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NFL Free Agency Rumors: Eagles connected to Pierre Garcon again

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Backup plan?

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Roughly a month ago, the Washington Post reported the Philadelphia Eagles are one of multiple teams expected to have interest in impending free agent wide receiver Pierre Garçon. Now Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com is also reporting the Eagles won’t mind signing Garçon if the team is unable to sign DeSean Jackson.

The possibility of DeSean Jackson returning to the Philadelphia Eagles has captured most of the headlines but I’m told the team would also be content with Pierre Garcon if Jackson resigns with the Redskins or his price tag is out of reach. The bottom line is Philadelphia wants to come out of free agency and the draft with weapons for Carson Wentz.

Pauline isn’t one of the big name NFL insiders like Adam Schefter, Ian Rapoport, etc. but he’s had some good Eagles information in the past. Pauline, who has done work for the team’s official site in the past, nailed the Eagles’ interest in Byron Maxwell in 2015. He also had good intel last year about the Eagles wanting to trade up in the 2016 NFL Draft. So Pauline’s report about Garçon is certainly worth noting.

It’s also worth noting the Eagles have a coaching staff connection to Garçon (hat tip to CBS Sports). Philadelphia offensive coordinator Frank Reich was his position coach with Indianapolis in 2011 when Garçon had the best season of his career at that time. Reich, who held other positions before becoming the WR coach, and Garçon overlapped with the Colts from 2008-2011.

Despite having a productive career, Garçon hasn’t been generating a ton of free agency buzz. Rotoworld ranks him as the eighth best receiver on the market. SB Nation ranks the veteran pass catcher as the 45th best free agent while PFT has him at 49th.

Garçon, who turns 31 in August, is coming off a season in Washington where he caught 79 receptions for 1,014 and three touchdowns. Football Outsiders’ metrics had him as the 10th best receiver in 2016. Pro Football Focus, meanwhile, graded him eighth out of 115 players at his position (Nelson Agholor was unsurprisingly No. 115, by the way).

Garçon’s only other 1,000-plus receiving season was in 2013 when he had 113 catches for 1,346 yards and five scores. Garçon has averaged 62 receptions for 785 yards (12.6 yards per reception) and four touchdowns since being selected by the Colts in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.

Does Garçon make sense for the Eagles? I don’t think it would be a bad signing depending on the price. The Eagles shouldn’t be looking to break the bank for Garçon, but there’s little question he’d upgrade Philadelphia’s terrible receiving corps.

Based on Pauline’s report, it sounds like Garçon could be a backup plan for the Eagles. That sounds about right. Philadelphia should have their targets set on other targets (Alshon Jeffery, Kenny Britt) before rushing to sign Garçon.