The Philadelphia Eagles’ wide receiver corps is not in good shape.
As it currently stands, the Eagles are without three of their top four receivers; Alshon Jeffery, Mike Wallace, and Mack Hollins are all injured.
Jeffery’s return is on the horizon, though it’s unclear if he’ll be ready for Week 3. Wallace, meanwhile, suffered a “potentially season-ending” ankle injury on Sunday. Hollins isn’t eligible to return from injured reserve until after Week 8 at the earliest.
It’s clear the Eagles need help at the receiver position. The team can’t just trot out 29-year-old journeyman Kamar Aiken for 64 snaps on a weekly basis and expected to win. Shelton Gibson and DeAndre Carter don’t appear to be viable full-time players, either.
So, what should the Eagles do? Let’s examine their options.
JOSH GORDON - I already wrote a bunch of words on the cases both for and against pursuing Gordon. Since I wrote that post, however, the Eagles’ receiver outlook got even worse. Flash makes a lot of sense for what the Eagles need in the field-stretching department right now. I still think Gordon is unreliable, and the price to acquire him needs to account for that, but it could be worth a shot. Unfortunately his hamstring injury adds another layer of uncertainty to the situation. (Hey, remember when the Eagles reportedly turned down a Browns offer of Gordon for Nick Foles back in 2013?)
DEVANTE PARKER - Parker was a surprise scratch for the Dolphins’ Sunday game against the Jets. The 2015 first-round pick has been dealing with a broken finger but he said he felt he was healthy enough to play. Perhaps Adam Gase has soured on Parker not unlike he did with Jay Ajayi last year. Howie Roseman should call up Mike Tannenbaum to check up on the situation. Parker, 25, has 139 career receptions for 1,908 yards (13.7 average) and eight touchdowns.
DEZ BRYANT - A number of fans have been clamoring for the former Cowboys receiver. I’d be pretty surprised if the Eagles sign him, though. There are a number of issues here. First, Bryant probably wants more money than the Eagles are willing to offer. Bryant reportedly turned down deals in the $6 million per year range earlier this offseason. Second, I don’t think the Eagles are eager to add Bryant to their locker room dynamic. Third, are we even sure Bryant is that good anymore? He averaged a career-low 12.1 yards per reception in 2017, though a timid Dak Prescott certainly wasn’t doing him favors in that regard. It is worth noting that the Eagles employ Bryant’s college position coach, Gunter Brewer. Ultimately, I think the Eagles don’t go with Dez.
JEREMY MACLIN - Here’s a familiar name. The Eagles’ 2009 first-round pick, now 30 years old, is still on the market. The problem is that he suffered a hamstring injury while working out earlier this month. Maybe he’s healthy by now. Although his production has sharply declined in recent years, I could see the Eagles have interest in Maclin. Philadelphia reportedly made an effort to sign him last offseason before he ultimately chose to go to the Ravens instead. Maclin obviously has familiarity with Doug Pederson’s offense, which is plus.
KENNY BRITT - There’s a connection to Philadelphia here given that Eagles offensive coordinator Mike Groh was Britt’s receiver coach when he had a career year with the Rams in 2016. It sounds like the Patriots have interest in re-signing Britt, though.
JORDAN MATTHEWS - I don’t see this one happening. It’s unclear if JMatt is even healthy after suffering a hamstring tear last month. Plus he’s just not the kind of player this team needs right now. They need someone with deep speed, not another possession receiver. But Carson Wentz does love JMatt.
KENDALL WRIGHT - Another slot receiver type. I don’t think that’s what the Eagles are looking for right now, unless they want to put Wright in the slot and move Agholor to the outside more often.
BRESHAD PERRIMAN - The Eagles worked out the 2015 first-round pick last week. They chose to sign Aiken instead. Perriman is reportedly working out for Washington on Monday.
SHANE WYNN - Another player the Eagles worked out last week. He’s pretty small at only 5-6, 166 pounds.
BRAXTON MILLER — The Eagles signed Miller, 24, to their practice squad last week. Miller has some NFL experience since he’s played in 21 career games. But with only 34 receptions and 261 yards to his name, I’m not really sure the 2016 third-round pick offers the Eagles much of an upgrade over what they have now. Miller has theoretical upside, which isn’t nothing, but I don’t think adding him to the roster really moves the needle for the Eagles.
Gordon is the highest upside play for the Eagles. There’s obviously risk there, but the Eagles are desperate right now. It’d be great if Howie Roseman can find a way to offer some kind of conditional draft pick based on how many games Gordon plays.
With other teams potentially in the market for Gordon, though, the price might be too high. If that’s the case, Maclin could end up being the more realistic option for the Eagles here. Again, he knows the scheme and he fits the mold of the player they could use.
What say you?