The numbers on the big free agent signings of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith by the Eagles are coming in—Jeffery was signed to a one-year deal for $14 million, but “only” $9.5 million of that is guaranteed. Smith essentially signed a one-year, five million deal with two five million dollar options over the next two seasons.
Pretty shrewd signings by GM Howie Roseman in that the team’s hands are not tied to anything long-term with either guy—but also good incentive deals for Jeffery and Smith to go out and light it up in 2017, thus earning a fatter, longer-term deal for each in 2018.
Some sample reactions from Bored members here:
STINE—“Well, it is a one year deal, so no real investment for the Eagles, other than this season. Gives the Eagles a bridge for a year, but still makes them competitive for 2017 season. I was against signing Jeffrey at first. A 1 year “Prove it ” deal makes a whole lot of sense to me…. I am impressed HR… not too bad….”
SOUTH PHILLY BEN—“So what now for the draft? Do we go defense with our first 2 picks? Draft a WR in 1 or 2? Or simply draft BPA..? Personally I think we need to draft a WR at some point within Rds 1 thru 4 and draft CB and DL possibly with our first 2 picks. Add a RB in that mix too. But having said that we can’t just reach for position need.”
ATV—“Howie seems determined to help Wentz… My guess the 14th pick of the draft will be Cook.”
To ATV’s point of strengthening the offense to help QB Carson Wentz develop (or as LEO PIZZINI says, to really find out what the kid has as a playmaking difference-maker), the Eagles have agreed to a three-year deal with offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski. Terms: 3 years, close to $9 million plus incentives (NFL Network). After starting 83 of a possible 93 games (mostly at center) during his time with the Oakland Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars, the 27-year-old Wisniewski initially found himself in a reserve role behind Allen Barbre after signing a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Eagles last offseason.
The Wiz (from Penn State) ended up starting six games at guard in 2016.
The Wiz signing was on the heels of adding free-agent guard Chance Warmack, who agreed to a one-year deal Thursday.
Warmack made 48 starts at right guard over his four-year career with the Tennessee Titans.
Tim McManus of ESPN.com reads these tea leaves in the Warmack signing:
“In Warmack, the Eagles get a first-round talent who worked with the team’s offensive line coach, Jeff Stoutland, at the University of Alabama. Warmack adds depth at the least and could find a bigger role, particularly if the Eagles decide to reshape the makeup of their O-line. Center Jason Kelce has been the subject of trade speculation, and it recently was reported that guard Allen Barbre was granted permission to seek out a trade as well. While this signing doesn’t necessarily signal that something is going to happen, it does make for a bit of a crowded picture. Second-year guard Isaac Seumalo will make a push for a starting spot, and Brandon Brooks was signed to a rather large deal last offseason to man right guard. Perhaps Barbre and Warmack simply represent quality depth and competition, or maybe there’s more to it.”
“Warmack, the former No. 10 overall pick (2013), played in only two games last season after being put on injured reserve in September with a hand injury. He has not quite reached the ceiling that many projected for him. But considering it’s a one-year deal and the team has other options, this is a low-risk play with some upside.”
As for the optimistic side of the Alshon Jeffrey move, former NFL safety Matt Bowen says it’s an instant upgrade for the Eagles’ Red Zone attack:
“He’s a true matchup weapon on isolation routes with the massive catch radius to pluck the ball outside of his frame. Throw the slant and fade. Start there. This allows Jeffery to win with route running, size and body control. That means shielding the defender from the ball (after creating leverage inside) on the slant or climbing the ladder to make the play at the highest point on the quick fade route. Find the matchup, create a true one-on-one and give your receiver a chance to finish the play.”
“Here’s an example from the 2016 tape with Jeffery’s touchdown versus the Minnesota Vikings. The route? The slant versus off-man coverage.