The Eagles have a wide-receiver problem. Everyone has known it for weeks. Now their head coach has admitted it, too.
On Monday, head coach Doug Pederson gave a widely forthcoming press conference where he discussed everything from rushing DeSean Jackson back too soon to evaluating Alshon Jeffery’s recent drops. Perhaps the biggest takeaway came in his comments regarding the wide receivers on the Eagles’ roster. Pederson downright called it a “real” problem, an even bigger one now with Jackson lost for an extended period.
“At this point it’s something we’ll take a look at. We have to take a look at it, obviously. It’s real.” Pederson told reporters. “We’re sort of at the halfway point, a little over a game over the halfway point of our season and we have time this week to make these decisions.”
Eagles Have Underwhelming Options at Wide Receiver
Now that the Eagles have officially deemed production at the receiver position a problem, what can they do about it? Is there anyone else out there to bring in? Remember, the team chose not to go after Josh Gordon after the Patriots released him.
The list is extremely underwhelming, but there are options on the free-agent market. In fact, Eagles fans had Jordan Matthews trending on Twitter on Monday afternoon.
Let’s examine the list here:
Yes, Matthews remains a legitimate option due to his insane chemistry with Carson Wentz. Look, no one is expecting the former second-round pick to come in and be the second coming of Jerry Rice — ironically, the Hall-of-Fame receiver is his cousin — but the guy has proven to be a sem-reliable commodity. He can’t replace DeSean Jackson’s speed. No one can. However, Matthews does something very well that the Eagles’ current crop of pass-catchers can’t do: catch the darn ball. The team could do a lot worse than taking a flier on a guy already with experience playing in the Eagles’ offense.
Crabtree isn’t an ideal fit because he has long been known for dropping the football. It’s an epidemic this organization doesn’t need spreading any further. Not after Alshon Jeffery’s dismal showing. However, the 10-year veteran has flashed big-play potential throughout his career. He has 637 career receptions for 7,499 yards and 54 receiving touchdowns.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pounder was released by the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 10 after struggling to regain his speed following a sprained ankle in the second preseason game. Nelson had an encouraging training camp and everyone was excited about him as a down-the-field threat, especially after losing Antonio Brown. However, Nelson couldn’t get back to 100-percent. Would it be worth a workout? Sure. Nelson is only two years removed from a season in which he had 508 receiving yards.
The merits and risks of signing the former Cowboys diva have been well-documented in this space. Bryant, who hasn’t played in a real game since 2017, looks to be in football shape from the videos and photos posted to his social media accounts. His numbers are borderline — very, very borderline — Hall-of-Fame worthy after making 531 career receptions for 7,459 yards and 73 touchdowns. Can Bryant be trusted? Probably not.
Does he have anything left in the tank? Benjamin was once a promising first-round pick taken by Carolina in 2014. He was off to a stellar start with 1,949 receiving yards in his first two seasons, then an ACL tear stopped him dead in his tracks. Carolina traded him to Buffalo (and he took it personally). Benjamin was never the same after the injury and made 25 catches for 380 yards and one touchdown over 15 games for Buffalo and Kansas City.
There was a stretch where Garcon was a rising star, making a name for himself catching touchdowns from Peyton Manning in Indianapolis. Then, he inked a lucrative deal with the Redskins and led the entire NFL in receptions with 113 in 2013. Garcon racked up 4,459 total receiving yards in Washington but they released him after the 2016 season. He went to San Francisco where chronic knee issues hindered him for two years and brought his career to a sudden halt. The 33-year-old may still be unable to run at top speed.
No, not happening. Everyone knows the Eagles don’t willingly take on unnecessary headaches. Even Brown himself knows it. But the name gets floated out here because of Philly fans on Twitter. They love the idea.
No. It’s still not happening despite the Eagles’ desperation.
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