We’re nearly 48 hours into the new league year and the Philadelphia Eagles have yet to add to their wide receiver room. Time to panic? Probably not, but you aren’t wrong to feel anxious.
I don’t need to set this up much further; we know the Eagles have to address the group, but what’s left? The following is a mix of six options that the Eagles should be in on, probably won’t be in on, and shouldn’t be in on from the remaining free agents.
BRESHAD PERRIMAN (6’2”, 215)
I’ve already pounded the table plenty for Perriman, who is my wide receiver of choice in free agency. Over the past two years he’s rehabilitated his game by showing the big play ability that made him a first round selection while also improving his hands and route running.
Perriman’s play and production down the stretch for Tampa Bay last year was among the best in the league. In the last five games, his 25 catches (11th), for 506 yards (2nd), 5 touchdowns (t-1st), and 2.53 yards per route run (7th) give hope that Perriman is on the verge of a break-out.
It’s a gamble given his history, but I’d hate to miss out on a big burner’s coming out party.
ROBBY ANDERSON (6’3”, 190)
With a loaded wide receiver class in the 2020 NFL Draft, free agent wideouts have experienced a soft market. As such, deep threats like Anderson have yet to find a home, possibly due to teams being unwilling to meet him at his asking price.
In the past four seasons, Anderson’s deep targets of over 20 yards ranks fourth in the league, and his average intended air yards per targets of 15.7 is higher than that of DeSean Jackson, per PFF. Anderson’s productivity hit a bump in the road after a solid 2017 campaign catching balls from Josh McCown (63-941-7), but pairing the deep threat with Carson Wentz would give him an enticing ceiling.
If it’s a buyer’s market at wide receiver, the Eagles should check out what kind of discount they could get on Anderson.
“I’ve made calls to virtually every source I have around the league ... It’s radio silence on the Robby Anderson front.— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 20, 2020
“No one’s heard of any team making a legitimate run at him.”
— #Jets beat reporter @Connor_J_Hugheshttps://t.co/0RAxcIHIiw
EMMANUEL SANDERS (5’11”, 180)
I don’t think the Eagles will look in Sanders’ direction due to his age (33), but I’m including him anyway because he’s still got good football left in the tank and there isn’t a whole lot out there to get excited about. I also included him because he may be coming to the division regardless.
The #Cowboys have expressed an interest in 2x Pro Bowler and former SMU wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders per a source informed. Sanders, last with the 49ers, trains in Dallas in the offseason and is equally interested in the #Cowboys I’m told.— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) March 18, 2020
Not only did Sanders return from an Achilles injury, but he also underwent “tight rope” surgery to repair his opposite ankle which had been bothering him for two years. A mid-season trade to the San Francisco 49ers aided his comeback tour, and in-all Sanders’ 66 receptions, 869 yards, and 5 touchdowns proves that sometimes old players are still in the league because they’re doggone good football players.
Scoff at his inclusion if you want, and the Eagles brass may be right with you, but Sanders can still play.
TAYLOR GABRIEL (5’8”, 165)
The pint-sized wideout suffered through two years of playing with Mitch Trubisky, so you can understand if he was unable to match his 2016 production in the dynamic Atlanta Falcons offense. He also suffered through two concussions last year, including a particularly nasty one that kept him out for the last five games of the season.
Gabriel recorded a blistering 4.27 40-yard dash at the Abilene Christian back in 2014 and reportedly was clocked moving at 24mph during a Bears practice, so there’s plenty of speed to work with if you’re utilizing him in a specialized role.
Gabriel probably won’t ever be the starting outside receiver that the Bears tried to make him, but he should end up being a solid WR4 in 2020.
DEMARCUS ROBINSON (6’1”, 203)
He’s an option, but not one I’m very interested in. The Eagles may see more in Robinson’s potential ceiling, but Robinson has yet to show exciting enough flashes to justify glossing over the weak points in his game.
A good chunk of Robinson’s 2019 production came in one game against the Raiders. If you watched that 6 reception, 172-yard, 2 touchdown performance and were sold, good on ya. I wasn’t.
NELSON AGHOLOR (6’0”, 198)
Hear me out... no.