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January 18, 2019

Eagles stay or go: Wide receiver

The Philadelphia Eagles' 2018 season over, and there will be a lot of interesting decisions made on the players currently on the roster, perhaps more so than in most years. Let's take a position-by-position look at who will likely be back with the team in 2019, and who won't. 

On Wednesday, we started with the quarterbacks. On Thursday, we covered the running backs. Today we'll continue on with the wide receiver

Alshon Jeffery

Jeffery is very clearly the team's No. 1 receiver, and he just signed a four-year contract extension in December of 2017.

#JimmyVerdict: Obviously, Jeffery isn't going anywhere.

Your verdict:

Mike Wallace

Wallace replaced Torrey Smith as sort of the "veteran deep threat," and he ended up appearing in just two games, in which he didn't have a single catch. I believe the Eagles, can -- and will -- do better this offseason in finding a wide receiver who can stretch the defense, but I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Wallace returning if that pursuit fails.

#JimmyVerdict: Likely gone.

Your verdict:

Nelson Agholor

Agholor is a very interesting player to watch this offseason. He is scheduled to play under a fifth-year option exercised by the team for $9,387,000. That's not cheap, and the team doesn't exactly have much in the way of cap space. If a trade offer came around for Agholor, for, oh, say, a third-round pick, then I think it would absolutely make sense for the Eagles to jump on that, and then try to sign Golden Tate to a reasonable long-term deal.

#JimmyVerdict: For now, we'll predict that Agholor will return to the team, and Tate will walk in free agency, but that's certainly not a given.

Your verdict:

Golden Tate

The deal for Tate at the trade deadline for a third-round pick remains a bad use of resources. He was an eight-game rental (it ended up being a 10-game rental with some luck), and his production (37-342-2 in 10 games) fell short of expectations even after it was questionable deal in the first place. 

However, as noted above, I do see a scenario in which he returns to the team in 2019, but Agholor does not. I don't think it would make much sense to keep both players on lucrative deals, however.

#JimmyVerdict: It's probably more likely that Agholor stays, and Tate walks, with the Eagles receiving something like a fifth-round comp pick in return.

Your verdict:

Mack Hollins

Has anyone seen Mack Hollins? If so, please alert me.

After sustaining a sports hernia, Hollins went on IR and missed the entire regular season. At a minimum, if healthy, he's a core special teamer on a rookie contract, and will be back with the team in 2019.

#JimmyVerdict: Stays.

Your verdict:

Shelton Gibson

Gibson served as the gunner on special teams, but his inability to crack the lineup as a deep threat after Wallace went down is a strong indictment of what the coaching staff thought of his viability as a receiver in the regular offense.

In 2017, Gibson had perhaps the worst training camp I've ever seen from a drafted player. In 2018, he improved significantly, and yet still managed to play fewer snaps in his second season, despite a myriad of injuries at the receiver position.

#JimmyVerdict: He'll be back in camp, but must improve significantly once again to stick in 2019.

Your verdict:

Jordan Matthews

Matthews was actually a reasonably productive player when he got opportunities in 2018, at least in terms of expectations. Still, he will be a free agent this offseason, and likely little more than a player the team would pick up on a veteran-minimum contract.  

#JimmyVerdict: Goes.

Your verdict:

#JimmyVerdict Stay or Go Results

Green = Stay

Red = Go

Orange = Will be back in camp in 2019, but a roster spot is not guaranteed

(Note: Some mobile versions will not display colors.)

 QBCarson Wentz Nick Foles Nate Sudfeld  
 RB Jay AjayiCorey Clement Darren Sproles  
 RB (cont.)Wendell Smallwood Josh Adams Boston Scott  
 WR Alshon JefferyMike Wallace  Nelson AgholorGolden Tate 
 WR (cont.)Mack Hollins Shelton Gibson Jordan Matthews  
 Head coach    
 Offensive coordinator    
 Defensive coordinator    

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