The Philadelphia Eagles have signed free agent wide receiver Markus Wheaton to a one-year contract, according to an official announcement from the team. The news was first reported by the Inquirer’s Zach Berman.
Wheaton, 27, measures in at 5-11, 189 pounds. He was originally selected by the Steelers in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Wheaton is a player BGN mentioned as a potential Eagles target in free agency last year when Philadelphia was very desperate for wide receiver help. Here’s what we wrote at the time.
Wheaton seemed to be an ascending player before last season. Check out his stats.
2013 - 6 receptions, 64 yards, 0 TD
2014 - 53 receptions, 644 yards, 2 TD
2015 - 44 receptions, 749 yards, 5 TD
2016 - 4 receptions, 51 yards, 1 TD
Wheaton suffered a shoulder injury last year and was placed on injured reserve in November.
It looks like Wheaton is out in Pittsburgh because the Steelers don’t even have the room for him. The Eagles might want to gamble on his upside, especially if he doesn’t cost too much.
Despite the Eagles showing interest in him, Wheaton ultimately signed a two-year, $11 million contract worth $6 million guaranteed with the Bears
Wheaton clearly did not live up to the expectations of his deal in Chicago. He only managed to log three receptions for 51 yards on 17 total targets and played on just 19.1% of the Bears’ offensive snaps. That’s bad. And this happened on a team that arguably had the worst wide receiving corps in the NFL. Chicago ended up releasing Wheaton earlier this offseson.
The Eagles are mostly set at wide receiver with a top four of Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, Nelson Agholor, and Mack Hollins. There will be competition for the fifth and sixth (?) spots, however. It doesn’t hurt to take a no-risk flyer on Wheaton, who also has some kick returning experience.
Note that Wheaton does not count towards the Eagles’ compensatory pick formula since he was cut by the Bears.
Spider graph via Mockdraftable: