The Philadelphia Eagles signed a number of one-year deals this offseason. I have my own detailed theory why these deals took place. At the surface level, however, the Eagles simply wanted to add some much-needed offensive talent to the roster.
Two of Philadelphia’s additions made ESPN’s list of the top 10 one-year deals signed this offseason. You can probably guess who made the list.
2. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
Maximum value: $14.5 million
Many anticipated Chicago using the franchise tag for the second straight year on Jeffery, but Jeffery landed in Philadelphia on a prove-it deal with $9 million in base salary and another $4.5 million tied to incentives.
When it comes to the average annual value of contracts for top-shelf wide receivers, the starting point has become $14 million. Dez Bryant, A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas are among the players right around that number. So Jeffery gets a deal close to the league's best receivers, while the Eagles don't have to commit past the 2017 season -- yet.
Jeffery gives Philly its best offensive playmaker and plenty of reasons for him to want to have his best season -- he could cash in next offseason. When healthy, the talent is apparent, but he has missed 11 games over the past two seasons.
Signing Jeffery to a one-year deal mitigates the injury and suspension risk that he carries. There’s always a chance these issues happen again down the road, but for now the Eagles will get a first-hand look at what Jeffery is like by having him in their building for at least one season. They’ll have more information on whether or not it’s a good idea to sign him to a long-term extension after this year is over.
It’ll be a no-brainer to pay Jeffery if he has a big year in 2017. Carson Wentz needs a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver and Jeffery has the makings of being that guy. Jeffery will be extremely motivated to have a great season because he’ll be able to cash in big.
The next Eagles player to make ESPN’s list isn’t in the same situation as Jeffery.
7. LeGarrette Blount, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
Maximum value: $2.8 million
Blount's free agency didn't go as expected, as interest in him was virtually nonexistent following a season in which he led the league with 18 rushing touchdowns. He wasn't the only running back who had to settle for a lesser deal, however. Blount eventually found a logical landing spot in Philadelphia, where he has a chance to repeat his 2016 success.
In Blount, an otherwise thin backfield found the player it can count on for goal-line, short-yardage and early-down work. He has second-level acceleration, and defenders don't enjoy tackling the physical finisher.
With the additions of Blount, Jeffery and Torrey Smith, a chunk of Philly's offseason was dedicated to helping Carson Wentz.
Blount was a nice veteran stop-gap addition for the Eagles in 2017 after the team failed to acquire a legitimate starting running back via the NFL Draft.
It’s hard to imagine he’ll be around in Philadelphia for long, though. Blount turns 31 this December. The 2018 NFL Draft figures to be loaded with running back talent. Blount figures to be a short-term piece who can ideally be replaced with a long-term fixture next offseason.
The nature behind these two deals differ greatly. In the case of Jeffery, the Eagles are hoping to establish a long-term piece at wide receiver. Blount’s situation is about the Eagles finding a short-term solution.
Philadelphia’s front office did a nice job of surrounding Wentz with talent for this upcoming season. Now they just need to make sure he has pieces for beyond 2017.