Alshon Jeffery bet on himself last offseason when he inked a one-year, $9.5 million contract with the Eagles. He is going to win the bet.
Though his numbers might not turn heads on paper though 12 weeks, his seven touchdowns and 43 catches for 619 yards are about as good as the Eagles were hoping for when they added him to help Carson Wentz take a leap to the next level.
“First of all, he’s unselfish,” Wentz said of Jeffery recently. “Second of all, even on the weeks he’s not getting the ball, he’s drawing attention, drawing the best corner and clouding safeties. With Alshon and Jay [Ajayi] now, and the way we can spread the ball around, I think that will make us even more dynamic moving forward.”
When Jeffery is not flashing his incredible “pass radius” or impressive hands, he is helping other Philly pass-catching threats get open.
If the Eagles want to continue their success from 2017 well into the future as a regular Super Bowl contender they will need to convince Jeffery to come back.
Though they are making strides, Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins aren’t ready to play the role of WR1 on a Super Bowl team. And Torrey Smith looks likely to be back in the free agent pool when the Birds decide what to do about his team-option.
The other options next spring won’t offer an upgrade for Jeffery.
Sammy Watkins appears to be the best available option under the age of 27, with other marginally decent free agents incuding Danny Amendola, Michael Floyd, Mike Wallace and Eric Decker.
Jeffery rises well above the level of the rest of his upcoming wide receiver free agent class and if he hits the open market could command a huge contract from a team in need.
The Eagles have the advantage of being able to negotiate before the NFL New Year starts next March and if they are smart, they’ll use that window to lock down Jeffery, 27, for a three or four year term.
They really have no choice — Wentz needs weapons and after a year of bonding with Jeffery on and off the field, he’s a key cog in the Eagles trek for a world championship.
“Just staying in the moment,” Jeffery said of how to maintain his success working with Wentz. “Just keep working. Just stay focused. Just staying on top. This is the brotherhood. Just keeping everyone on track.”