Alshon Jeffery

Eagles Adjust Contracts Of Alshon Jeffery, Malik Jackson, Both On Way Out

The Eagles’ disastrous 2020 campaign has come to an end, and to say they’ve got a pivotal offseason ahead of them would be a massive understatement. Obviously the team has to figure out their quarterback situation, but that’s far from the only issue that needs to be addressed.

They took one step forward on Monday as the team has adjusted the contracts of receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive tackle Malik Jackson, sources told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Before these moves Philly had the worst cap situation in the league, with a projected $70MM deficit against the 2021 cap. The move reduced the base salaries for both to give some immediate flexibility, but the agreed upon arrangement will force the Eagles to either cut the players or negotiate new deals with them.

As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweeted, the expectation is that Philly will move on from both players, so they aren’t actually going to play 2021 at these reduced salaries and the restructure is more of a procedural move. It’s a win for the Eagles and also lets the players know their futures sooner so they can plan accordingly and hit free agency with everybody else instead of being left looking for a new team closer to the start of next season.

The Eagles signed Jackson to a three-year, $30MM pact in March of 2019, and it was immediately derailed when he suffered a foot injury in the first game of that season that knocked him out for the entire year. He returned to play in 15 games this year, but only played around half the defensive snaps and not at a high enough level to warrant his hefty salary. The 2012 fifth-round pick of the Broncos had a few really good years with the Jaguars and is still only 30, so there will be interest.

Jeffery is wrapping up a four-year stint in Philadelphia and will always have a large place in franchise history for his contributions to the 2017 team that won Super Bowl LII. Jeffery started all 16 games that year, racking up 789 yards and nine touchdowns. He had another very solid 2018 campaign but his play fell off a cliff last year as he dealt with injuries that limited him to ten games.

This past season he appeared in only seven contests due to injury, catching only six passes for 115 yards. The 2012 second-round pick from South Carolina turned into a star during his early career with the Bears, and is still only 30 as well, although he does have significant health question marks. It’ll be very interesting to see what his market looks like.

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NFC East Notes: Eberflus, Eagles, Giants

Matt Eberflus may resurface on the coaching carousel in 2021, given the Colts’ defensive resurgence. This is Eberflus’ third year as the Colts’ defensive coordinator, with the would-be Josh McDaniels assistant coming to Indianapolis after seven seasons as Cowboys linebackers coach. The Cowboys were ready to make a major change to prevent Eberflus from leaving. They were prepared to promote him to defensive coordinator in 2018, Ed Werder of ESPN.com reports, in a move that would have meant Eberflus replacing Rod Marinelli (Twitter link). Eberflus, however, refused to accept that promotion out of respect for Marinelli. The latter served as Dallas’ DC from 2014-19, with his tenure ending after Jason Garrett‘s 2020 firing.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • For the first time since Week 14 of last season, Alshon Jeffery will suit up for a game. The Eagles did not give Jeffery an injury designation going into Week 10, putting the ninth-year wideout on track to make his season debut against the Giants. The Eagles shopped Jeffery for several months, but given the injury-prone receiver’s contract, the team was essentially forced to hang onto the 30-year-old target and wait for his recovery from a Lisfranc injury. Jeffery also battled a calf ailment this season. Jeffery will join previously injured cogs Jalen Reagor, Miles Sanders and Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia’s lineup. It will be easily the healthiest Eagles skill-position group this season.
  • The Giants deactivated Golden Tate for their Week 9 game, citing his recent effort and performance. They shopped Tate ahead of the trade deadline, and Tate’s wife expressed frustration about her husband’s role on Instagram. Tate liked another Instagram post championing a change of scenery for him. The 11th-year wide receiver, however, said Friday he did not want to be traded. “No, I wouldn’t say I was trying to get traded,” Tate said, via the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz (on Twitter). “I love this organization, to be honest. I love everything it stands for, and I want to do my part and help us win any way I can.” Waiving Tate would cost the Giants a few million in dead money, but the team is expected to cut or trade him in 2021.
  • Patrick Graham has impressed many around the NFL with his work leading the Giants’ defense this season, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes. The former Dolphins DC and Patriots assistant may soon receive looks for HC opportunities. While the Giants’ defense ranks 22nd in DVOA, that is up from 28th last season. New York entered the season thin at cornerback and at edge rusher but still has one of the league’s best defensive lines.
  • The Giants worked out two former second-round cornerback picks Friday. Former Florida teammates Quincy Wilson and Teez Tabor reunited for a Giants workout. The Jets acquired Wilson from the Colts earlier this year but cut him. Tabor has not played since the 2018 season.
  • The Eagles will be without defensive assistant Jeremiah Washburn this week, Tim McManus of ESPN.com tweets. An Eagles coach tested positive for COVID-19 this week. The team has not identified the staffer, but Washburn’s absence provides an indication he contracted the coronavirus. Washburn serves in an interesting capacity with the Eagles, working as a senior defensive assistant and director of player personnel. He previously coached the Bears and Lions’ offensive lines.

