In the offseason, Alshon Jeffery signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles to be the star wide receiver that they desperately needed. However, Jeffery has just 26 catches for 354 yards and two touchdowns through seven games, averaging 13.6 yards per catch. In today’s NFL, most number one receivers would complain about not getting enough targets; however, Jeffery is different because he is committed to the betterment of the team.
Jeffery ranks 52nd in receptions and 31st among receivers in receiving yards. Meanwhile, tight end Zach Ertz and slot receiver Nelson Agholor have emerged as Wentz’s preferred targets.
Ertz, who started to develop his chemistry with Wentz midway through last season, leads all NFL tight ends with 39 catches and 494 yards. Agholor, once considered a first-round bust after two disappointing seasons, is the team’s second-leading receiver with 366 yards; his five touchdowns are tied with Ertz for the team lead.
I want to discuss how Jeffery’s presence on the field have created opportunities for Agholor and Ertz. Since the opposing team’s best defensive back is covering Jeffery, their second and third cornerbacks are given the task to contain Agholor and Ertz. This has taken pressure off of Agholor and Ertz, allowing them to get open. If Jeffrey was not on the field this year, it is reasonable to conclude that Agholor would not be having his dominant season. It appears that Jeffery’s presence has had a trickle down effect on the entire offense, particularly the third and fourth options on offense.
I want to make it clear that, although, many have been quick to criticize Alshon Jeffery, his play has been par. He has amassed 354 receiving yards along with two touchdowns, while facing elite cornerbacks: Josh Norman, Janoris Jenkins, Casey Heyward, Patrick Peterson, Captain Munnerlyn, and Bashaud Breeland.
The biggest unanswered question remains whether is it worth to pay Jeffery after the end of this season. Due to the success the Eagles have had this season, it is worth it to do what it takes to keep the team intact. If that means giving Alshon Jeffery over 25 million dollars, the Eagles must do it. I make such a bold claim because this is only the second time in franchise history where the Eagles have been 6-1 or better in the first seven games of the season. The other time was 2004, when the Eagles went to the superbowl. The Eagles know that winning superbowls is difficult in the NFL; therefore, the Eagles should do everything in their power to capitalize on their momentous start to the season. With a young quarterback on the rise, the Eagles cannot be thinking about the future; instead, they need to be thinking about the moment, taking advantage of our current situation. Additionally, next year, Wentz and Jeffrey will have an entire season together, strengthening the chemistry between the two players. Although Alshon Jeffery is not our saviour, it is okay because the Eagles are 6-1 and flying high.