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February 10, 2017

Pierre Garcon named as potential Eagles target, which doesn't make much sense

Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia Eagles fans observed the wide receiver corps being bad at football, and the position is unanimously accepted as a gigantic, high-beam glaring need this offseason, highly likely to be addressed in free agency.

This notion is not lost on sports agents. Ask one who has interest in their wide receiver client, and they're going to say the Eagles, whether there is legitimate interest or not. Obviously, the more demand for your client (especially from a buyer with an obvious need), the better it is for business.

On Thursday, the Washington Post published a column from Mike Jones warning that the Redskins better not mess up this offseason, or they could fall apart as a team. Way down in paragraph No. 15, Jones named the Eagles as one of five teams likely to pursue wide receiver Pierre Garcon in free agency.

The team likes Pierre Garcon, and Garcon says he wants to be here. But as many as five other teams (Rams, Eagles, Bears, Cowboys, 49ers) are expected to want this reliable veteran to serve as a security blanket for their young quarterbacks.

Jones' column did not focus on Garcon and wasn't a "report piece," but did manage to sound kinda source'y in the Garcon blurb, although no source was referenced. The blurb was then subsequently picked up by a slew of other media outlets.

Garcon doesn't make much sense for this Eagles team. First, a look at his career numbers:

Pierre Garcon Rec Yds YPC TD
2008 - Colts 4 23 5.8 0
2009 - Colts 47 765 16.3 4
2010 - Colts 67 784 11.7 6
2011 - Colts 70 947 13.5 6
2012 - Redskins 44 633 14.4 4
2013 - Redskins 113 1346 11.9 5
2014 - Redskins 68 752 11.1 3
2015 - Redskins 72 777 10.8 6
2016 - Redskins 79 1041 13.2 3
TOTAL 564 7068 12.5 37 

As you can see from his numbers above, Garcon has averaged a modest 12.5 yards per catch over his career. He also has never once scored more than six touchdowns in any season. Garcon's role is pretty well established at this point in his career. He is a good possession receiver who is not going to give you much in the way of big plays. 

When you look at the Eagles' receivers and ask, "What kind of receiver could they use," one correct answer could be, "Literally anything," and you wouldn't get much of an argument from me. There's no question that Garcon would be an upgrade, but that is about as low a bar as one could set.

However, if there's one thing the Eagles are at least close to having, that would be possession receivers who are not going to, you know, give you much in the way of big plays. The Eagles already have those kinds of guys in Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz, although "possession receiver" is perhaps a generous title for a guy who drops as many passes as Matthews.

Players like Matthews, Ertz, and whatever running backs are on the roster in 2017 would benefit from a player who is a threat to make plays down the field. Another receiver who can make catches in short to intermediate areas of the field is not going to stop opposing safeties from camping out near the line of scrimmage, like they did in 2016.

The Eagles are cash strapped, so they have to be very careful where they allocate their dollars this offseason. Garcon would be about as disappointing a solution as imaginable if he were the answer at wide receiver in free agency. As an "additional" free agent acquisition, as in a second guy the Eagles might bring in, that would be fine from a football standpoint, but he's likely going to be way too expensive for what the Eagles have in their coffers if they're already spending big money on a difference-maker.

Garcon will be 31 before the 2017 season begins. If you're going to spend money on a player that old, he better have some kind of dynamic skill set (cough, the other Redskins free agent receiver, cough) that is going to help make the younger players around him better. I just don't see that in Garcon.

Prepare to see the Eagles linked to every receiver with two hands and a heartbeat.

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