Alshon Jeffery Gets Surprising Grade in Key Statistical Category

Alshon Jeffery

Getty Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery still has two years left on his contract and could miss the start of training camp.

Alshon Jeffery is reportedly set to be a huge part of the Eagles’ offense in 2020. This surprising statistic should inspire even more confidence.

Jeffery will be looking to lock down a starting spot opposite DeSean Jackson following his return from foot surgery. He’s expected to start the year on the PUP list but could return in Week 3 or Week 4, maybe earlier depending on how his rehab goes.

And the Eagles are counting on the 30-year-old to be a key weapon in the red zone. According to Pro Football Focus, Jeffery boasts the second-best receiving grade in the red zone since 2017. His 83.0 grade ranks only behind the Packers’ Davante Adams (91.2) over the past three seasons. Jeffery bested two very impressive names on the list, including the Saints’ Michael Thomas (81.2) and the Bills’ Stefon Diggs (79.5).

In addition, Jeffery’s rate of raw targets ranked in the top-10 in the entire league in 2019. He was targeted on 24.1-percent of his passing routes last season (69 targets on 286 routes run). Yes, there has been drama surrounding Jeffery, not to mention injury and contract concerns, but he remains a valuable piece on offense.

“Alshon’s done extremely well this offseason with his rehab,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson told reporters earlier this month. “Obviously there’s no timetable for him right now, just focus on rehab and get strong. He’s a big part of our offense and we do plan to have him in the offense at some point. If there’s a couple of games there where he’s not ready then we’re not going to put him out there and just wait for him to get healthy.”

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Lisfranc Foot Injury Kills Jeffery’s Trade Value

One of the most hotly-debated topics this offseason has been whether the Eagles should trade Jeffery. Or, if the team could even find a willing trading partner considering his rehab from Lisfranc surgery.

The short answer is no. The Eagles would be on the hook for roughly $15.4 million in 2020 and $10.6 million in 2021 if they chose to release the injured receiver. Pile on the $9.91 million that Jeffery is due in base salary and he’s damn near immovable. Former NFL agent Joel Corry said Jeffery is at a “crossroads” in his career and wrote the following:

There have been numerous reports of a strained relationship with quarterback Carson Wentz. Jeffery’s contract and his December surgery for a Lisfranc foot injury may be the only things keeping on the Eagles’ roster. The injury kills his trade value, and cutting him is cost prohibitive because a 2019 contract restructure fully guaranteed his $9.91 million 2020 base salary. Although the Eagles would have $15,396,500 and 10,609,500 salary cap charges in 2020 and 2021 by releasing Jeffery, skepticism about him being in Philadelphia this season exists.

Of course, maybe that’s not a bad thing. Philadelphia stocked up on youth at the position and keeping a veteran voice in the locker room may pay huge dividends. That’s assuming that the talk of his strained relationship with Carson Wentz has been overblown. Earlier this offseason, both Eagles GM Howie Roseman and Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro downplayed any issues between Jeffery and the starting quarterback. Everyone expects him to be a “major part” of the offense.

“This guy wants to win world championships in Philly,” Roseman said of Jeffery. “He has told me recently how much he wants to win, for our fans and for our city. He has had those same conversations with other people in the building. It is important for him to be a Philadelphia Eagle.”

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