“TRADE, extend or restructure”. This was the subject of a Facebook post that I weighed in on Monday morning, regarding WR Alshon Jeffery. While all of those options are the wrong one, some are more wrong than others. What really bothered me though, were the moronic reasons behind some people’s answers. Before we go any further, let’s take a quick look at Jeffery’s current deal, according to Spotrac.
We have Jeffery for 2 more years, at a fully guaranteed 26.75M . That’s a 9.9M base in 2020, and a 12.7M base in 2021. Cutting him in 2020 leaves us with a dead cap figure of 26.1M. Cutting him in 2021 leaves us eating 10.6M. So anyone who mentions cutting him…just tune that idiot out. Don’t even argue.
I won’t keep you in suspense. The actual thing we should do with Jeffery, is draft his replacement, and spend two years grooming the guy. Let Jeffery play out the last two years of his current deal, and then let him walk. Cleanly, as a free agent. Acknowledge the past, solidify the present, secure the future.
One more time: The Eagles already have Jeffery under contract. Even with him at 9.9M, we still have 42M in salary cap space. We can already afford him. Easily. There is no need to do something stupid. But let’s look at those other options, anyway.
TRADE: Trading a player doesn’t necessarily remove them entirely from a teams books. The team we trade Jeffery to, would pay his base salary. However, the remaining 10.5M in bonus money (2.5M signing, 3.45M option, 500K roster, 4.1M restructure) would stay on the Eagles books for two years. That’s 5.25M per year that the Eagles would lift for some other team. All so that instead of building on a foundation, we can re-create a hole that we already suffered through in 2019. Like idiots.
EXTEND: Why? Understand, Jeffery has good speed, runs decent routes, and has good hands. On 50/50 balls he’s more of an 85/15 guy. He’s at the low end of the top-tier WR’s. However, all indications are that he’s slowing down physically, with maybe two years left before his skills drop him from being an 85/15 guy to an actual 50/50 guy. He has never been a crisp route runner, and isn’t a blazing fast guy either. So what would we be paying for beyond two years? Play him. Pay him. Shake his hand. Part ways amicably.
RESTRUCTURE: What? WHY? All a restructure does is take the current contract and stretch out the money over a longer period of time. In exchange for re-doing a contract, a team usually guarantees the years of the new deal. So we’d basically stretch 26.75M over three or more years, (instead of just these two), likely keeping Jeffery past his useful years, and stealing a spot from some other player. Or we could cut Jeffery, eat the remaining dead money, and get zero bang for those bucks. Stupid right?
This is why I say, just let him play his deal out. For what the Eagles are paying, he’s not overly expensive, and will likely be well worth the money (or close to it), for the remainder of the deal.
Many of the people who want him removed, like to bring up those unverified rumors that he’s the guy who criticized QB Carson Wentz. Fans were saying that Jeffery is a “cancer”, isn’t “bought-in”, and was trying to “sabotage” Wentz this year.
All of those statements are nonsense. The locker room didn’t come apart, and Jeffery led all Eagles WR’s in catches, receiving yards, and touchdowns. He even produced a 100 yard game while playing hurt. Hard to buy the “cancer and sabotage” nonsense, in light of those FACTS.
As far as the unsubstantiated rumors… Hey, in my gut I believe it was Jeffery who said those things. I do. But even so, since when is a guy not allowed to speak his mind? I’m a native Philadelphian who was born at Episcopal hospital, in 19125 where I still live. I went to high school (Parkway Center City), six blocks from Independence Hall. I was a Communications major with a minor in Philadelphia History. I’m all about free speech, so I won’t knock Jeffery for using it. I just wish he stood behind it.
While we’re on the subject of him talking, lets take a look at the substance of what [he] said. Here’s a direct quote: ‘We need to make shit simpler. Sometimes we just need to handle what is manageable. Even Peyton Manning knew when to check it down.’
Quick question. Didn’t Wentz start doing exactly these things after the Miami game? He threw a lot more checkdowns (Perkins/Sanders/Goedert), RB Screens (Scott), and he stopped holding the ball so long. The routes were simplified for incoming players. The result was a 4 – 0 record, 7 TD’s, no INT’s, only 7 sacks surrendered, and a 67.6 completion percentage. Prior to those four games, Wentz had a completion percentage of 62.4% on the season.
The evidence strongly suggests that we may have benefited from Wentz taking that advice sooner. (Still wouldn’t have changed the outcome of the playoff game though.)
While the Eagles may move on from Jeffery, let’s be clear about something. Every indicator says that it would be a stupid thing to do while we can afford him, while we don’t have better than him, and while he clearly knows what he’s talking about.