The Eagles should just start their WR corps from scratch

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

During what promises to be an interesting offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles would be best served if they wiped the slate clean and completely started over with their wide receiver group.

The Philadelphia Eagles, while they are certain to seek out upgrades at the position, aren’t likely to do something completely drastic with their group of wide receivers.

But after the season that was, and even after the passage of time, I’m still convinced that they would be best served to blow the whole WR corps up and start fresh.

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It’s a move so radical (reckless maybe?) that no supposedly contending team would ever dream of it. On one level, it reeks of desperation. But for the Eagles’ unique situation, I believe that it’s just crazy enough to work.

The Birds have a few things working for them to make such a normally outlandish scenario possible.

First, they have options in the passing game.

The Eagles boast what is probably the best 1-2 punch in the league at the tight end position, which is quite a luxury. Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert are effectively receivers in their own right. Their presence gives any team a leg up in building its group of wideouts by spreading responsibilities around and affording the flexibility to be able to choose the right players rather than forcing a certain type of receiver into a system where they might not work.

On top of this, when you factor in the Eagles’ line play and their running game, which looks to be on an upward trajectory thanks to Miles Sanders, the Birds are in a fairly enviable position. So why not go for a full overhaul of the one unit on offense that clearly needs it?

The other important element at play here is the quarterback. Carson Wentz showed us all in 2019 that he is capable of elevating the play of those around him. He is clearly able to establish quick chemistry with new members of the offense. And while this doesn’t mean that the Eagles can just go out and sign the second comings of Torrance Small and Na Brown and still expect to go to the Super Bowl, it should demonstrate that Wentz will gel in short order with anyone willing to put forth the effort and fully commit themselves to the team.

So let’s start bumping receivers off the current roster. Nelson Agholor is already as good as gone, hitting free agency and no longer a source of frustration for all of us. Even at a steep discount, the Eagles will want no part of him.

And then there’s Alshon Jeffery. It’s going to be a massive blow to the wallet since Howie Roseman made a huge mistake in guaranteeing his contract. But he must go at all costs. Maybe another team is foolish enough to talk themselves into him, but he shouldn’t play another down for the Eagles regardless. The dead cap space will sting, but the team will be much better off. Plus, I won’t have to look up how to spell his last name anymore, as my first impulse has been to write “Jeffrey” for three years. Freedom!

As for the trio of Deonte Burnett, Sheldon Gibson, and Robert Davies, I couldn’t pick any of them out of a lineup. You shouldn’t be attached to any of them either. In fact, I spelled one of their names wrong and you probably can’t even guess which one.

The remaining wideouts are tougher calls.

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside most likely won’t be going anywhere before next season, not after the Eagles invested so heavily in him with a high draft pick. But he didn’t just have your typical rookie struggles. JJAW couldn’t make any kind of impact in his rookie season, even as the Eagles desperately needed someone with a pulse to go out and catch a ball. Half the time he couldn’t even get onto the field. I hope this young man figures things out; I really do, but honestly I don’t see it happening and would be fine cutting losses and sending him to another team that thinks they can turn him into something.

DeSean Jackson? No thanks. I appreciate what he’s done for the team, but last year was such a headache that none of us should want to go down that road again. Again, the Eagles are likely to retain him as the resident veteran, but nobody should be holding their breath on a bounceback from the 33-year old. Prove me wrong, D-Jax.

Finally, there’s Greg Ward. He showed admirably at the end of last season, as he completed his ascension from the practice squad to de facto #1 WR. I still don’t have a complete read on him, and I have to admit that he’s the one guy here that I wouldn’t be averse to keeping. Still, I committed to saying we should blow this whole thing up, so best of luck elsewhere, Greg. He could be a useful #3 in all likelihood, but he’s not so special that you need to keep him at all costs.

I’m fully aware that the Eagles are likely to keep at least two, if not three, of the aforementioned players. Ultimately I’ll defer to the decisions made by a regime that delivered a Super Bowl two years ago. But starting fresh with this group, as impractical as it might seem on the surface, might just be the kind of bold move that a team like the Eagles needs to make to get back into position to win it all.

If there ever was a year for it, this is the one. It’s a deep draft for wide receivers, and the Eagles would be well advised to invest multiple picks at the wideout position. Several free agents, most notably Robby Anderson, would be good fits as well.

Dismiss these thoughts as ravings if you want, but you know as well as I do that there is no reason to be attached to anyone in the Eagles’ current stable of wide receivers. Might as well hit the reset button. It’s unorthodox, but it’s just crazy enough to work.

Next. Eagles: Howie Roseman is prioritizing playmakers. dark

PS I spelled all three of those guys’ names wrong earlier. I bet you didn’t notice.