Grading the Eagles’ moves: WR Alshon Jeffery

Grading the Eagles’ moves: WR Alshon Jeffery

While I’m still trying to figure out how the Eagles can possibly afford to do this, there is very little not to like about signing Alshon Jeffery to a one-year deal.

Sure, $14 million is a steep sum, although Jeffery is worth every penny if he returns to the Pro Bowl form he displayed in 2013 and ’14. Even if it doesn’t work out, this is a one-time payment. It’s $14 million less than could’ve been spent on another player or carried over into 2018, yet the opportunity to sign a true No. 1 receiver in free agency and test drive him for one season doesn’t come often.

And make no mistake, Jeffery absolutely has the ability to be a No. 1. This guy has it all. At 6-foot-3, 218 pounds and 33-inch arms, Jeffery possesses tremendous catch radius. That size makes him a weapon inside the red zone, as evidenced by his 17 touchdowns over the ’13-14 seasons, but he can also stretch the field, his career 15.0 yards per reception good for 11th among active NFL players.

Jeffery is coming off of a pair of seemingly ordinary campaigns that maxed out in 50-reception, 800-yard range. Still, his career 72.2 receiving yards per game ranks 10th among active players and 18th all-time.

The down years are certainly a cause for concern, although the Bears have been terrible, too, winning nine games during that span. Jeffery also battled injury in 2015 and was only able to play half a season, while a suspension over performance-enhancing drugs cost him a quarter of the ’16 campaign.

If you take Jeffery’s production over the past two years and project that over a full 16-game season, it works out to 81 receptions and 1,240 yards. That’s pretty much in line with Jeffery’s numbers in ’14, when he posted 85 receptions and 1,133 yards, and not far off of his Pro Bowl effort in ’13, with 89 receptions and 1,421 yards.

Can the Eagles get a full 16 out of Jeffery? Obviously, that is a larger issue than his play, which is tremendous. For a single payment of $14 million, the risk is minimal.

In fact, if there is a downside to this deal at all, it’s Jeffery becoming a free agent again in 2018. The Eagles, understandably, didn’t want to get locked into something super long-term after the suspension, injury and modest seasons. Still, there’s no guarantee that Jeffery won’t have a tremendous season and wind up in a different uniform a year later.

The Eagles aren’t entirely without protection, as they can always use the franchise tag to restrict Jeffery’s movement if need be. Of course, all of this is putting the cart before the horse. Jeffery has something to prove after the last two years, and if he’s able to, the Eagles are in strong position to capitalize, both in 2017 and beyond.

Grade: A

Previously: Grading the Eagles' moves: WR Torrey Smith

More details emerge about NFL draft experience on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philly

More details emerge about NFL draft experience on the Ben Franklin Parkway in Philly

Football fans have been pretty excited about the NFL draft coming to Philadelphia but details surrounding the event have been relatively scarce.

The Mayor of Philadelphia's office released more details this afternoon about what exactly will be going on in front of the Art Museum and along the Ben Franklin Parkway.

They had said previously that they expect a record-setting 200,000 fans through the experience.

Here are some of the highlights.

The fan festival activities will be FREE and last for three days along a half-mile stretch of the Ben Franklin Parkway. This will include "interactive exhibits, immersive games, and virtual reality experiences, free player autograph sessions and more."

Hours for the fan experience:

Thursday, April 27: 12 pm - 11 pm

Friday, April 28: 12 pm - 11 pm

Saturday, April 29: 10 am - 6 pm

In addition to the special fan fest experience, a number of the museums in the area will be offering special discounts or even free admission.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will offer free general admission during those three days of the draft will discounts on special exhibits. The Barnes Foundation will be closed on Thursday for a special event but will maintain normal business hours (10 am - 5 pm) on Friday and Saturday. The Franklin Institute will be open to the public from 9:30am-5pm during NFL Draft days (April 27-29).

