Carson Wentz got his playmaker.
And Alshon Jeffery chose Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles over Sammy Sleeves, more money and the Minnesota Vikings. He praised the young quarterback during his press conference on Friday.
“The sky’s the limit for him. He’s a great quarterback.”
Jeffery got an up-close look at Wentz on Monday night in Week 2 and loved what he saw. He reminisced and thought to himself:
“This kid is going to be special.”
The Wentz and Jeffery show is going to be a lot of fun this upcoming season and with limited cap space, Howie Roseman did a fantastic job of working out Jeffery’s contract. It’s base salary is $9.5 million with another $4.5 that can be earned via incentives.
THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES ARE WINNING ANOTHER OFFSEASON!
So Howie got Carson his weapon, now it’s time to get some cornerbacks.
The process is going according to plan so far. I wanted the Eagles to spend handsomely for a wide receiver and sign Jeffery, while adding a couple inexpensive pieces. Roseman did that with the acquisition of Torrey Smith, who is going to provide speed and become a potential downfield target opposite of Jeffery, a physical receiver that is a go-to threat on third down. Smith was ranked as the second-worst wideout, according to Pro Football Focus, but perhaps a change of scenery and better quarterback can produce similar results to the 28-year-old’s days in Baltimore. He was given a three-year, $15 million pact, which could be a steal if Smith re-discovers his magic.
Like Jeffery, Smith is excited about playing with Wentz.
“You can see that he has that ‘it factor … I know that he has the potential to get it done. To be able to play with a guy like that, also grow with him and help him in other ways, I’m looking forward to it.”
With cornerback providing the most depth of any position in this upcoming NFL Draft, that’s where the Eagles have to attack in order to build their future there. They might add a couple cheap veterans to pair with the young talent that will be acquired in Philadelphia in late April. The depth at cornerback did take a hit with the Achilles injury to Washington’s Sidney Jones on his Pro Day.
All of a sudden, cornerback might not be where the Eagles go in the first round. Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore should be long gone and Jones was considered by many to be a top two cornerback in this class. I’ve been on the Dalvin Cook bandwagon this offseason, but if he were to be taken, Jones was an option I would’ve liked to consider. With Jones no longer an option in the first, don’t be surprised if the Birds take a wideout or defensive end with their selection at No. 14. That’s if Cook is gone.
This is where I take you back to 200e and when the Bird were transitioning from the Troy Vincent and Bobby Taylor era to the Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown one. The Eagles got younger in their secondary by doubling-up at cornerback with not only picking Sheppard in the first round and Brown in the second, but even safety Michael Lewis in the second round as well.
Roseman delved into that during his press conference on Friday.
“I think we look back to 2004, certainly not comparing this team to that Super Bowl team, but we went into that year with Lito and Sheldon. (They) hadn’t started. There were some of those same questions. We would be comfortable if that’s how it turned out. Again, we’ve got a long period of time before we play a game, before we report to training camp. We’re going to look at every option to try and improve this team, but certainly, we’d be comfortable if that’s how it shook out.”
Joe Douglas and company should follow a similar formula to the one used in 2002.
Cornerbacks available in the second round are going to have the value of a first-rounder, while ones available in rounds three, four and even five have second-round value. The Eagles could double-up in the second and third rounds and it wouldn’t shock me if Douglas took a trio of corners.
So what about the Kenny Britt shenanigans?
I definitely believe the Eagles were interested in him, but wanted Jeffery more and he was the fallback plan. He and Jeffery weren’t both going to sign in Philly, so Britt went to Cleveland instead.
Let’s not overlook the Chance Warmack signing either. Howie nabbed the former top-10 pick for a one-year, $1.5 million contact. He adds depth at guard.
So far, so good.
But we’ve been teased too many times before. This feels different, though, because it seems like they’re finally putting an emphasis on the NFL Draft.
And I trust Douglas a whole lot more than Howie.
You can follow Adrian Fedkiw on Twitter (@AdrianFedkiw) and e-mail him at [email protected]. Subscribe to The Bitter Birds on YouTube here. Follow Philly Influencer on Twitter (@PHL_Influencer), Facebook and Instagram.