The intersection of injury-prone and overpaid is where you’ll find Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia’s perennially hurt and inexplicably well-compensated wide receiver. Jeffery, who hasn’t been healthy since the Obama administration, has yet to practice this summer while recovering from a Lisfranc injury that cost him the final four games (postseason included) of 2019. Even when he was on the field last year, the ninth-year South Carolina alum was rarely a difference-maker, averaging an anemic (at least by WR1 standards) 49 yards per game on a career-worst 11.4 yards per catch.
To the surprise of literally no one, the Eagles are reportedly putting the oft-injured 30-year-old on the trade block, though according to beat writer Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, getting anything of substance in return for Jeffery is probably a long shot. Even if he wasn’t due a steep $9.91-million salary, the Eagles would still be hard-pressed to find a suitor for the one-time Pro Bowler, who dressed for just 10 of Philadelphia’s 16 regular-season games a year ago. Jeffery paced the Eagles with nine receiving scores during their 2017 title run, but he hasn’t done a whole lot since, clearing 60 yards in just eight of his 23 games over the past two seasons. The 2012 second-rounder showed signs of life with a 10-catch gem in Week 6 last year and again in Week 14 when he broke out for 137 yards against Miami, though those two performances counted for nearly half of his 2019 receiving output.
Philadelphia chose not to stash Jeffery on the PUP (physically unable to perform) list, suggesting the Eagles expect him back at some point during their first six games. Receiving depth was an issue for the Eagles throughout their 2019 campaign with injuries shelving Jeffery, slot staple Nelson Agholor and veteran deep threat DeSean Jackson for a combined 24 games. It got so bleak that Greg Ward, a former college quarterback who went undrafted out of Houston, and practice-squad call-up Robert Davis worked as starters in the Eagles’ opening-round playoff loss to Seattle. Philadelphia addressed that need in April’s draft by using three of its ten selections on wideouts including first-rounder Jalen Reagor, who earned All-Big 12 status in two of his three seasons at TCU. Reagor had been in line for a major first-year role, but will now miss the first month of 2020 as he tends to a shoulder injury suffered at training camp.
Under contract through 2021, cutting Jeffery now would result in a cost-prohibitive $26.1-million dead cap hit. The Eagles, who committed $128 million (including $107 million guaranteed) to starting quarterback Carson Wentz last offseason, have some tough financial decisions ahead. As it stands, the Eagles are a whopping $50.53 million over next year’s projected salary cap. Given their cap conundrum, it’s no wonder the Birds haven’t been seeing eye-to-eye with Zach Ertz in extension talks.