The rumor more than two years in the making is about to become a reality. The Philadelphia Eagles are planning to release wide receiver Alshon Jeffery on the same day DeSean Jackson hit the waiver wire.
Jeffery’s release was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The move is far from a surprise, borderline not even newsworthy since the franchise has been trying to part ways with him going back to last year’s trade deadline. Jeffery leaves town with 171 receptions for 2,237 yards and 20 touchdowns in four seasons in midnight green. His most memorable play was arguably that 34-yard scoring strike from Nick Foles in Super Bowl LII.
The decision to keep Jeffery on the active roster versus saving a roster spot and putting him on the injured reserve list was a hotly-debated issue all year. And team owner Jeffrey Lurie brought Jeffery up by name in his end-of-year remarks when he defended general manager Howie Roseman’s “short-term decision making.”
“There was a lot of short-term decision-making and allocation of resources that gave us probably a slightly better chance to go back to the Super Bowl in 2018 and 2019,” Lurie told reporters on Jan. 11. “You know, again, we were probably, without focusing on one person, an Alshon [Jeffery] reception [away] from getting back to the [NFC] Championship Game the next season; 2019 back in the playoffs and our quarterback got hurt.”
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Jeffery’s release saves roughly $7.9 million in salary-cap space while incurring a $10.5 million dead-cap charge. And parting ways with Jackson saved approximately $5.1 million and left a $5.8 million dead-cap charge. This could be the start of a massive exodus for the Eagles. Players like Derek Barnett, Zach Ertz, Mailk Jackson, Jason Kelce, Marquise Goodwin have all been mentioned as possible cut victims.
One thing working in Roseman’s favor will be a higher-than-expected floor for the salary cap. The NFL upgraded the value from $175 million to $180 million, great news for the Eagles who own the second-worst salary cap situation in football with a $42.9 million deficit.
“Obviously since we found out around April, kind of the floor for the cap, we’ve been planning on that,” Roseman told reporters on Jan. 4. “None of this is a surprise. We’ve had a lot of time to go through it and we’ll be prepared for whatever it is.”
Looking at 2021 Home/Away Opponents
The Eagles officially released their home-and-away opponents for the 2021 season last month. The most notable games are home dates against Tom Brady and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as well as one versus Andy Reid and the Super Bowl runner-up Kansas City Chiefs.
They’ll also travel to Detroit to take on former assistant coach Duce Staley and the Lions, while getting a weekend getaway in Las Vegas to face former receiver Nelson Agholor and the Raiders.
How about the Indianapolis Colts? Not this year. Frank Reich and Carson Wentz will be on the schedule in 2022 when the Eagles go out to Indianapolis. Start booking your hotels now.