A quick glance at Nick Sirianni’s first coaching staff reveals an affinity for familiarity. The majority of his assistants have worked with him at some point in his short career in the professional ranks.
So when news broke that the Las Vegas Raiders intend to cut receiver Tyrell Williams at the start of the new league year (March 17), the arrows immediately pointed at the Philadelphia Eagles as potential suitors. For starters, Williams enjoyed his two best seasons under Sirianni in San Diego. He made 69 receptions for 1,059 yards and seven touchdowns in 2016, all career-highs, while racking up 43 catches for 728 yards and four touchdowns in 2017. Sirianni was the wide receivers coach for the Chargers during that two-year span.
The #Raiders plan to release WR Tyrell Williams at the start of the league year next month, per source. Williams missed the entire 2020 season because of a shoulder injury that required surgery, but should be fully healthy in 2-3 weeks. He’s still only 28.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 11, 2021
In fact, Williams went on record in 2016 to credit Sirianni for his breakout campaign. He admitted to being “lazy” in practice before the young position coach came in and gave him the business.
“You can’t come out to practice and take any plays off,” Williams told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “He’s always on you. … It keeps me focused. I kind of got rid of that (issue) in college, but just to make sure none of that has come back has been a big help for me.”
Chargers WR Tyrell Williams was the second most productive player from the slot in 2016. pic.twitter.com/VnZ9OmmXiX
— PFF (@PFF) June 26, 2017
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Eagles Could Use Reliable Veteran WR
The Eagles are ready to embark on a youth movement at the skill positions no matter what happens with Carson Wentz. They invested three draft picks last year in wide receiver — Jalen Reagor, John Hightower, Quez Watkins — and time is running out on veterans Alshon Jeffery (30) and DeSean Jackson (34). Both players are expected to be either released or traded.
Meanwhile, that leaves Philly pretty devoid of veteran leadership at wide receiver. The average age at the position will be 23.6 for a group that includes Reagor, Hightower, Watkins, along with Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. Let’s keep Marquise Goodwin off the depth chart because the team may decide to move on after his opt-out year.
Tyrell Williams is a TD machine!
— NFL (@NFL) October 27, 2019
Williams just turned 29 on Friday so he bridges the gap between young and old, inexperienced versus seasoned. He could play a vital role in developing the younger guys depending on his salary demands. Williams made $11 million in base salary, per Spotrac, last year in Las Vegas. However, his market value should be way down after missing the entire 2020 season with a torn labrum.
Tyrell Williams having himself a game 💪
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) September 10, 2019
And … Just Say No to J.J. Watt
It seems a few Eagles players were urging the front office to make a play for Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt. Starting right tackle Lane Johnson used the “shifty eyes” emoji on Twitter to indicate he was “all-in” on Watt while Reagor chimed in with a now-deleted “yes” comment on a SportsCenter tweet asking “where do you want to see J.J. Watt sign?” Interesting … but no, unequivocally no.
— Lane Johnson (@LaneJohnson65) February 12, 2021
Making a play for Watt makes zero sense. Number one, he’s leaving Houston to go win a championship ring and the Eagles are nowhere near another Super Bowl run. Watt is also going to want more than the veteran’s minimum and the coffers are near empty in Philly. He’s a future Hall of Famer who still recorded five sacks in 2020 despite noticeably losing a step. He’ll be a valuable piece somewhere. Not here.
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