Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith are your newest Eagles starting wide receivers…
Jeffery is breaking news, so I don’t yet have all the financial numbers on him, but I’ll be darned if Howie didn’t go out and get him. I know this signing will not make some of our Bored members happy. But it certainly provides a #1 receiver option which is better than anything we consistently saw in the Eagles offense last season. [UPDATE 8 hours later: Alshon Jeffery is signing with the Eagles on a one-year contract for $14 million. Weird contract—the ultimate “Prove It” Deal—Rather than take a below-market long-term deal, Jeffery is willing to bet on himself on another “prove-it” contract and attempt to cash in again next year. I still don’t know for sure how much of that $14 million is guaranteed…]
Torrey Smith is not a true #1 receiver, but he can stretch a defense. He’s not a particularly good route runner, and not really great at high-pointing the ball in traffic, but he has a knack for drawing defensive interference penalties which fuel long scoring drives.
Jeffery (6-3, 218, 4.48 40-yard) played college football at South Carolina, and was drafted by the Bears in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. At the beginning of the 2011 season, Jeffery was named by ESPN as the best overall player in the SEC.
Jeffery is coming off a year in which he played under the franchise tag for the Bears.
On September 11, Jeffery caught four passes for a season-high 105 yards in the season opener against the Houston Texans, includinga 54-yard reception. On September 19, 2016, Jeffery caught five passes for 96 yards against the Philadelphia Eagles, including a 49-yard reception early in the second quarter and a 22-yard reception late in the first quarter. On October 16, 2016, Jeffery caught a season-high seven passes for 93 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars. On October 31, 2016, Jeffery caught four passes for 63 yards and his first touchdown of the season against the Minnesota Vikings.
On November 14, the NFL suspended Jeffery for four games for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
On December 18, Jeffery caught six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers.
Career statistics-Alshon Jeffery
Torrey Smith (6-0, 205, 4.41 40-yard) reportedly has signed a 3-year deal for $15 million. I don’t know yet how much of that money is guaranteed.
The San Francisco 49ers released Smith last Tuesday after he completed just two seasons of a five-year contract he signed with the team in 2015. In two seasons with the Niners, Smith had 53 catches for 930 yards and seven touchdowns in 28 games. He led the NFL in 2015 with 20.1 yards per reception. In December of 2016, Smith said he was knocked unconscious in a Week 14 loss to the New York Jets and missed the 49ers’ final three games of the 2016 season with a concussion.
Smith averaged 53.2 catches, 898 yards and 7.5 touchdowns per year in four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. Smith won a Super Bowl ring with the Ravens in 2012, when Baltimore beat San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII. He had two receptions for 35 yards in the victory. His best NFL season came the next year, when he finished with 65 catches for 1,128 yards and four touchdowns. He had a career-best 11 touchdown receptions in 2014, the season before he left the Ravens in free agency.
Career Statistics-Torrey Smith
|2015||San Francisco 49ers||16||12||33||663||20.1||76T||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|2016||San Francisco 49ers||12||12||20||267||13.4||53T||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
Somewhat sadly, to make room for Jeffery and Smith, the Eagles released defensive end Connor Barwin on Thursday, the team announced. With the move, the Eagles freed up $7.75 million in cap space.
Barwin, 30, joined the Eagles via free agency in 2013; he quickly became one of the defense’s best players from the left outside linebacker spot in Bill Davis’ 3-4 scheme. His best year came in 2014, when he posted 14 1/2 sacks, 64 tackles and 5 passes defensed. The Eagles switched to a 4-3 system this past season under new defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. Barwin not only had to make the transition from outside linebacker to defensive end, but he was asked to rush from the right side instead of the left. He had a quiet season overall by his standards, finishing with five sacks.
A good community guy, Barwin’s class and presence will be missed in the Eagles locker room.