Wide receiver help is on the way.
There’s no guarantee, of course, but if Howie Roseman and the Philadelphia Eagles don’t deliver something in the pass-catching department this offseason, then the Birds will probably have a whole lot more than defensive inconsistencies to worry about in 2017.
As free agency draws closer, this particular writer is preparing more and more for the Eagles to go big in pursuit of, say, the Chicago Bears’ Alshon Jeffery, if only because talk of such a splash has been rampant. (And even though promising and assuredly less expensive options figure to be available.)
But for every piece of speculation centered on Jeffery, the maybe-too-good-to-be-true return of DeSean Jackson and, yes, Victor Cruz (just kidding), perhaps we should also be mindful of Roseman’s penchant for working the phones. For making trades.
The New Orleans Saints’ Brandin Cooks has been floated as a potential trade target, especially after the young speedster’s remarks about his role in 2016. But beyond Cook, who’s to say Roseman and new Eagles vice president of player personnel Joe Douglas won’t be scouring other teams’ rosters as much as they dig into the free-agent market?
History has shown that Roseman loves to make deals, or at least knows how to get them done, and that includes player-for-player swaps rarely seen around the league. With that in mind, maybe it’s not so crazy to suggest that this year’s hit-or-miss pool of soon-to-be-unsigned veterans is just one small avenue for a WR upgrade, particularly in Roseman’s case.
Take a guy like John Brown, of the Arizona Cardinals, for example. He’s only 26, and the Cards are probably looking to add weapons in the passing game, not subtract them. But as he enters his contract year, how could he not at least warrant an inquiry from a team in desperate need of some deep-ball help? You know, like the Eagles.
Maybe Brown is too much of an asset for an Arizona offense that jettisoned Michael Floyd and can secure Larry Fitzgerald’s commitment for only so long, but then again, the right price almost always makes things happen. Especially when we’re talking about a John Brown, not a Fitzgerald.
And it’s those kinds of players who maybe, just maybe, deserve a little attention as the Eagles prepare to explore the league in search of some help for Carson Wentz. The ones who won’t necessarily make the big bucks in free agency or stand out atop another team’s depth chart but the ones who, in the eyes of Roseman, Douglas and Co., represent a big improvement to a WR corps that certainly needs some.
If they don’t draw our attention, maybe the Eagles’ moves to land them will.
Unless, of course, they just go with Jeffery.