Philadelphia Eagles: Kamar Aiken is the new Bradley Fletcher

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images) /

After trying out a number of young, high upside wide receiver, the Philadelphia Eagles have unconscionably decided to resign Kamar Aiken. But why?

‘The Philadelphia Eagles need a wide receiver.’

If you’ve read virtually anything about the team over the last few days you’ve certainly seen this kind of headline, and when you peer over the team’s Week 1 performance against the Atlanta Falcons, it’s understandable why.

Sure, the Eagles ultimately won, stifling the Dirty Birds for the second time this calendar year thanks to an otherworldly defensive effort that we’ve slowly become more and more accustomed to in the City of Brotherly Love.

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At this point, those performances are almost mandatory to win a game, because Doug Pederson‘s offense under Nick Foles has been nothing to write home about.

Again, a win’s a win, but the Eagles finished out the game with only nine catches for 43 receiving yards from their wide receivers, by far the lowest mark of any team in the league. Nick Foles finished out the game with more catches and receiving yards than every wide receiver on the roster not named Nelson Agholor.

How does that happen?

To say the receiving corps is banged up would be an understatement, as two of the team’s top four players, Alshon Jeffery and Mack Hollins, aren’t going to be seeing the field anytime soon, what to say that the current collection of Agholor, Mike Wallace, Shelton Gibson, Markus Wheaton, and DeAndre Carter underperformed in Week 1 would be an understatement: they flat-out stunk.

So yeah, the team definitely needs to find at least some short-term help at the position to stay afloat, which makes their decision to re-sign Kamar Aiken about 10 days after releasing him in their final trim down to 53 all the more puzzling.

Granted, Aiken was one of the few Eagles receivers who actually played in the preseason, though he failed to catch a pass, but at the age of 29, he’s hardly a prospect with any upside.

So, at this point, Aiken pretty much is what he is, just a guy. If you took away his outlier breakout 2015 season in Baltimore, where he almost broke the century mark, it’s worth wondering if he would even be in the league at all at this point.

Why are the Eagles now investing in not one, but two wide receiver roster spots on just guys?

While far from a perfect situation, when word got out that the Eagles had tried out a number of young wide receivers like former first-round picks Corey Coleman, Breshad Perriman, and Ohio State wild card Braxton Miller for a spot on the roster, it at least cultivated some cautious optimism that the team was at least trying to get creative with players who’d failed to latch on with their previous teams.

With all three of these players at or under the age of 25, maybe a change of scenery would be all it takes to unlock their freaky physical potential and finally give the Eagles a young heir apparent to players like DeSean Jackson or Jeremy Maclin.

Aiken and Wheaton, a pair of certified journeymen who are both rapidly approaching 30, do not distill nearly as much confidence.

Maybe this is all for not, and when Jeffery finally returns, hopefully alongside Carson Wentz,  Pederson’s high-powered offenses of yesteryear will finally make an appearance, but who knows when that’ll actually happen?

What if opposing teams use Week 1 as a blueprint and start to stack the box against the Eagles, forcing Nick Foles to beat them with his arm and makeshift receiving corp? Could the Eagles be flirting with a losing record come November?

I guess we will find out soon enough, but when the Eagles trot out their motley crew of receivers to face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ryan FitzMagic, it’ll be hard not to imagine what the team would look like had they signed Coleman, Perriman, or even elevate Miller, as opposed to giving a second chance to Kamar Aiken, the Bradley Fletcher to Markus Wheaton’s Cary Williams.