After months of anticipation, hard work, and scouting, there are nine newly drafted members of the Philadelphia Eagles – plus a handful of UDFAs – who will be calling our fair city home in the not too distant future.
While only time will tell how quickly each player will be able to transition into the NFL, where they will play in the Eagles’ new offensive/defensive schemes, and if the team’s entire class will be able to actually make the final 53 man roster this fall – which has only happened three out of the last four seasons – needless to say, the excitement surrounding this new class is incredibly high, as at this point in the 2021 season, there really isn’t any reason to be anything but optimistic.
But hey, you know what they say about the NFL Draft: You don’t draft for need.
Even if all nine members of the 2021 Eagles’ draft class develop into marquee talents and start for the next decade-plus, there are still positions of need across the board where Howie Roseman would be wise to further fortify before heading into the preseason, let alone Week 1 of the regular season.
Fortunately, there are still a handful of solid free agent options who should be in the Philadelphia Eagles’ sights and could be signed without disrupting the compensatory formula if they are signed after 4 pm on Monday, May 3rd.
Is the second time the charm for Golden Tate and the Philadelphia Eagles?
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When the Philadelphia Eagles traded a third-round pick to acquire Golden Tate from the Detroit Lions, it reeked of desperation.
After landing the missing piece to their championship run at the 2017 NFL trade deadline in ex-Miami Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi for a fourth-rounder, Howie Roseman attempted to pull off a similar magic trick to save a season that wasn’t quite going as well as the one prior, even if he had to pay a premium to make such a deal happen.
That isn’t on Tate.
Granted, some of Tate’s on-field issues were his doing, as his yards after contact – the skill Howie Roseman explicitly acquired him for – were notably down from his 6.4 in Detroit to just under five in Philly, but after developing a solid report with Matt Stafford over the better part of four and a half seasons, that cerebral connection with Carson Wentz just didn’t materialize as quickly as all parties involved would have liked.
Factor in Doug Pederson’s less than creative offense sans Frank Reich, and it really isn’t too surprising that Tate’s slot mastery didn’t immediately translate in a midnight green uniform.
But now, after an up-and-down tenure with the New York Giants, Tate is looking for another opportunity to continue on his NFL career. Could a return to Philly be in the cards?
Well, that depends on how the team plans to deploy their past two first-round picks in 2021.
If Nick Sirianni opts to play Jalen Reagor and Devonta Smith on the outside, then yeah, there’s a spot for a viable slot specialist on the roster to split time with Greg Ward and whoever else ends up taking snaps on the inside. If, instead, either Reagor or Smith receive most of their offensive snaps on the inside – or the duo cycle from inside to out depending on the individual matchup or play – then it may make more sense for the Eagles to instead look into a veteran receiver like Laquon Treadwell or Bennie Fowler, neither of whom looked particularly good for the Atalanta Falcons or New Orleans Saints in their respective 2020 seasons.
Then again, the Eagles may just opt not to sign a veteran receiver at all, leaving this whole conversation rather moot.
But if landing a decisive veteran wide receiver with good hands, good feet, and a chip on his shoulder is on the Philadelphia Eagles’ wishlist, then there aren’t a whole lot of players left on the market with better resumes than Golden Tate, let alone one who (probably) already has a favorite cheesesteak restaurant and has sat courtside at a Sixers game.