Eagles Free Agency Shopping List: Wide Receivers
The Philadelphia Eagles have an arsenal of draft picks to release in a few months, but before the draft season really begins, all eyes should be on the free agent market.
Here are five wide outs Howie Roseman should circle in red when the market opens.
Allen Robinson might be the most attractive free agent for the Philadelphia Eagles when it comes to wide receivers. He would fill the boots nicely for an Alshon Jeffery/Travis Fulgham-type X receiver to partner DeVonta Smith, giving Jalen Hurts a big-bodied target that dominates in the red zone…that the team has missed since Fulgham’s descent in darkness.
He appeared to have a slightly worse year in 2021, amassing just 410 yards and just one touchdown while playing on the franchise tag in Chicago. A change of scenery might be welcome, and it might come at a slightly cheaper price thanks to the down year and a scary, deep free agent class.
Robinson had 1,250 receiving yards to his name in 2020 and can absolutely get back to that level of production. The Eagles don’t have a physical gap in their squad and he fits the “28-year-old” mold of a Howie free agent.
The WR position needs veteran leadership and Robinson is a player who has both thrived and struggled during his time in the NFL. He could be the perfect person to coach a very young room, as well as to introduce missing dynamics in attack.
Williams is another wide receiver who exudes aggression in his game. He really proved himself worthy of a big contract this season and finished it on a high, with 119 yards in the Week 18 win over the Raiders in this Game.
Justin Herbert is an equally young QB who has really benefited from physical dominance, with the duo converting 64% of their fourth assists this year. There’s no doubt that Hurts could benefit from the 6’4 wide.
Williams ended his year with 1,146 yards, marking the second time he’s passed the 1,000 mark and his best season to date since entering the league in 2017. That could push his price up, all the more that his fifth-year option was about $15. Mark M. However, the Eagles should be able to make a reasonable offer, it just depends on whether or not they want to pay someone WR1 money, knowing full well what they have in DeVonta Smith .
A wide beloved by Howie Roseman and company during the draft process, Chark ended up in Jacksonville after the team decided to go all-in on Dallas Goedert. However, there’s no reason why he can’t return home.
At just 25 years old, the wide 6’4 brings a 4.3 speed to the table by fitting into the mold of fast receivers recently sculpted by the front office. He also happens to be the kind of “low risk, high reward” gambler Howie would salivate over.
Chark’s 2021 season ended after just four games due to a broken ankle. In 2020, he racked up 706 yards, which was a pretty significant drop from his second breakout where he eclipsed 1,000 yards and scored 8 touchdowns. However, the Jags’ offense was atrocious and littered with quarterbacking issues.
Chark fits the bill of a zippy receiver who can not only create separation with his road run, but compete for those 50-50 balls and bail out a quarterback who is struggling to place the ball. All that and the fact that he’s a 25-year-old man, on a cheaper deal thanks to an inflated market and two quiet years? Count on me.
The link here with Nick Sirianni is important. The Eagles head coach coordinated the offense that saw Hilton rush for over 1,200 receiving yards in 2018. Hilton is much smaller than your typical X receiver. However, that 2018 season under Sirianni was the only time in five years that he exceeded 1,000 yards. Hilton also had 6 receptions over 40 yards to his name with Andrew Luck taking full advantage of his ability to create separation early in the course.
Jalen Hurts may not be Andrew Luck, but he could benefit from a receiver like Hilton who can be a jack-of-all-trades and move the entire line of scrimmage. His experience would be hugely beneficial to DeVonta Smith and a young group, and Nick Sirianni has only spoken enthusiastically about his game during his time with the Colts.
Two words: Aaron. Head of Moor.
I loved Christian Kirk coming out of Texas A&M and a lot of that was due to Moorhead’s ability to develop lots of receiving skills. Prior to being drafted by the Arizona Cardinals, Kirk was a student of future Eagles coach WR and did quite well.
2017: Christian Kirk: 919 yards, 10 TDs, 13 games
2016: Christian Kirk: 928 yards, 9 TDs, 13 games
2015: Christian Kirk: 1,009 yards, 7 TDs, 13 games
Kirk has become a lethal slot gun in Arizona and is almost the perfect example of what Jalen Reagor should have become. He had 982 yards this year and looked impressive when asked to fill in the boots of an injured DeAndre Hopkins.
The only problem with this signing would be that it could push Quez Watkins out into the cold unless they believe he or Kirk can shine at point Z. Both are profiting from the slot, which could create an interesting dynamic at camp and beyond. However, the advantage Kirk brings should be more than enough to quell those concerns.
Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire