One of the worst kept secrets in football is the Philadelphia Eagles pursuit of a wide receiver. Acquiring a veteran wideout was on the Eagles' shopping list this offseason, having a Calvin Ridley gambling suspension preventing the franchise to find that receiver to pair with DeVonta Smith.
The Eagles were in the market for Christian Kirk, yet the Jacksonville Jaguars reset the market for wide receivers by giving Kirk $18 million a year. A chain reaction ensued in wideouts wanting to get paid, leading to Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill seeking trades -- and getting them -- in order to land lucrative contract extensions somewhere else.
Philadelphia has essentially sat on the sidelines (aside from signing Zach Pascal) in the wide receiver market this offseason. The Eagles could use a veteran wideout to pair with Smith, or they invest their draft capital and select a wide receiver in the first round for the third consecutive year.
Deebo Samuel is there to be had, as he's the latest wide receiver to seek a pay raise elsewhere. The Eagles have the draft capital to acquire a player of Samuel's caliber, a decision which general manager Howie Roseman will contemplate over the next week.
The Eagles are in an interesting position here, choosing to stay the course and build the foundation from the ground up or trying to make sure Jalen Hurts has a veteran that will help him take his game to the next level.
"I think every year a position kind of becomes -- I like that word, 'the boom.' It's like the new mining town, right? You have pass rushers, you have offensive linemen, and now you have wide receivers," Roseman said Wednesday on receivers getting massive contracts this offseason. "So, I think at the end of the day -- and we talked about this a little bit when we were at the league meetings -- it's just you have to make a decision on what your priorities are on building the team, whether you're going to kind of go with the flow or you're going to kind of figure out what is the most important thing for your team and if there's some value in being different and figuring out what now is kind of the next area.
"I think we spent a lot of time, Coach (Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni) and I talk about this all the time, if we're going to be the same as everyone else, we're probably going to finish in the middle of the pack. Sometimes you have to take risks and you have to stand out there and do something different than everyone else.
"So that doesn't mean that there aren't right decisions to make at that position. But at the same time, if you're doing the same thing that everyone else is doing, you're probably a step late."
So would the Eagles pursue a player like Samuel now that's he's available? Roseman has to decide if he wants to get into the mix for a proven player like Samuel and give him a massive deal, knowing the Eagles could get a productive player in the first round of the draft (a benefit of having two first-round picks). The Eagles are typically in the business of paying their own players massive contracts, which is why pursuing their own homegrown talent and not having to pay him a massive deal before it's time to is a better option.
Roseman and the Eagles like to keep things between the vest with as little leaks as possible, so there's no telling whether they would want Samuel to be the veteran compliment to Smith -- and the guy that can help Jalen Hurts take his game to the next level.
The Eagles are still a team in transition, not looking for the quick fix (even if they need upgrades at wide receiver). They can find that solution in the draft if they wish. This is the dilemma Roseman faces over the next seven days -- if he's ready to raise the expectations for a team that's likely a year or two way from really competing in the NFC.
Their decision whether to pursue Deebo Samuel will showcase the direction the 2022 Eagles want to go in.