The Eagles’ two biggest areas of need are wide receiver and cornerback. Conventional logic and recent history suggest that Philly focus on the draft for their secondary, and spend whatever free agent cash they can muster on a wide receiver — a position they’ve had relative success with on the free agent market.
There are a number of very attractive names in free agency, but there are two specific things Philly is looking for in their next ace wideout (to pair with Jordan Matthews, who is clearly a No. 2). They need a downfield-threat who is affordable.
Here’s a look at eight wideouts we’ve pinpointed of interest to the Eagles this offseason, when the free agent signing period begins in March:
1. Alshon Jeffery (2016:821 yards, 15.8 yards per catch, 2 TD)
Jeffery is the biggest name, and would have the biggest impact on the Eagles. He is just 26 years old and if healthy he’s a Pro Bowl caliber wideout who can give Carson Wentz a talented 6-foot-3 target. Spotrac estimates his open market value to be around $14 million a season. Can Philly dedicate that much money to one wide receiver? He is a doubtful additionbut with salary cap guruHowie Roseman calling the shots, you never know.
2. DeSean Jackson (2016:1,005 yards,17.9 yards per catch, 4 TD)
There have been many a rumor about a possible return of D-Jax to the city that made him a star, and the man himself has admitted he would be open to returning, but Jackson is 30 now. Is he worth the high salary demand he will no doubt be seeking? Would he take a hometown discount?
3. Pierre Garcon (2016: 1,041 yards,13.2 yards per catch,3 TD)
It is highly doubtful that Washington will be able to re-sign both Jackson and Garcon — as the team has other concerns with its free agent cash. If Garcon is the player left available, the 30-year-old would fetch near the $8 million mark in free agency.
4. Kenny Britt (2016:1,002 yards, 14.7 yards per catch,5 TD)
Britt is 28-years-old and as his numbers indicate he can spread the field. The Rams have a number of issues to worry about and wide receiver may not be a priority. His salary expectation, in the $6 million range according to Spotrac, will be in the Eagles wheelhouse.
5. Kamar Aiken (2016:328 yards, 11.3 yards per catch, 1 TD)
Aiken is a high risk, low reward guy, sort of like Mile Austin a few seasons ago, but just 27-years-old. He had nearly 1,000 yards in 2015 but was not used much by the Ravens last season despite suiting up in all 16 games. He made $2.5 million last year.
6. Kenny Stills (2016:726 yards 17.3 yards per catch,9 TD)
Stills is among the best down-the-field guys available and made just under $600,000 last season. At 24-years-old he’s due a big raise, and the market could pay him upwards of $9 million. A little pricey, but a better value than perhaps Jeffery or Jackson.
7. Terrelle Pryor (2016:1,007 yards,13.1 yards per catch,4 TD)
The Browns have cash and very little to lose by bringing Pryor back, who earned just over $1.6 million during a breakout year in 2016. The 27-year-old will be looking for a considerable raise next year, upwards of $8 million per season.
8. Brian Quick (2016:564 yards, 13.8 yards per catch,3 TD)
Like the Redskins’ situation with Jackson and Garcon — but with a little less prestige — Los Angeles will likely not bring back similar players Britt and Quick in 2017. The Eagles might be able to get the 27-year-old on the cheap.
9. Ted Ginn Jr. (2016:752 yards, 13.9 yards per catch,4 TD)
Ginn is 31-years-old and the oldest player on this list, but he still has speed and could be available on a short contract and in the $4 million range. Might be a good fit for the Eagles’ young wide receivers room.