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STAY OR GO: The Wide Receivers

The Eagles have already begun trimming the fat at the wide receiver position to get younger and improve the salary cap. DeSean Jackson was released by the team last Friday, and Ian Rappaport reported that Alshon Jeffery will be released when the league year begins in March.

Outside of those two, there are some big decisions to be made. Despite making moves to improve the position last offseason, the Eagles receiving core remained one of the worst in the league.

Jalen Reagor

Reagor was the team's 2020 first-round draft pick and had a rough first season. Suffering an injury early in the year whilst Justin Jefferson had the greatest season ever by a rookie receiver did not help him. The 22-year-old showed glimpses of what he could do but did not do it enough in a dreadful offensive scheme that did not favour wide receivers.

Verdict: STAY. An easy decision. Reagor will be a starting receiver for the team as he looks to make a big step in his development and become the player the Eagles wanted him to become.

Travis Fulgham

Fulgham had a great stretch during the early part of the 2020 season, where he quickly became Carson Wentz's favourite weapon and a cult hero to Eagles fans. It began with his 42-yard touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers, and he quickly became an integral part of the offense. However, once Alshon Jeffery returned to the line-up, he saw his playing time dwindle. His play during that stretch did enough to earn him a contract for the 2021 season.

Verdict: STAY. Another easy decision. Fulgham was awesome earlier in the season and made some incredible plays. It was not like he was capitalising on poor defenses as well. The wide receiver had impressive games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants. He has shown he is no mug and deserves to have his chance to play into a longer contract in 2021. Under Nick Sirianni, he could do exactly that.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside

A name that will forever be controversial in Philadelphia, JJAW was a second-round pick in 2019 and has never lived up to his draft hype. The dropped game-winning touchdown against the Detroit Lions in 2019 sums up his Eagles career to date. Being drafted over DK Metcalf will forever haunt him, but his play on the field has not helped his case.

Verdict: GO. It is hard to make a case for him to stay. He has had two impressive training camps but has never put that into the regular season. You could argue he never got a real chance to play last season, but he made some plays in the Week 17 loss to the Washington Football Team. Nick Sirianni could decide to give him another year and hope he can help him excel in his offensive scheme. The only other option is a position change to tight end. However, Arcega-Whiteside's days in Philadelphia appear to be numbered.

Greg Ward

Ward is another cult hero following his heroics at the end of the 2019 season. The quarterback turned wide receiver came from nowhere to help lead the Eagles to the playoffs and earnt a contract for the 2020 season. He did okay in 2020, having 419 yards receiving and six touchdowns. He will become an Exclusive-Rights Free Agent ahead of the 2021 season, meaning the Eagles will have to decide on signing him.

Verdict: STAY. Ward became one of Hurts' favourite targets down the stretch, especially in the red zone. He has been on the receiving end of three of Hurts' six passing touchdowns, and it is hard to see the Eagles moving on from him. Throughout all the drama, injuries and poor play, Ward was there. One of the only consistencies on offense last season and the Eagles will value his availability more than anything else. The team is expected to take a receiver with their first-round pick. Ward is likely to become the fourth or fifth choice receiver on the team.

Marquise Goodwin

Goodwin was acquired through a trade during the 2020 draft, but did not play last season. He opted-out because of COVID-19 to protect his family, and you can only respect him for that.

Verdict: GO. Goodwin does not fit what the Eagles are trying to do. He is 30-years-old and has featured in more than 12 games twice in his career. The Eagles need to get healthier and younger, and keeping Goodwin would not fit that vision. Cutting Goodwin would save the team more than $4 million in cap space, and it is a likely move to make with the team in salary cap hell.

John Hightower

Hightower was drafted in the fifth round last year thanks to his blistering pace and ability to stretch the field. He showed that on occasions, but he also struggled with fundamentals. He could not track a deep ball at times and had a few big passes slip through his hands. He was benched for the final few games of the season when Hurts became the starter.

Verdict: DECIDED IN TRAINING CAMP. Hightower's exclusion from the team during a time he should have been playing was an interesting decision. As a late-round draft pick, his position on the team is in the balance. The emergence of fellow rookie Quez Watkins certainly did not help his case. The Eagles are likely to draft a receiver in the first round, as well as potentially picking a wide receiver on day three. They will also look to add a veteran in free agency. Those moves, and the number of receivers to be carried on the 53-man roster, will likely decide Hightower's fate come final cuts.

Quez Watkins

Watkins barely played during his rookie season due to being placed on injured reserve then being inactive on gamedays. He got his chance down the stretch and impressed against the Arizona Cardinals. He ended the season with seven receptions, 106 yards and a touchdown.

Verdict: STAY. Watkins showed glimpses of what he could do during the final four games of the season. Especially in the defeats to the Cardinals and Cowboys. He is another player that appears to have a good connection with Hurts, and he has good speed and acceleration. That touchdown he scored was impressive too. A good bench option to have at wide receiver five or six and the type of player Sirianni could utilise nicely.

Deontay Burnett

Burnett returned to the team on the practice squad last season but barely featured. He is remembered for being one of the unsung heroes down the stretch of the 2019 season.

Verdict: GO. Burnett was signed to a futures contract, and he will most likely be a camp body and practise squad candidate. However, having barely featured last season, the Eagles will likely waive him during training camp for other practice squad candidates.


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