The Eagles made getting Carson Wentz new weapons this offseason a big priority, primarily through adding Alshon Jeffery as a No. 1 wideout. On Saturday they decided to make a bigger commitment to Jeffery by signing the wideout to a four-year extension that is worth a reported $52 million.
"Alshon has been a tremendous addition to this organization on and off the field," the Eagles said in a statement. "We place a priority on making sure we are able to build the team around quality players like Alshon who embrace this team and this city the way he has. We are excited about his future here."
The deal reportedly includes $27 million in guarantees for Jeffery, who is still just 27 years old and presumably entering the prime of his career.
"First of all I just want to thank Jeffrey Lurie and the entire Eagles organization," Jeffery said in a statement. "Like I said the other day, I love it here. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to play for this organization and for these fans. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and now I'm looking forward to being here for a long time. We have a great group here and I'm excited to be a part of it."
Jeffery was a surprise free agent last offseason when the Bears declined to use the franchise tag on him. The Eagles would eventually scoop him up on a one-year deal that cost them just $8 million. It was a smart foray into free agency with minimal risk.
The big wideout, who was a second-round pick by Chicago out of South Carolina, has not exploded for the Eagles this season, but he is producing a quality stat line on a regular basis and has picked up the pace as of late.
Through 11 games, Jeffery has 43 catches (on 89 targets) for 617 yards. But the big number is the touchdown total: seven on the season in just 11 games. Between Jeffery and tight end Zach Ertz, Wentz has a filthy combo of red-zone weapons at his disposal.
Suffice to say, the Eagles quarterback is pretty excited about the move -- it locks up a young, talented, rebound receiver with a young, talented quarterback for the next half decade.
The Eagles have emerged as the top contender for the Super Bowl in a crowded NFC, shooting out to a 10-1 record (they'll play at Seattle on Sunday night in a critical playoff matchup, with a chance to clinch the NFC East). A big reason why is the development of Wentz, and his progress has been expedited by the addition of multiple weapons this offseason.
Philadelphia is difficult to stop because of the depth and variety of the weapons they have on offense. Locking up Wentz will continue to make them a dangerous opponent to stop for the next several years.