Injury Updates: T. Brown, Garoppolo, Clowney

Let’s round up a few injury-related items from around the league.

  • Raiders OT Trent Brown is back on the reserve/COVID-19 list, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com says Brown is expected to miss at least a month of action (Twitter link).
  • Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports confirms a report from several days ago that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will not require surgery on his injured ankle, but the 29-year-old signal-caller is expected to miss at least a month (Twitter link). The injury further clouds Garoppolo’s uncertain future in San Francisco.
  • Titans edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney is out for today’s game against the Bears. He is dealing with a meniscus issue and may ultimately opt for surgery.
  • The Browns have a bye this week, and next time they’re on the field, they hope to be rejoined by Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb (Twitter link via Rapoport). Chubb has been dealing with an MCL injury, and though Kareem Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson have played reasonably well in his absence, getting Chubb back will be a big boost to Cleveland’s playoff push.
  • Some may be wondering if WR Odell Beckham has already played his last game for the Browns, as he will miss the rest of the season with an ACL tear and has never really embraced Cleveland. Kim Jones of WFAN reports that OBJ will undergo surgery to repair the ACL on Tuesday (Twitter link).
  • Ravens RB Mark Ingram left Baltimore’s game against the Eagles several weeks ago, and he still has not returned to action. Rapoport says Ingram is dealing with a high-ankle sprain (Twitter link), which explains the multi-week absence. Ingram has been ruled out for today’s game against the Colts, but younger backs Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins may be the better options anyway.
  • When the Eagles return to their facility following this week’s bye, they expect to have RB Miles Sanders back, and they believe WR Alshon Jeffery will be a full participant in practice (Twitter link via Rapoport).

Eagles’ Jalen Reagor Out Until Week 10?

Eagles wideout Jalen Reagor has run into more injury trouble. The first-round pick has a torn thumb UCL, the team announced Wednesday. While Reagor returned to action in Week 2 after suffering this injury, he appears set to miss extensive time.

The Eagles are expected to place the rookie on IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, and Sirius XM Radio’s Adam Caplan indicates this is expected to be a six- to eight-game injury for Reagor (Twitter link). Reagor is expected to undergo surgery, and the current plan appears to be a return after the Eagles’ Week 9 bye, Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes.

The injury follows Reagor’s shoulder labrum tear, which kept him out for much of training camp. It is the latest blow to an Eagles team that has run into extensive injury issues on offense.

Already down Alshon Jeffery coming into the season, Philadelphia has lost three starting offensive linemen — Brandon Brooks, Andre Dillard and Isaac Seumalo — and was without Lane Johnson and Miles Sanders in Week 1. Jeffery is not expected to make his return in Week 3, per the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jeff McLane (on Twitter). The veteran wideout did return to a limited practice Thursday, however.

This injury sidelined Drew Brees for five games last season, and it appears Reagor will need similar recovery time. This is a familiar situation for the Eagles, who were down their top three receivers late last season. Those circumstances helped prompt the team to use its first-round pick on Reagor, who has caught five passes for 96 yards over his first two games (both starts).

