Philadelphia Eagles: All signs point to Jalen Reagor making the roster

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

‘The Philadelphia Eagles have four wide receivers who are more or less locks to make their 53-man roster.’

How many times have you heard some turn on this phrase? A few? A dozen? More? But why? Well, because it’s likely true; barring a trip to IR, which *knock on wood* hopefully won’t happen, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Zach Pascal, and Quez Watkins will be on the Eagles’ roster when the season starts this fall and will likely account for the bulk of the team’s production from the wide receiver spots.

And yet, just because four wide receivers are more or less locks to make the roster doesn’t mean the Birds couldn’t have a fifth who is similarly safe, barring a serious change of fate. The Eagles have five cornerbacks who are likely safe heading into the season, five safeties too, and their offensive and defensive lines have five guaranteed locks as well; why can’t wide receiver join that group?

Well, based on how camp is going for the Philadelphia Eagles, things appear to be trending in that direction, as Jalen Reagor has been turning heads in all of the right ways and may just sneak through another camp in the hopes of reclaiming his value heading into Year 3.

Jalen Reagor will probably be on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster this fall.

When filling out a roster, a team has to ask one seemingly inconsequential but deceptively important question: How should the bottom-of-the-roster spots be utilized? With only 53 roster spots available for general managers to work with – really 50 of you subtract kicker, punter, and long snapper- and 11 starters on either side of the ball, a team has to be clever in finding the correct balance between developmental prospects and ready-to-roll reserves.

Jordan Mailata pre-2020? Total developmental prospect; he didn’t see the field at all from 2018-19 and would have most likely looked bad had he been afforded any meaningful snaps.

What about Shaun Bradley? While he, too, didn’t see much action at his given position over his first two seasons with the team, playing roughly seven percent of Philly’s defensive snaps from 2020-21, the Temple prospect was on the field for 70 percent of the team’s special teams snaps and was even on the Pro Bowl ballot.

Which camp, pray tell, would Jalen Reagor fall into with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022? Honestly, it’s sort of hard to quantify.

On paper, if the Eagles want to keep a wide receiver around who can help out on special teams, Britain Covey would be the play – he was among the best punt returners in the entire NCAA last year during his final season with the Utah Utes and could hopefully elevate a position that’s been really bad for years now (more on that here) with his electrifying style of play.

Reagor, by contrast, is just an okay return man who does have one NFL punt return for a touchdown on his resume but was benched in 2021 in favor of less dynamic options due to his underwhelming play. Even if Reagor takes a step forward on special teams, it’s hard to imagine he’ll ever become the second-coming of young DeSean Jackson, let alone even wants to become that sort of player.

And yet, Reagor is still the same player with a very impressive collegiate highlight reel who would get immediately claimed by a dozen teams if he hit waivers. Why would the Eagles release him from his contract if they’re already on the hook for his contract’s fully guaranteed money no matter what and watch him figure it all out with the New York Giants, the Washington Commanders, or even the Dallas Cowboys, especially after a camp that has been by all accounts strong?

Short answer? They wouldn’t.

Next. RGIII has great expectations for Jalen Hurts. dark

In a perfect world, the Philadelphia Eagles will find a way to keep both Britain Covey and Jalen Reagor on their roster this fall, as the two wide receivers have very different ceilings and very different floors, but if Howie Roseman and company feel as though they can only keep one or the other, the idea of sticking with the latter might not be as crazy as it might seem. Why? Well, because his camp’s been better, his ceiling is higher, and the team is already committed to much more of his money this year and next regardless of whether he’s on the team or released.