While adding a top tier wideout probably won’t be a top priority for the Eagles front office this offseason, they’ll more than likely dabble in wideout market during free agency. The top guys (i.e. Davante Adams, Allen Robinson) are less likely than fans would like to believe, but the team will have the cap to sign a mid-level wideout to help complement their young core of pass catchers.
The Eagles already have two receivers to build around, DeVonta Smith and Quez Watkins. The duo hauled in 107 receptions for 1,563 yards and six touchdowns combined in 2021. Jalen Reagor still leaves a lot to be desired, but chances are he’ll have at least one more season to prove himself.
If Howie Roseman decides to bring in a free agent wideout, he’ll likely look for two types of skill sets. Either a big bodied possession receiver, or a proven slot operator.
Here are five free agent receivers that would make sense for the Eagles this offseason.
Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers
After a few up-and-down seasons, Mike Williams finally put it all together in 2021. He finished the season with career highs in targets (129), receptions (76), and receiving yards (1,146). Williams also found the end zone nine times and averaged 15.1 yards per reception.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Williams is really the perfect complement to the Eagles current crop of wideouts. He’s a red zone nightmare for defenses and would give Jalen Hurts a reliable option in contested situations. He’s still in the prime of his career as well — he’ll be 27 years old heading into next season.
Williams will be looking for a long-term deal and the Eagles will have the cap space to give him that. Pro Football Focus projects his contract to come out to four-years, $17M per year. That’s a bit much, especially considering all the other needs this team faces. Nevertheless, if Howie is able to acquire him for a more friendly deal, he shouldn’t hesitate to bring him in.
Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals
If the Eagles are looking for a more reliable slot receiver, look no further than Christian Kirk. Despite being in a loaded wide receiver room, Kirk put forth his best season to date in 2021, hauling in 77 receptions for 982 yards and five touchdowns.
Kirk spent about 77% of his offensive snaps working out of the slot this year and the numbers prove it was a smart transition. Standing at 5-foot-11 with 4.3 speed, he’s the perfect archetype of an NFL slot receiver. He’s also just 25 years old, so he could be a long-term solution for this Eagles pass offense.
D.J. Chark Jr., Jacksonville Jaguars
D.J. Chark is essentially a far cheaper version of Mike Williams. He’s a 6-foot-4 route runner who possesses 4.3 speed. After suffering an ankle injury in Week 4, Chark was sidelined for the remainder of the 2021 season, but he was a very productive pass catcher in the two years prior.
He earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2019 after going over 1,000 receiving yards and he followed that up with a 700-yard campaign the next season. At just 25 years old, Chark will likely have multiple suitors on the open market. The apparent need for a big bodied receiver could persuade Chark to join Philly. He’ll see an abundance of targets while the Eagles attempt to open up their passing game more.
Jamison Crowder, New York Jets
If the Eagles are looking for more of a stop-gap guy in the slot, Jamison Crowder would make a lot of sense. He had a down year in 2021 and will enter next year at 29 years of age, meaning he’ll likely cost a lot less than some of these other options.
Crowder is as reliable as they come in slot, dropping just four passes on 135 targets since 2020. He’s proven to be a very productive player when he sees a nice target share, he was just placed in an anemic Jets offense this past season, which ultimately hurt his output.
With the Eagles, he would slot right in as the No. 3 receiver in Nick Sirianni’s offense and provide the young receivers room with a nice veteran presence.
Zach Pascal, Indianapolis Colts
Given his ties to Sirianni from their time shared in Indianapolis, Zach Pascal could be the most realistic option on this list. He’s not an overly productive player, but he’s reliable and would be a nice addition.
Pascal was faded out of the Colts offense a bit this year with the emergence of Michael Pittman Jr. and their heavy reliance on the running game. In the two years prior to 2021, Pascal averaged over 40 receptions and 600 yards, while totaling 10 touchdowns.
The Eagles may not view receiver as a top need this offseason. If that’s the case, bringing in a guy who’s familiar with the system and can provide veteran depth at a position dominated by young guys makes sense. Plus, he’ll probably be very cheap compared to most of the receivers on this list.
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