PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Five months after guaranteeing his 2020 contract, the Philadelphia Eagles reportedly want to move on from wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. The Birds are “looking to move” the 30-year-old and he apparently would be open to a “change of scenery,” according to The Athletic’s Connor Hughes.
The Eagles restructured Jeffery’s contract last September to create cap flexibility for the 2019 season while guaranteeing his $11.5 million salary for 2020. At the time, general manager Howie Roseman was lauded for his salary cap gymnastics that converted most of Jeffery’s 2019 $11.75 million salary into a signing bonus.
Instead, Jeffery battled injuries throughout the season before it all came to an end after Week 14 thanks to a Lisfranc injury in his right foot that required surgery.
Jeffery played in 10 games in his third season with the Eagles, a campaign that saw his production dip while being hampered by injuries. He caught 43 balls for 490 yards and four touchdowns on 73 targets last season — down from 65 catches, 843 yards and six touchdowns in 13 games in 2018.
For the Eagles, trading Jeffery isn’t Roseman’s only option. The Birds can still cut the wideout, but it would now carry a $26 million cap hit under the current collective bargaining agreement. NFL owners approved a new CBA proposal on Thursday, which potentially could give the Birds an out of Jeffery’s deal, but that still has to be approved by the players.
It’s no secret one of the Eagles’ top priorities this offseason is upgrading their wide receiver group, one that was ravaged by injury and disappointment in 2019, but they’re also seeking to get younger too. Moving Jeffery would help accomplish that goal.
How Roseman attacks the wide receiver position is one of the storylines to watch this offseason. While he has a decent track history in the NFL draft, he’s had trouble hitting on wideouts.
The early returns on 2019 second-round pick J.J. Arcega-Whiteside were poor, especially considering the production of receivers drafted after him — particularly Seattle’s D.K. Metcalf. Many mock drafts have the Eagles targeting a wide receiver in the first round this year.
NFL free agency begins at 4 p.m. on March 18 while the draft runs from April 23-25.
A key contributor to the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl-winning season, Jeffery’s days with the Birds appear to be numbered.