3 Free Agent Wide Receivers the Eagles Can Target After DeVante Parker Retirement

After DeVante Parker shockingly announced his NFL retirement on Monday, the Philadelphia Eagles must target these three free agent wide receivers to replace him.
The Eagles should target WR Michael Thomas following DeVante Parker's retirement.
The Eagles should target WR Michael Thomas following DeVante Parker's retirement. / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports
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Monday not only marked the beginning of the Philadelphia Eagles' organized team activities (OTAs), but it was also a day filled with sadness. Veteran wide receiver DeVante Parker announced his retirement to begin the week following nine seasons and 119 games played in the NFL.

What makes Parker's retirement even more shocking is that he just signed a one-year contract to join the Eagles back in March. Nevertheless, the 31-year-old's career was plagued by injuries (only played 1 complete season), and retiring now likely means that he'll enjoy a better quality of life going forward.

While there's nothing wrong with supporting Parker in doing what's best for him, his surprise retirement leaves a hole in the Eagles' depth chart. The good news is that there are still a handful of credible free-agent WRs that Philadelphia can sign to compete for the WR3/4 jobs.

Having said that, here are three wideouts that the Eagles must target to replace Parker.

1. WR Michael Thomas

When it comes to the remaining available WRs, none of them are as accomplished as Michael Thomas.

A former 2016 second-round pick by the Saints, there was a point when you could argue that Thomas was the NFL's best playmaker. The former Ohio State product terrorized defenders throughout his first four seasons, amassing 5,512 receiving yards and 32 touchdowns on 470 catches.

He was consistently recognized for his efforts, tallying three Pro Bowl appearances, two first-team All-Pro nods, and the 2019 Offensive Player of the Year award during that stretch. Unfortunately, various foot injuries have prevented him from reaching those heights since then, limiting him to just 20 games played since the start of the 2020 campaign.

Having said that, Thomas still has enough juice in the tank to warrant a look from the Eagles. Is he the No. 1 WR he once was? Probably not, but that shouldn't matter. Philadelphia already boasts two of the best playmakers in the game — A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith — and the duo garners enough attention to make the 31-year-old veteran's life easier.

Besides, Thomas proved that he could still be effective in a lesser role with the Saints last season. Although it wasn't his best work, he still registered 39 receptions for 448 yards with a TD in 10 games, putting him on pace for a 66-762-2 stat line on a 17-game schedule.

Even if he's past his prime, an aging Thomas is still a better option than who the Eagles rolled with behind Brown and Smith last year.