DeSean Jackson out: Wide receivers Eagles could sign for roster depth for next few weeks
The Eagles will need to add insurance at wide receiver and here are a few options
The Philadelphia Eagles have plenty of depth at wide receiver, but that depth took a huge hit in Sunday's loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson both exited the game with separate injuries and are expected to miss multiple games. Nelson Agholor left portions of Sunday's loss but he returned.
At one point the Eagles had just two active wide receivers and one active tight end, not exactly the ideal situation for any NFL team. Philadelphia is expected to have Agholor, second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside and 2017 fourth-round pick Mack Hollins as their only wide receivers on the roster for Sunday.
The Eagles are going to have to add a wide receiver (or two) for the next few weeks. Here are the top free agent and internal options:
Free Agents (w/last team)
SF San Francisco • #81
Age: 27 • Experience: 6 yrs.
This is the most logical move for the Eagles, given Matthews's success with the Eagles and how well Matthews played as a No. 4 wide receiver last year. All Matthews did was have 20 catches for 300 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles last year, averaging 15.0 yards per catch. Possession receiver who can stretch the field and knows the system.
Dez Bryant WR
NO New Orleans • #88
Age: 30 • Experience: 10 yrs.
Couldn't hurt to give Bryant a call right? Here's the issue. Bryant is planning a mid-October comeback from a ruptured Achilles, so he won't be immediately available for the Eagles Sunday. Plans can be altered and the Eagles could sign Bryant as long-term insurance in case Jeffery and Jackson aggravate their injuries during the year, but he won't be available this week.
CAR Carolina • #8
Age: 31 • Experience: 7 yrs.
Robinson has been a proven deep threat in the past, which the Eagles desperately need with Jackson unavailable for a few weeks. Robinson had 17 catches for 231 yards and five touchdowns for the Minnesota Vikings last year, playing the slot and the outside. The Eagles can certainly rotate Robinson as a fourth wide receiver for a few weeks.
Torrey Smith WR
CAR Carolina • #11
Age: 30 • Experience: 9 yrs.
Smith did file his retirement papers with the NFL last week and it was his choice. Perhaps he'd be willing for a return just for the 2019 season? Smith has only been out of the game two weeks and played a key role in the Eagles winning their first Super Bowl in 2017, becoming that over the top threat the offense desperately lacked. Smith still possessed the speed that made him one of the top deep threat receivers in the NFL, but finished with 36 catches for 430 yards and two touchdowns, with a career-low 11.9 yards per catch. The postseason was where Smith made his mark, where Smith had 13 catches for 157 yards and a touchdown in the playoffs., including five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown in the NFC Championship Game. Smith had just 17 catches for 190 yards and two touchdowns for the Carolina Panthers last season, but he would stretch the field and a reliable wide receiver Carson Wentz can trust. If the Eagles can coax Smith out of retirement, he would provide solid depth.
If the Eagles promote someone on the practice squad, Ward deserves his chance. The Eagles decided to keep just five receivers this summer, leaving Ward without a roster spot after an excellent preseason. The Eagles can slide Ward into the slot for extra depth, which would free Nelson Agholor to interchange on the outside and in the slot throughout the game. Ward has been with the Eagles for the past three years and he knows the system.
Green was signed to the Eagles practice squad in September as he was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the sixth round of this year's draft. He had 202 catches for 2,698 yards and 23 touchdowns at Louisiana-Monroe, but didn't get an opportunity thanks to injuries. The Eagles promoting Green is a long shot, but the coaching staff does like him.
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