This morning we reviewed the performance of the Eagles’ wide receivers in 2016. They were, as you might recall, historically awful. This is widely acknowledged. And it would seem the Eagles’ leadership knows this, and plans on addressing the position accordingly during the offseason.
Yesterday, ESPN’s Adam Caplan joined 97.5 The Fanatic and conversed for a little over 10 minutes about the Eagles’ plans for the offseason.
One section of the conversation stuck out more than the rest (and h/t @comedreamwitme1 for pointing it out).
“I don’t think they’re counting on anyone other than Jordan Matthews to play at the wide receiver position,” Caplan said, around the 7:15 mark. “You might see Matthews and then three new receivers. They’re going to figure this thing out. They’ve got a lot of work to do here.”
Three new receivers? The team isn’t counting on anyone other than Jordan Matthews to play at wide receiver? That would be a big change.
There is certainly flexibility in Caplan’s words. He says we “might” see Matthews and then three new receivers. This isn’t a concrete report by any means. But the way he phrases that sentence, immediately following his saying he doesn’t think the team is counting on anyone outside of Matthews to play wideout for the team next year, begs the question: does Caplan know something about the team’s plans for Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor?
Cutting Agholor, as has been discussed ad nauseam, is not financially favorable. Caplan himself discussed this later in the conversation.
“Nelson Agholor, to me, is a fourth wide receiver with some upside,” Caplan said. “He’s got two years left on his contract. His base salary is $1.28 million, cap number is manageable, under $3 million. Not that big, but there’s some dead money. The Eagles historically don’t like to take dead money. He’s not a starter. I think we all know that.”
The Eagles pared back Agholor’s role as the season progressed this season, and even if they don’t get rid of him (although I’m sure they would love to trade him), relegating Agholor to the No. 4 wide receiver position and ridding themselves of Green-Beckham (who can be cut with no dead money), Paul Turner (a practice squad-level receiver), and Bryce Treggs (same as Turner) would open room for three new receivers on the 53-man roster, which would line up with Caplan’s quasi-speculation here.
This is obviously a blog post born out of offseason straw-grasping, but when someone as knowledgeable and connected as Caplan speaks, you listen. Don’t be surprised if, with the team’s new wide receivers coach, the Eagles also have lots of new personnel at the position come this summer.