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May 21, 2024

Best remaining free agent wide receivers for Eagles to sign

The pickings on the remaining market are slim, but notable names like Michael Thomas, Hunter Renfrow, and Mecole Hardman are still out there.

Eagles NFL
Michael-Thomas_081020_usat Douglas DeFelice/USA TODAY Sports

Does Michael Thomas have any football left to play?

With the retirement of DeVante Parker before playing a single snap with the Eagles, the battle for the No. 3 receiver job behind DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown could wind up being one of the more compelling battles in training camp this summer.

The team currently has three open roster spots on the 90-man ledger, and it stands to reason that perhaps they'll bring in another veteran to fight for a job in training camp.

Our Eagles beat writer Jimmy Kempski briefly touched on the impending WR3 battle early Tuesday morning:

The Eagles should have an interesting battle for the WR3 job in training camp. Britain Covey and Ainias Smith best fit the profile of the classic slot receiver, in that they're smaller, shifty guys. They're also both inexperienced. Smith is a fifth-round rookie and Covey has just four career receptions in two seasons.

Because A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are both weapons out of the slot in addition to the outside, it's not imperative that the WR3 fits the classic slot receiver profile. When the Eagles signed a big receiver in Julio Jones last season, for example, he quickly became the WR3, even if that didn't exactly pan out. Parker might've filled that role, but obviously now he will not. Rookie sixth-round pick Johnny Wilson (6'6, 231) is the lone remaining big receiver of the backups. 

The Eagles also signed sixth-year veteran Parris Campbell earlier this offseason. He is a speedster (4.31 40 once upon a time) who does not play like a speedster (career 9.3 yards per catch). 

The pickings on the free agent market are slim, but they are not non-existent. Here's a brief look at 10 wideouts who are currently available and offer some sort of track record:

Michael Thomas, 31

This would be a low-risk potentially high-reward signing. Thomas had at least 1,100 yards every season from 2016 to 2019 before injuries decimated his production. After missing 2021 entirely, the three-time Pro Bowler had 55 catches for 619 yards and four TDs over the last two years combined. He could play a Julio Jones-type role with a big 6-foot-3 frame in Philly if he shows he has football left to play.

Hunter Renfrow, 28

Renfrow made a Pro Bowl two seasons ago with 103 catches for 1,038 yards and nine touchdowns in Las Vegas. He hasn't been much of a factor in the last two years.

Russell Gage, 28

Gage had two impressive seasons with the Falcons but was a non-factor in the past two years with Tampa, missing 2023 entirely with a knee injury. 

Mecole Hardman, 26

Hardman has big-game experience with the Chiefs and the speed to take the top off a defense. He's a big play or bust type player but would be a decent fit alongside the current Eagles WR duo of Brown and Smith.

Marquise Goodwin, 33

Goodwin was an Eagle for a very short time in 2020 before opting out due to COVID. He has a career 16.2 yards per catch average.

Sterling Shepard, 31

He has a solid career body of work as a depth wideout, amassing 500 yards or more in five straight seasons for the Giants. He has 23 career touchdowns.

Laquon Treadwell, 28

A former first-rounder, Treadwell has been a journeyman of sorts in the NFL, playing in games for five different teams over the last five seasons. 

Byron Pringle, 30

Pringle is a speedy wideout who had one real productive season with the Chiefs amid being a depth wide receiver in the NFL for three teams.

MORE: Game-by-game Eagles 2024 win-loss predictions

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