The folks over at The MMQB put together a pretty cool feature about what it’s like to be Adam Schefter on the first day of free agency. The MMQB’s Tim Rohan followed sport media’s premier NFL insider around and recorded a timeline of Schefter’s entire day. Definitely go check the whole thing out.
Part of the feature included a tidbit about the Eagles’ big free agency signing: Alshon Jeffery. As it turns out, Jeffery was on the phone with Schefter a few hours before the new league year officially began.
In the middle of Schefter’s flurry of calls, Alshon Jeffery (49 Markman points) rings him, wanting to know how much money the other free-agent receivers are making. Players sometimes contact Schefter with questions like this because he likely has that information even if he hasn’t reported it, as is the case here. Indeed, as they talk Schefter receives a text saying that Torrey Smith will be signing with the Eagles.
Schefter goes through the contract numbers on Smith, Jackson and Pierre Garçon, slowly, so Jeffery can apparently write them down. “It’s all about the guarantee, Alshon,” Schefter says. “It’s all about the guarantee … Your average per year could be $100 million. It doesn’t matter. If they’re going to guarantee you the majority of the contract, that’s what you want.”
Schefter asks where Jeffery is going. Jeffery doesn’t have an answer yet. Schefter asks that Jeffery notify him when he does make a decision and leaves the conversation at that.
After he hangs up, Schefter explains that he helps players like that “hoping that they reciprocate. Some people do, and some people don’t. And we’re going to find out.”
Jeffery didn’t end up calling Schefter back, but the receiver did inform the reporter’s colleague, ESPN’s Josina Anderson, instead. I wouldn’t have guessed Jeffery was so involved in the process. I figured that’s something his agent would be handling instead. Cool look behind the curtain here.
After reading this tidbit about Jeffery, I can’t help but wonder if the advice Schefter gave him influenced his decision to sign a one-year deal with the Eagles. It’s not like Schefter directly told Jeffery to go to Philadelphia, but his suggestion about seeking guaranteed money aligned with what the Eagles were offering. Jeffery reportedly turned down multi-year deals in order to earn $9.5 million guaranteed in one season with the Eagles. By betting on himself, Jeffery has the opportunity to potentially earn a lot more guaranteed money next offseason if he has a strong year in 2017.
Whether Schefter’s advice ultimately factored into Jeffery’s decision remains to be seen. Jeffery insists the presence of young quarterback Carson Wentz was a big factor in his decision to sign with the Eagles. Jeffery says he truly believes Wentz can be the NFL MVP one day.
UPDATE: Alshon denies he sought advice from Schefter. Which is weird because The MMQB was watching Schefter talk to him on the phone?
Let me set the record straight! I NEVER sought advice from media before I decided to sign my contract with the Eagles. The lies people tell!— Alshon Jeffery (@TheWorldof_AJ) March 23, 2017