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Are We Dreaming with Alshon Jeffery? Recap of Day 1 in Free Agency for the Eagles

Yesterday started off slow for the Eagles as Kenny Britt pulled his inter-Frank Gore and decided to sign with the Cleveland Browns instead of the Eagles. Reports where being thrown out that Kenny Britt would sign on the dotted line with the Eagles at 4 p.m. yesterday and that turned out to be false.

 

Then, shortly after the Eagles released one of the team captains in Connor Barwin. Cutting Barwin freed up nearly $7.75 million in cap space. Cutting Barwin was only a matter of time due to his age, play, and contract. It just didn’t make sense for the Eagles to keep Barwin around much longer and getting younger should be a priority for this team moving forward. There is, however, some shock that the Eagles made this move. The Eagles aren’t always the team to cut players that mean this much to the fan base and team as Barwin did. I’m not saying the Eagles made a mistake at all though with the move. I’m actually saying they railed this move as I think Barwin is washed up and doesn’t fit in the system that Jim Schwartz is running.

 

Shortly after, The Patriots shuck up the league when they put Malcom Butler on the trading block and the Saints showed immediate interest with them being willing to deal Brandin Cooks. A move wasn’t made yet, but that basically took the Eagles out of the running for Brandin Cooks it seemed considering the Eagles have no one like Butler on the trading block.

 

Torrey Smith was then signed to a one year deal with options for the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Torrey adds a different aspect to the Eagles as a deep threat. The Birds haven’t have a legit deep threat in the league since 2013 with DeSean Jackson. Smith is 28 right now and he will turn 29 at the end of January. With Smith comes his digression though. The last two years he has appeared in 28 games and has combined for only 53 receptions and 930 yards. With that being said, Smith’s contract is a steal for the Eagles. Only $500,000 is guaranteed with a base salary of $4 million this year. The Eagles also have options for Smith to play in 2018 and 2019 where he would get paid $5 million each year. So basically, The Eagles signed Smith to a one year deal with the option to play in 2019.

 

Alshon Jeffery was the big hit for the Eagles. He said last week that he wanted to sign on the first day free agency (March 9th) and he stuck to his word. It still is a bit weird that the Eagles have a number one receiver in this league. Just watching Jeffery you can see the talent. He has the speed to be a vertical threat, the size to be a big time red zone target, he has the hands to make contested catches look easy and he just turned 27. Jeffery only signed a one year deal, but it seems as if he wants to be here. He said yesterday he had a multi-year deal in place with the Vikings. He chose Philly because he wanted to prove himself with Carson Wentz. Wentz finally has a target to throw to and Jeffery will draw the double teams to get guys like Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz and even Nelson Agholor open. Speaking of Nelson Agholor he should be somewhat relived that the Eagles went out and signed Jeffery. Agholor will now have all the pressure taken off of him and he will finally be able to relax and who knows where that will take him. Will that bring Agholor back to the player he was at Southern Cal? Probably not, but I think you will see a better Nelson Agholor in 2017.

 

Lastly, the Eagles ended the day signing guard, Chance Warmack. Warmack was the tenth pick in the 2013 NFL Draft and he will only turn 26 in September. Eagles signed him to a one year deal worth $1.5 million so it’s a low risk/high reward type of deal. I wrote a short piece on Warmack earlier this offseason about how the Eagles could be interested. Warmack is a strong guy weighing 325 pounds. Warmack could compete for a starting job at left guard this year if the Eagles move Jason Kelce this offseason and put Isaac Seumalo at center. Regardless, Warmack is a good depth signing that could contribute this season.

 

What is next? Kayvon Webster who is a unrestricted free agent this year. Webster just turned 26 and has played under Eagles’ defensive backs coach, Cory Undlin, for two seasons. Webster has been buried behind the Broncos defensive backs the past four years and signing with the Eagles could be a low cost move that pays off big. If Webster struggles in the a starting role he could be a key depth guy with the ability to play all special teams for the Birds. I would take a shot on Webster just like the Eagles did with Ron Brooks last year.

 

-Sean Brennan