To the relief of many, Jalen Reagor is no longer a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Birds are trading their highly disappointing first-round pick from the 2020 NFL Draft to ... the Minnesota Vikings, of all teams! The club that greatly benefited from the Eagles taking Reagor so they could draft Justin Jefferson instead.
Here’s an overview of the trade terms.
EAGLES RECEIVE: 2023 seventh-round pick, 2024 fourth-round pick (can deescalate to fifth-round pick based on statistical production)
VIKINGS RECEIVE: Jalen Reagor
As far as I’m considered, that’s a heist by Howie Roseman.
Of course, the Eagles’ general manager can’t be praised here without also being criticized for selecting Reagor with the No. 21 overall pick in the first place. It’s hardly just hindsight analysis to say Reagor was a bad selection; there were real concerns that weren’t weighted seriously enough at the time.
I think Jalen Reagor’s upside is intriguing. He could be the speedster the Eagles have sorely lacked.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 24, 2020
Also think there’s considerable downside and some of his red flags have been too easily dismissed. #Eagles https://t.co/rF2pCpn9Xi
Speaking of that downside, here’s what BGN alumnus Michael Kist wrote about Reagor for his 2020 pre-draft wide receiver rankings:
His 2019 tape does raise some concerns even when taking into account the abysmal quarterback play. Reagor didn’t seem committed to selling decoy routes, blocking, or squeezing every yard out of his opportunities after the catch.
That last concern comes up in the analytics, as his YAC average dropped considerably over the last three years (7.8 > 5.9 > 3.8) and he only broke a total of 5 tackles in ‘19. You can explain some of that away by arguing poor placement, but too many times Reagor was in self-preservation mode and sought out the sidelines.
These red flags from college continued to be issues in the NFL. Reagor put forth questionable effort too often in addition to struggling with separating and generating YAC. He’s been one of the very worst wide receivers in the NFL since entering the league. The Eagles stand to benefit from him no longer being on the field.
Is there hope that Reagor can turn it around in Minnesota? Although the Vikings are a fellow NFC competitor, that much is not really of great concern to the Eagles now. It is worth noting that Reagor cleared a very low bar to have the best camp of his career this summer. But he hardly showed signs that he was majorly turning a corner as much as he looked relatively solid. This is to say that I would be absolutely shocked if this trade comes back to bite the Eagles.
The value that Roseman got in return for Reagor obviously isn’t great in the context of Philly once using the No. 21 overall pick to originally acquire him. But the value that Roseman got in return for Reagor is obviously great in the context that he was too often a detriment to the Eagles’ success.
Getting two late-round picks isn’t nothing. For the fun of irking Cowboys fans, let’s compare it to Dallas sending Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns:
What the Cowboys got for Amari Cooper:— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) August 31, 2022
2022 fifth-round pick
Swapping of 2022 sixth-round picks
What the Eagles got for Jalen Reagor
2023 seventh-round pick
2024 fourth-round pick (could drop to fifth-round pick)
(Hat tip to @rjochoa)
It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison where with the Cowboys largely looking to dump Cooper’s contract. Still, the facts are the facts.
Speaking of contracts, another benefit to the Reagor trade is that the Eagles clear his $1.82 million base salary this season. They also opened up a roster spot ... which was seemingly used to claim Ian Book off waivers.
The Eagles will likely open another roster spot (or two) when they are able to put players on injured reserve while keeping them eligible to return this season (starting at 4:00 PM Eastern today). One would think the Birds are looking to add a fifth wide receiver to the 53-player roster before Week 1. Perhaps it’s Britain Covey who gets the nod in that regard, especially because the Eagles do need a new punt returner with Reagor gone.
I have to say, the vibes are pretty good entering the Eagles’ 2022 season.
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