Eagles Attempted to Trade Top WR in 2019: Report

Alshon Jeffery

Getty Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery has a whopping five dropped passes this season, but the team still has confidence in him.

Alshon Jeffery remains on the Eagles’ roster and the ever-changing consensus is the receiver will be on the team in 2020.

But, a new report suggests that Philadelphia tried to move the mercurial pass-catcher last year about a month after the Eagles restructured Jeffery’s contract. According to The Inquirer‘s Jeff McLane, Jeffery was put on the trading block last October after a poor performance in Week 7. The receiver recorded just two catches for 38 yards in that game and left the field briefly with an undisclosed injury.

On Tuesday, McLane elaborated on the volatile situation:

It didn’t take long before Howie Roseman realized that he had made a mistake when he guaranteed Alshon Jeffery’s salary for 2020 just before last season.

The Eagles general manager began actively shopping Jeffery about a month later, NFL sources told The Inquirer, as the wide receiver’s production waned, his injuries mounted, and he became implicated as the anonymous source behind disparaging comments about the team to ESPN.

Jeffery had become aware that he was on the market and was troubled by the mixed messages he had received from the team, a source close to the receiver said.

Obviously, a trade was never worked out last season and the possibility of moving him this year seems slim. No team is going to want to inherit Jeffery’s $9.9 million contract for 2020, along with the $15.4 million cap hit attached to it. However, they could release him and pay a steep price. If the rift between the player and team has become this bad, borderline unrepairable, then the Eagles may have no choice.

Eagles May Use Post-June Designation to Cut Jeffery

Since a flat-out trade of Alshon Jeffery seems out of the question, then maybe the Eagles should just use the post-June 1 designation. By doing so, the Eagles could spread out his $26.1 million cap hit over two years and incur only $15.4 million in dead money for 2020. It’s not an ideal outcome but it may be necessary to simply close the chapter.

Of course, the Eagles could have done this last month — March 18, to be exact — when the new collective bargaining agreement went into effect. The fact that they didn’t make the move then (and that they still haven’t done it) seems to indicate the Eagles intend to bring him back in 2020. It’s not the worst idea in the world, not after the Eagles failed to attract any big-name receivers in free agency.

Jeffery will be returning from Lisfranc surgery and will likely miss training camp. He could miss the first few weeks of the regular season, too. That being said, Jeffery could be a valuable contributor. He was the team’s leading receiver in 2019 after catching 43 balls for 490 yards.

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Jason Kelce Explains ‘Working Relationship’ with Jeffery

Jason Kelce told SportsRadio 94WIP that he has a good “working relationship” with Alshon Jeffery and tried to provide background for how players deal with the media.

Remember, Jeffery was the controversial “anonymous source” for some disparaging comments. It’s important to note that the Pro-Bowl center was talking in hypotheticals and not commenting specifically on Jeffery’s situation. Players need to be on constant alert.

“The way the media has free access to the locker room, the way the media tries to buddy up to a lot of people and act like they are your friends,” Kelce told Angelo Cataldi. “This type of stuff happens all over the place and it’s not just players. There’s unnamed sources coming from the front office. There’s unnnamed sources coming from coaches. This is something that is very common in the NFL.”

Kelce went on to say that he had no conversations with Jeffery about him being an unnamed source last year. However, he did admit that these things often happen during the course of a 16-game season. Especially when the team is losing.

“During the course of a struggling season, it’s easy to get a false sense of security with someone [reporters] you might think you have more of a working relationship with than you actually do,” Kelce said. “Or you’re just flat-out doing it for selfish reasons to try and further the narrative that you’re not the reason that the season isn’t going well.”

Again, Kelce was speaking in general terms but the use of the words “selfish” and “working relationship” certainly raised some red flags. The Eagles may be wise to just bite the financial bullet and move on from Jeffery.

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