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Eagles Place Brandon Brooks On PUP List, Trim Roster To 53

The Eagles made a sizable amount of cuts Thursday. They made the rest of their moves to get down to 53 players Saturday. Here are the players the Eagles jettisoned to reach the regular-season limit.

Waived:

Placed on active/PUP list:

The Brooks decision certainly is interesting, especially after the team placed left tackle Andre Dillard on season-ending IR this week. Brooks suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in June, but the elite blocker has a history of surmounting such an injury. Brooks tore an Achilles in January 2019 and made it back in time for Philadelphia’s opener last season. The team is not ready to shut down its Pro Bowl guard for the season.

Alshon Jeffery also did not land on Philadelphia’s reserve/PUP list, which would have shelved the veteran wideout for six games. Instead, Jeffery — whom the Eagles have attempted to trade for months — is one of seven receivers on the Eagles’ 53-man roster. That will help a team that saw Marquise Goodwin opt out and first-round rookie Jalen Reagor suffer an injury that will keep him out to start the season.

Eagles Shopping Alshon Jeffery?

With the deadline to slash rosters to 53 players less than two hours away, the Eagles are still trying to move Alshon Jeffery‘s now-onerous contract.

The team is shopping the ninth-year receiver — as it has been doing since last year — according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter). But the Jeffery situation has not changed much, making such a move difficult.

Jeffery is not on track to be ready for Week 1. Though he will not start the season on the PUP list, which would shelve him for the first six weeks, it does seem as if he will miss at least a couple of games, and he is owed $9.91MM in guaranteed salary.

While Jeffery fought through injuries to post productive seasons in 2017 and ’18, en route to his Eagles extension, he finished last season with just 43 catches for 490 yards. Injuries limited him to 10 games in 2019.

Despite making some moves at receiver this offseason, the Eagles have key issues going into the season. In addition to Jeffery’s continued injury concerns, Jalen Reagor is expected to miss at least part of Philadelphia’s September slate. Trade acquisition Marquise Goodwin opted out. This will leave 33-year-old DeSean Jackson — who missed most of last year with an injury — and JJ Arcega-Whiteside — who submitted a disappointing rookie season — as the team’s top wideouts entering Week 1.

For what it’s worth, GM Howie Roseman said he is not trying to move Jeffery and looks forward to having him contribute sooner rather than later (via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk). “Alshon has come back with incredible energy,” Roseman said. “He’s in great shape. He’s motivated to win and be part of it. We are not actively shopping him, as reported. But I think for us, you know, let’s get the good player back as soon as possible. I’m not telling you that he’s ready for Week One, but we definitely anticipate him being ready before that PUP period.”

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Eagles Head Coach: Alshon Jeffery Is “Big Part” Of Team

Despite all the speculation, it sounds like Alshon Jeffery is staying put. In a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, head coach Doug Pederson said that the wide receiver is “a big part” of the Eagles’ offense.

[RELATED: Eagles To Replace Brandon Brooks Internally?]

All our veteran players, to be part of this virtual offseason like they have, I have been impressed and Alshon is of those guys,” head coach Pederson said (via Evan Macy of the Philly Voice). “The dialogue he’s had in the receivers room, the way he converses with some of the younger players…

That’s all very promising for the Birds, given the drama they’ve had with the veteran in the past Last fall, Jeffery was accused of anonymously ripping into quarterback Carson Wentz and other teammates through the media. For his part, Jeffery has denied any involvement in that bombshell story.

Frankly, the Eagles don’t have much flexibility when it comes to Jeffery. Thanks to a restructuring of his deal in September, they’d be looking at a $26MM cap hit if they wanted to cut him. Jeffery is now guaranteed a base salary of $11.5MM for 2020. In total, he’s got upwards of ~$55MM guaranteed on his four-year deal.

Jeffery’s 2019 – capped with a trip to the injured reserve list – ended with 43 catches for 430 yards and four touchdowns. It was a step down from his 65 catches for 843 yards and six touchdowns in 2018 and his 11.4 yards per catch average last year marks a career low.

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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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