There will be a plethora of road closures starting in phases as early as April 10th. The full extent of the road closures will begin on the 25th at 12:01 am and include the following:

21st Street closed from Winter Street to Spring Garden Street
     *   Local access to Pennsylvania Avenue only (all traffic must turn left)

  *   22nd Street closed from Race Street to Spring Garden Street
     *   Local access to Park Towne Place only (residents)

  *   23rd Street closed from Fairmount Avenue to Benjamin Franklin Parkway
     *   Local access only

  *   24th Street closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Park Towne Place
     *   Local access only

  *   Martin Luther King Drive closed at Sweet Briar Drive.
     *   Road opened daily during peak AM rush hour on 4/27 & 4/28 (5AM-10AM) for access to I-676 via 24th Street

  *   Kelly Drive closed from Benjamin Franklin Parkway to Fairmount Avenue

  *   Spring Garden Street Bridge closed at 31st Street
     *   Road opened daily during peak AM rush hour on 4/27 & 4/28 (5AM-10AM) for access to I-676 via 24th Street
     *   Access to I-76 westbound will be maintained
     *   Local access to Art Museum will be maintained

  *   Spring Garden Street closed from 22nd Street to Benjamin Franklin Parkway
     *   Local access after peak AM rush hour

  *   Pennsylvania Avenue closed from Hamilton Street to Fairmount Avenue
     *   Local access after peak AM rush hour

  *   Pennsylvania Avenue/Callowhill Street closed from 20th Street to 21st Street
     *   Local access to Barnes Foundation driveway (westbound) only
     *   Eastbound open from 21st Street

  *   Park Towne Place closed from 22nd Street to 24th Street
     *   Local access only (residents)

  *   I-676 westbound 22nd Street off-ramp closed

From our previous post on what the Fan Fest experience will entail:

Among the NFL Draft Experience fan events:

·       Combine Corner – From racing against NFL players to running routes, fans can test their football and athletic skills at Combine Corner, which includes the Vertical Jump and 40-Yard Dash.

·       NFL Virtual Reality – Experience NFL games using virtual reality technology.

·       The Vince Lombardi Trophy – Fans will have the opportunity to take their photo with the Super Bowl trophy.

·       AFC & NFC Locker Rooms – Visit a replica NFL locker room as it appears on gameday. Experience the sights of an NFL pregame with sleek translucent LCDs.

·       NFL Museum (Pro Football Hall of Fame display area) – This exhibit features historical Eagles memorabilia, Super Bowl rings and Conference Championship trophies. Fans can get a digitalized Pro Football Hall of Fame bronze bust in their likeness.

·       College Football Corner – Fans can view College Football Hall of Fame memorabilia from former first round Draft picks and Eagles legends, and cheer on Draft prospects from their favorite college team. Life size player mannequins offer unique photo opportunities.

·       NFL Draft Experience Tailgate – Enjoy selections from some of Philadelphia’s best restaurants in a “taste of the town” tailgate.

·       NFL Network Set – Watch NFL Network analysts break down the NFL Draft.

·       ESPN Set – Check out SportsCenter LIVE from NFL Draft Experience.

·       NFL Shop at Draft – Stop by for the largest assortment of NFL Draft merchandise, including customizable Nike Jerseys and the official 2017 NFL Draft Cap by New Era and other exclusive Draft caps.

·       NFL Draft Set – Visit the official NFL Draft set from Thursday to Saturday and see the view from behind the podium.

Eagles lineman to attend random fan's wedding

Eagles lineman to attend random fan's wedding

Well, if you are a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan who attended Miami University in Ohio, you’re in luck because Brandon Brooks would love to join you and your soon-to-be spouse on your wedding day.

All you need to do is send a letter.

This morning, Brooks tweeted out a letter he received from fellow Miami University graduates Geoffrey Lane and his bride-to-be Marni Goldberg, inviting him to their wedding tomorrow afternoon.

Geoffrey took a shot in the dark trying to bring a celebrity to his wedding. Low risk, high reward situation.

It paid off as Brooks accepted the blind-date style invitation.

You have to wonder what Brooks might get the newlyweds as a gift. Perhaps a midnight-green toaster.

This isn’t the first time an Eagles player made someone’s day special. This past season Rookie QB Carson Wentz was tasked to complete a fan’s quiz after losing two straight games and leading in into a week-14 game against the Bengals. That game would be an embarrassing 32-14 loss

Luckily for Wentz, the five-question test from this young fan did not ask about his receiving corps or his struggles adjusting to the NFL.

Wentz responded via twitter and passed with flying colors.