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June 23, 2024

A look at the best available free agent wide receivers and how they might fit with the Eagles

Michael Thomas, Hunter Renfrow, and another run with Julio Jones are among the Eagles' options for a third receiver in 2024.

Eagles NFL
061924MichaelThomas Joe Lamberti/USA TODAY NETWORK

Michael Thomas is still on the free agent market.

One of the very obvious holes on the Philadelphia Eagles' roster is at the third wide receiver spot, where the Birds have a collection of late-round rookies and veteran reclamation projects. It's a spot where some believe the team could continue to try to bring in more players, so let's take a look at who is still available on the open market. (Spoiler: Not much.)

Michael Thomas: In 2019, Thomas broke an NFL record with 149 catches (since broken). He gained 1725 yards and had 9 TDs that season. In the four seasons since, he has played in just 20 games and missed 47. In 2023, he publicly accused his quarterback of getting him hurt with a "bad ball," criticized his quarterback for making wrong reads, got into multiple Twitter fights with Saints reporters, and was arrested for allegedly throwing a brick at a construction worker's truck because he didn't like where it was parked, lol. He's probably just not a great guy, and his best playing days are long gone. Pass.

Hunter Renfrow: Renfrow had a big season out of the slot for the Raiders in 2021, when he caught 103 passes for 1038 yards and 9 TDs. His production then fell off a cliff in 2022 and 2023, when he had 61 catches for 585 yards and 2 TDs in those two seasons combined.

In theory, the Eagles could use a slot receiver, but small, shifty slots have never really been Howie Roseman's jam, and the three veteran receivers the Eagles signed this offseason — John Ross, DeVante Parker, and Parris Campbell — did not fit that profile either. I wouldn't view Renfrow as a fit.

Corey Davis: Davis was the fifth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. He played for four years with the Titans (2017-2020), and two with the Jets (2021-2022). Prior to the 2023 season, he announced that he was "stepping away" from football. In March, he applied for reinstatement, and the Jets released him from their reserve/retired list.

While he never came close to living up to his draft status, Davis was a solid enough receiver. His best season was in 2020, when he caught 65 passes for 984 yards (15.1 YPC) and 5 TDs. In his most recent season with the Jets in 2022, he caught 32 passes for 536 yards (16.8 YPC) and 2 TDs in a bad Jets offense. He has some big play ability, but Davis' claim to fame is that he is thought of as an extraordinary blocker as a receiver. Perhaps he might make sense as a rich man's Zach Pascal?

Russell Gage: Gage was a respectable No. 2/3 receiver in Atlanta in 2020 and 2021, when he had 138 catches for 1556 yards and 8 TDs in those two seasons combined. He then got a nice contract from the Bucs (3 years, $30 million), and proceeded to have a 51-426-5 season in 2022 before missing the entire 2023 season with a torn patellar tendon. Gage is thought of as a try hard character guy, but he doesn't have great size or any other standout traits, and he's coming off a bad injury.

Julio Jones: Jones had 11 catches for just 74 yards after signing with the team in-season last year. He did have 3 TD catches. He'll join an esteemed list of receivers who signed with the Eagles long after their best days in the NFL, like Art Monk, James Lofton, Roy Green, Mark Duper, and others. But no, the Eagles should not sign Julio Jones again.

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