The Philadelphia Eagles made a splash on Thursday by signing wide receiver Alshon Jeffery. With the market perhaps not quite what Jeffery was expecting, he ended up taking a one-year deal for significant money.
Terms: one year, $14 million
ESPN 150 ranking: 3
Grade: B. Considering the contracts that Pierre Garcon (reported $23 million over the first two years), DeSean Jackson (reported around $11.5 million per year), Kenny Stills ($8 million per year) and Kenny Britt ($8.1 million average) ended up with, Jeffery's numbers aren't totally out of whack. Still, it's a big number to add to the cap for a team that might not be ready to contend for a Super Bowl in 2017.
What it means: Quarterback Carson Wentz is a happy man. Earlier in the day, the Eagles gave him his speedy receiver in Torrey Smith. Ideally, they wanted a big target working opposite their burner. Jeffery (6-foot-3, 216 pounds) certainly gives them that. He has an outstanding catch radius and will win more of his share of 50-50 balls. Jeffery had just one drop on 92 targets last season, per ESPN Stats & Information. He will help move the sticks consistently and should be an excellent red zone target for Wentz.
What’s the risk? While the abilities are obvious, there are some questions with Jeffery. He was suspended four games last season for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances and finished with 52 catches for 821 yards and two touchdowns. Jeffery has been hampered by injuries some of late, missing 11 games over the last two seasons. The Eagles have expressed a desire to build through the draft, yet opted to go for one of the top-end free agents in this case. If the Eagles were on the cusp of contending for a Super Bowl, this would be a no-brainer. The fact that they are considered multiple years away from that status makes the move a little more curious.