Eagles Mailbag: Are people overreacting about the receivers?

Eliot Shorr-Parks
April 03, 2020 - 8:16 am

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions!

Why is everyone freaking out about the WR position when/if you add a top rookie we are fine? Starting 3 DeSean/rookie/Ward JJaw 4th. How is that concerning? — Michael Clay @shadoutdrums

The question of whether or not fans are overreacting to the team’s receiver position comes down to two things. First, your trust in Howie Roseman to find the right rookie. Second, just how important you think the position is. 

The second one can certainly be debated. Last year the Eagles’ offense looked it’s best when Carson Wentz was playing with Greg Ward, Rob Davis, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Deontay Burnett. Their competition had something to do with it. Wentz’s improved play from earlier in the season helped. But the lesson to be learned was that the offense seemed to be better when Wentz was the focus of the offense, as opposed to the gameplan revolving around getting the ball to specific receivers like Alshon Jeffery, DeSean Jackson or Nelson Agholor. The Eagles clearly seemed to have been impacted by the final month, as Howie Roseman has referenced the final month of the season multiple times this offseason.

That being said, the team does need to add some new talent to the position, and at this point that is going to come through the draft. It would be a game changer if Roseman hits on a rookie receiver, one that can stretch the field and add an explosive element to the offense. If a player like Henry Ruggs, Justin Jefferson or KJ Hamler can come in and contribute right away, the Eagles’ situation will look a lot different, especially when you consider Zach Ertz, Dallas Goedert and Miles Sanders will be big parts of the passing game. 

That is a lot of pressure on a rookie and a lot of pressure on Roseman to get the pick right — which is most people, rightfully so, are worried about the receiver position. 

Who gets more defensive line snaps, