What do Eagles' additions mean for Dorial Green-Beckham, other receivers?

What do Eagles' additions mean for Dorial Green-Beckham, other receivers?

Dorial Green-Beckham is big but he plays small. He's fast but plays slow. His routes are sloppy. He doesn't play special teams. His effort is suspect. And, basically, he was just a giant waste of potential in 2016. 

No more excuses this year. 

Green-Beckham arrived in Philadelphia during training camp last summer as the return for reserve tackle Dennis Kelly. When things appear to be too good to be true, they usually are. Meet DGB. There were reasons the Titans were willing to part with their second-round pick after just one year, and those reasons became more evident as his year in Philly played out. And he's frustrating because there is clearly potential there; he has talent! 

Throughout last year, the main excuse kept coming up: He came to camp late and was playing catch-up. There's no questioning his athleticism, talent and size (6-5, 237), but there are plenty of other areas to question DGB. who is entering his third year in the league without the go-to excuse from 2016. 

"I think that this will be a good offseason for DGB," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said last week at the NFL owners meetings. "This will be a great offseason for him. It's going to be an opportunity for him to come in and, No. 1, show what he's really capable of. Now, we got him sort of at the end of training camp last year. I believe it was Week 3 of training camp so he was learning our system really the whole year. 

"Now, having time to work with him and really develop his talent, to get in there with (receivers coach) Mike Groh and learn and with all our players. But at that position with him, it's going to be big with him. And just to see where he's at. It's kind of like the offensive line. You acquire as much depth as you can because you never know when a guy goes down and you need somebody. And competition makes everybody better. I've said that from Day 1. I believe that with everything that I have. For him to come in here and show that will be big for him."

With the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith this offseason, Green-Beckham is far from a lock on the roster, and not being a contributor on special teams doesn't help his cause. 

In addition to Jeffery, Smith and DGB, the Eagles still have Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Bryce Treggs, Paul Turner and others on the roster. The Eagles kept five receivers on their 53-man roster coming out of training camp in 2016, so it’s not hard to see that all of these guys won't be on the 53-man coming out of this summer’s camp. And this is before the draft later this month.  

One guy who will still very likely be on the team -- sorry, Eagles fans -- is Agholor. Because of the structure of his first-round rookie contract, it would actually cost the Eagles more in salary cap space to cut him than it would to keep him around for his third NFL season. 

There's no sugarcoating this one. Agholor, the 20th overall pick in 2015, has had a disastrous first two seasons. Things reached a new low last season when he was a healthy scratch for a game after admitting the pressures of the NFL got to him. 

So maybe the additions of Jeffery and Smith will be good for Agholor, who likely won't need to be a starter for the Eagles in 2017. Perhaps he'll be able to carve out a spot as a reserve player who can have a minimal impact coming off the bench. 

"It's hard to sit here today and really answer that because you don't know what's going to happen," Pederson said. "There's so many dynamics that go into that. ... Again, it's early in the offseason. We haven't even started OTAs yet. But we'll see. We'll see through him working with Coach Groh and another year. Obviously, he's got a leg up on the guys because he's been here and he knows exactly what he's doing. It'll be exciting. It'll be exciting to watch him progress this spring."

Then, there's Matthews, who has been the Eagles' most productive wide receiver over the last couple of seasons. In fact, Matthews -- at least statistically -- is off to a heckuva start to his career. In his first three years, Matthews has 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. He's one of just seven players in NFL history to put up those numbers. 

Earlier this offseason, speculation arose about the Eagles' possibly trading Matthews. Asked about it last week at the owners meetings, Pederson responded, "As far as that goes, I haven't heard any of that." 

So, barring an unforeseen change, expect Matthews to be back with the Eagles for the final year of his rookie contract in 2017. While Pederson likes to move his receivers around, the ideal outcome for the Eagles would be to have Jeffery and Smith outside, with Matthews in the slot. 

"Jordan, obviously, he and Carson (Wentz) have a great relationship," Pederson said. "You saw it I think early in the season and throughout the season, his confidence level in finding him and throwing him the football. He's a big part of what we do. And he's a dynamic slot guy, he's a little bit bigger guy, he works well in there, he understands space. He understands route combinations and what we do and what we try to get done in there. I think he's very comfortable in there."

Are the Redskins pushing DeSean Jackson out?

Are the Redskins pushing DeSean Jackson out?

A DeSean Jackson return to Philadelphia has been a rumor swirling around since the former Eagles wide receiver was noted saying that he would not rule out a return.

A recent Instagram post could be a sign that he may be on his way out of D.C. and back to the City of Brotherly Love. The Redskins released an Instagram post featuring Josh Norman, Trent Williams, Kirk Cousins, Jordan Reed and Ryan Kerrigan. But no Jackson? 

2017 season begins now. We are all 0-0. #HTTR

A post shared by Washington Redskins (@redskins) on

The former Eagles wide receiver took notice and commented saying “Forgot bout @OneOfone”, followed by a pair of open-eyed emojis. The Redskins account replied to him saying “We love you @OneOfone.” 

But has Washington lost that ‘loving feeling’ for Jackson?

This past season Jackson had 56 receptions for 1,005 yards and four touchdowns. He played in every regular season game besides one and averaged 17.9 yards per catch. 

The Eagles have been looking for a deep threat at receiver. In fact, they have been looking for a threat at the position in general. 

Carson Wentz’s best target at WR, Jordan Matthews only had 804 yards on 73 receptions and three touchdowns. Nelson Agholor, Dorial Green-Beckham, and Trey Burton combined for 1,084 yards with 5 touchdowns. 

Jackson would be a key addition for Wentz as it would allow him to have a reliable deep threat and will be a better fit as the team’s No.1 WR instead of Matthews. 

Doug Pederson ran Matthews out of that bubble screen far too much last season. An addition of Jackson would create more opportunities with that play since his speed and agility is more suitable.

Eagles Stay or Go Part 1: Nelson Agholor to Kenjon Barner

Eagles Stay or Go Part 1: Nelson Agholor to Kenjon Barner

In the first of our 12-part offseason series examining the future of the Eagles, Reuben Frank and Dave Zangaro give their opinions on who will be and who won't be on the roster in 2017. We go alphabetically — Part 1 is Nelson Agholor to Kenjon Barner.

Nelson Agholor
Cap hit: $2.13M

Roob: The first one is one of the most intriguing ones. It’s easy to just say, “Get rid of all the receivers except Jordan Matthews and start over!” And tempting, too. But the real world doesn’t work like that. Agholor would count a couple million more against the cap if the Eagles release him than if they keep him, so that’s one compelling reason to give him another year to try to find his way. And then there’s the simple fact that you can’t add four new wide receivers in one cap-strapped offseason, so somebody other than Matthews has to stay. And the biggest reason to keep Agholor around for another year is simply because somewhere lurking inside there may be a capable NFL wide receiver and the Eagles need to be absolutely sure a former first-round pick isn’t going to help them before cutting him loose so he can go to New England and catch 88 passes for 1,373 yards and make a Pro Bowl and win a Super Bowl ring. Maybe with a new position coach it will click in Year 3. I doubt it, but the Eagles have to find out. 

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: You guys aren’t going to like this, but Agholor is going to be an Eagle in 2017. No, he probably doesn’t deserve it and has been a complete disaster of a first-round pick, but it would actually cost the Eagles more to cut him than it would to keep him on the team thanks to the way these rookie deals are structured. Now, the Eagles obviously need to upgrade the receiver position, so even while Agholor will be back for the 2017 season, he shouldn’t have the same starter-type role. If he does, the Eagles have done a terrible job at upgrading one of their worst positions. After two years, it really doesn’t look like Agholor will ever play up to his first-round draft status. Now, it’s about trying to get something out of him, making him at least a competent backup. 

