There are two big elephants in the Eagles’ nest that no one wants to talk about. Well, no one except GM Howie Roseman.
Both Alshon Jeffery and Malcolm Jenkins are inching closer to contract disputes, but for different reasons. Jenkins has gone on record saying he “won’t be back” on his current deal. Despite being under team control until 2021, Jenkins has asked for a pay raise from the four-year, $35 million contract he signed in 2016. He’s the 11th-highest-paid safety in the league.
On Wednesday, Roseman wouldn’t comment on any contract negotiations but made sure to compliment the Eagles’ defensive leader.
“I mean, what an incredible Eagle. What an incredible player. What an incredible person he is. And has been for us,” Roseman told reporters. “But after that, you know, obviously, we’ll just kind of keep those conversations between us.”
Meanwhile, Jeffery has two years left on the four-year, $52 million deal he inked in 2017. His season-ending Lisfranc sprain has already put the start of his 2020 season in jeopardy, and there have been increasing calls for the team to move on from the sometimes disgruntled receiver. Cutting ties with Jeffery would put the Eagles on the hook for about $26.1 million in dead cap space.
Roseman credited Jeffery’s contributions in the Super Bowl and reminded everyone that Jeffery took a pay cut last year, taking more guaranteed money upfront. The restructured contract allowed the Eagles to create cap flexibility moving forward and hopefully add additional talent in free agency.
“Alshon is a talented player and he loves being an Eagle and he loves this city,” Roseman said. “I think we forget some of the contributions to our team that Alshon has had: during our Super Bowl year, the injury he played with not missing a game and the contributions in that Super Bowl game, and last year  he had 11 catches during the playoffs, and even this year in his last game he had nine catches for over 130 yards in the Miami game.”
Roseman Addresses Passing on DK Metcalf in NFL Draft
It’s the storyline that won’t go away. The Eagles took J.J. Arcega-Whiteside at No. 57 in the draft, exactly seven spots ahead of DK Metcalf. Missed opportunity, right?
Maybe not. On Wednesday, GM Howie Roseman shed light on what went into that decision. He seemed to imply that there were some red flags with Metcalf, either in terms of character or medical history. He was speaking in general terms but it was pretty clear that Arcega-Whiteside better fit the mold of the Eagles’ organization.
“We take a lot of factors into account — not just talking about DK — whether it’s medical, whether it’s character, whether it’s production, whether it’s fit,” Roseman said. “There are a lot of guys who are going to be drafted later than we pick that are going to end up being good players.”
Then, Roseman pointed out that there were three rookie receivers this year who never had more than 40 catches in a college season. Those guys were DK Metcalf, Terry McLaurin and Darius Slayton. His point was sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story and the front office will take that into consideration.
Arcega-Whiteside had 111 catches over his last two years at Stanford while Metcalf only had 67 total receptions for his entire college career.
“Is that a factor for us when we look at college production and we kind of see how important that is to us, do we have to go back and look at that? And I think we do,” Roseman said.
Adding insult to missed opportunity was the fact Metcalf tallied 10 catches for 195 yards and one touchdown in two games versus Philadelphia. He set an NFL rookie record for most receiving yards in a playoff debut in the Seahawks’ 17-9 victory over the Eagles in their wild-card playoff game.
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