayi, Mills

Let’s take a quick look at a few items from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Eagles starting RT Lane Johnson is in the concussion protocol, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson suffered a head injury during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, and while he tried to play through it, the injury worsened and he was ultimately forced to exit (Twitter link via McLane).
  • The Eagles can ill afford to lose Johnson, arguably the best right tackle in football, as they fight for the NFC East title. But if they are without Johnson for any period of time, they could turn to rookie Andre Dillard rather than veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai, as McLane tweets.
  • Jay Ajayi finally found an NFL home for 2019 when he signed with the Eagles on Friday. Interestingly, the deal includes a right of first refusal for 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. So if it wants, Philadelphia can match any offer Ajayi receives on the open market, which could be significant if the team lets Jordan Howard walk in free agency.
  • Cornerback Jalen Mills is eligible for free agency this offseason, and while he is not perfect, he has been very good since returning from injury in Week 7, and McLane says Mills may be playing his way into a second contract with the Eagles (Twitter link).
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com believes the Eagles need to completely overhaul their WR corps this offseason, and he offers a few names the club could target in free agency and the draft. He also says the Eagles could find a trade partner for Alshon Jeffery and/or DeSean Jackson, though obviously the returns on either player would be minimal.