Six Veteran Receiver Options for the Eagles this offseason
While the playoff appearance for the 2021 Philadelphia Eagles was a pleasant surprise, one of the obvious takeaways from the season was this roster needs more top-tier talent at the Wide Receiver position. On Wednesday, Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni and Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager Howie Roseman both confirmed that Jalen Hurts is the team's starting Quarterback for the 2022 season.
But the young Quarterback needs more help around him and as a follow up to our conversations this week on The Sports Bash with Mike Gill and GameNight with Josh Hennig, here is a list of options the Eagles have this offseason to add more Wide Receiver help for the offense next season:
*Allen Robinson, Chicago Bears Wide Receiver from 2018-2021
-The last time the Eagles signed a former Bears Wide Receiver in Free Agency, Alshon Jeffrey helped Philadelphia win the Super Bowl and reached the playoffs three straight years from 2017 to 2019. The former Penn State Wide Receiver has four seasons of compiling at least 880 Receiving Yards and Six Touchdowns while catching passes from Quarterbacks like Blake Bortles and Mitch Trubisky. Robinson turns 29 years old before the start of the 2022 NFL season and he will be high on the list of Free Agent targets for several NFL teams including the Eagles. Robinson played on the Franchise Tag last season in Chicago and made just under 18 million dollars but his on-the-field production was the worst statistics during his time in a Bears uniform as the team cycled through playing three different Quarterbacks this year.
*Calvin Ridley, Atlanta Falcons Wide Receiver from 2018 to 2021
-One of the many talented Wide Receivers to come out of the University of Alabama this past decade and his first three seasons in Atlanta were very productive. Ridley averaged 72 Catches, 1,020 Receiving Yards, and 8.7 Receiving Touchdowns over 44 games. The problem with Ridley is the unknown about the state of his Mental Health: Ridley only played in five games this past season and he departed the team on Halloween to deal with Mental Health but there are no signs of him potentially returning to the franchise. The fact that the Falcons and Ridley have both been quiet on this subject paints a picture that both sides need a fresh start. Ridley has a Salary Cap hit of 11.1 Million for the 2022 season, so Atlanta needs to find a team that can absorb that amount of money, and Eagles GM Howie Roseman has a history of making Salary Cap numbers work when he really wants a player.
*Mike Williams, Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver from 2017 to 2021
-Listed at 6'4" and 218 pounds, Mike Williams is one of the best Red Zone targets in the NFL and he would be a great compliment across from Eagles' DeVonta Smith. Williams has at least five Touchdown Catches and 15.1 Yards per Catch in three of the last four seasons. When the Chargers drafted Mike Williams in the 2017 NFL Draft, current Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni was the Chargers Wide Receivers Coach, so Sirianni has some familiarity with Williams. Like Allen Robinson, Williams will be one of the top Wide Receiver Free Agents this offseason so if the Eagles want him, they may have to pay top dollar to get him.
*TY Hilton, Indianapolis Colts Wide Receiver from 2012 to 2021
-In the post-Peyton Manning era, the Indianapolis Colts' best Wide Receiver for almost a decade has been TY Hilton. But Hilton at 32 years old has only played 14 or more games twice in the last four seasons because of injuries and he is past his prime so would the Eagles be interested in him at all? Eagles Head Coach Nick Sirianni was the Colts' Offensive Coordinator from 2018 to 2020 so he is very familiar with Hilton and maybe he would be a guy Sirianni would be interested in taking a shot on him on a prove-it-deal.
*Allen Lazard, Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver from 2018 to 2021
-With Eight Receiving Touchdowns during the 2021 NFL season, Allen Lazard has grown from being an Undrafted Free Agent to the number two receiving option in the Packers' offense. The 6'5" and 227-pound Wide Receiver is a very good athlete and has earned the trust of future Hall of Fame Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. There are two questions about Lazard as he enters NFL Free Agency: 1. How much of his on-the-field production is a byproduct of playing with Aaron Rodgers and would he be able to produce similar numbers without him? 2. Will the Packers lose him to a Free Agency bidding war if the team also loses Devante Adams in Free Agency?
*Christian Kirk, Arizona Cardinals Wide Receiver from 2018 to 2021
-Selected in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Christian Kirk has been the second or third option in the Cardinals offense the last few years. Playing in the same offense as DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and AJ Green the last few seasons has allowed the 25-Year-Old Receiver to compile 236 Receptions, 2,902 Receiving Yards, and 17 Touchdown catches in 56 games. If the Eagles believe that DeVonta Smith can grow into a bonafide Number One Receiver in the NFL then Christian Kirk is a major upgrade over Jalen Reagor and Greg Ward. Also, Kirk would not cost as much to acquire via NFL Free Agency compared to Allen Robinson and Mike Williams.