The Eagles are trying to get younger and faster on offense this season. That much was made clear by general manager Howie Roseman in his end-of-season press conference.
Although he didn’t say it out right, it is hard to imagine the Eagles accomplishing that goal while also keeping receiver Alshon Jeffery.
The issue with moving on from Jeffery is his contract, as there is a drastic difference between the cap implications of cutting Jeffery vs. trading him. According to Over The Cap, cutting Jeffery would decrease the Eagles’ (current) cap space from $44.7 million to $33.5 million, a loss of close to $11 million. That is very unlikely to happen, but shouldn’t be completely ruled out.
Trading Jeffery, however, would cost the Eagles only about $1 million in cap space—meaning if the team wants to get younger and faster on offense without completely butchering their salary cap, trading Jeffery will be priority No. 1 this offseason.
Trading Jeffery won’t be easy, considering he is coming off of a season-ending foot injury that could linger into next season. His base salary — $9.9 million — isn’t that bad, however, and a team in desperate need of help at receiver could bite at making a deal if it was for a low-round pick of a bottom-of-the-roster player.
Which team could have interest in trading for Jeffery?
Here is a look around the league at teams that might have interest in bringing Jeffery in:
New York Jets
The Jets were rumored to be a team with interest in Jeffery prior to the start of last season, and it makes sense. They are in need of help at receiver, are trying to win right now and have Joe Douglas—who brought Jeffery to Philadelphia—as their general manager. It is possible the Jets lose Robby Anderson in free agency this offseason, and although Jeffery is a very different player, losing Anderson would increase their need for a veteran wide receiver.
Who the Jaguars quarterback is next season could impact the chances of Jeffery ending up in Jacksonville. If it is Nick Foles, look for the Jaguars to be one of the teams that considers bringing in Jeffery. Foles and Jeffery had great chemistry during their time together with the Eagles, and prior to this season, Jeffery seemed to play better with Foles under center than with Wentz. If the Jaguars go with Gardner Minshew, however, they likely won’t have much interest in Jeffery.
One of Jeffery’s strengths is his large catch radius, which would pair nicely with a quarterback that has accuracy issues. Enter Josh Allen, who improved this season, but still is one of the least accurate starting quarterbacks in the NFL. Despite Allen’s accuracy issues the Bills still made the playoffs and will be considered one of the favorites to make the playoffs against next season. The Bills have plenty of speed on offense, so taking a chance on a physical, possession receiver like Jeffery could make sense.
Wherever Mike Groh is
The Eagles’ former offensive coordinator was a big fan of Jeffery, having also coached him during their time in Chicago. It is unlikely Groh gets another offensive coordinator job, so he won’t have a ton of pull wherever he ends up. Still, their history together will likely result in Groh at least suggesting or approving of his new team bringing in Jeffery.
You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org!