Verdict: STAYS

Beau Allen
Cap hit: $705K

Roob: Allen played 40 percent of the defensive snaps this year as the third defensive tackle, and he played pretty well. Nothing spectacular, but pretty steady. Depending on what happens with Bennie Logan in free agency, Allen could be asked to start next year, and he can probably handle it. The Eagles would still need a third D-tackle to rotate in there, and I’d be careful about increasing Allen’s snap count too much beyond 50 percent. But he’s a good effort guy who's durable, solid and cheap. 

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: There was clearly a dropoff this year when Bennie Logan went down and Allen came in to replace him. Logan is a good pass rusher and a good run stuffer. Allen doesn’t have the same impact as a pass rusher. But he still played well in 2016 and there’s no reason to get rid of him now, especially with how little he gets paid. If Logan doesn’t return, there’s a decent chance Allen will be a starter. 

Verdict: STAYS

Josh Andrews
Cap hit: $615K

Roob: Andrews is going into his fourth NFL season and has never played a snap on the offensive line. He must have something going for him to stick around under two head coaches without playing a snap. The Eagles have some depth in the interior of the offensive line, but Andrews is a Jeff Stoutland favorite, and I’m going to guess he keeps him around for another year. 

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: Andrews has been with the Eagles for a while now and still hasn’t played a role on offense. The team seems to really like him, but he was only active this year when other injuries came up. I think the Eagles continue to draft and bring in new linemen.

Verdict: GOES

Rasheed Bailey

Roob: Bailey’s a great kid with a great story, a Philly native, played Division III ball at Delaware Valley College in nearby Doylestown. I’d love to see him make it, but the Eagles need real change at wide receiver, a genuine infusion of speed, size and ability, and Bailey just isn’t the kind of upgrade the Eagles need. Hope I’m wrong. I’d love to see the kid come out of nowhere and be a player, but the odds are overwhelmingly against him. 

Verdict: GOES

Dave: This spring, Bailey and Paul Turner should be on the same football field, which will make the city implode, so there’s no point to even continuing this list. Seriously, though, Bailey probably wouldn’t have been any worse than some of the Eagles’ wideouts this year. Still, he has an uphill battle ahead of him. 

Verdict: GOES

Allen Barbre
Cap hit: $1.95M

Roob: Barbre turns 33 this offseason, but he comes fairly cheap. He can play guard or tackle, and he seems to be another Stoutland favorite. I don’t want Barbre to be a starter next year. The Eagles need to get younger, stronger and more athletic up front. Depending on what happens with Jason Kelce, I’d expect Isaac Seumalo to start somewhere – either center or left guard. But I’m fine keeping Barbre around as a versatile backup who can fill in anywhere but center. 

Verdict: STAYS

Dave: The Eagles could choose to cut Barbre and save $1.7 million, but it’s probably not worth doing it for that little bit of money. He's not nearly as good at tackle but he can play guard and his versatility is something NFL coaches really love. Barbre should be back next season, but not necessarily as a starter. Keep him around to push Isaac Seumalo, but eventually Seumalo should be able to take over the left guard spot. 

Verdict: STAYS

Kenjon Barner
Restricted free agent

Roob: Barner is a strange case. He made plays every time he got a chance, but he rarely got a chance. And the further along into the season we got, the fewer chances he got. Barner clearly has talent, and the Eagles clearly need to rebuild the running back position, but it sure seems like the coaches don’t like Barner. Heck, he was inactive against the Redskins a week after a 61-yard kickoff return. Barner averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 30.8 yards per kickoff return on a team with very few weapons, yet the coaches seemed to go out of their way to not play him. He was only the seventh NFL player since 1980 to average 4.8 yards per carry and over 30 yards per kick return. It’s obvious he can play. It’s equally obvious the Eagles have no interest in keeping him. 

Verdict: GOES 

Dave: Barner has barely seen the field over the last two years with the Eagles and during that time, the team could have really used a new running back. While many fans look at Barner and wonder why he hasn’t gotten more of an opportunity, it’s become clear that this coaching staff just doesn’t think all that much of him. I expect the Eagles to place a right of first refusal (lowest) tender on the restricted free agent, but he’d then have to fight his way onto the team and I’m not so sure about his chances. 

Verdict: GOES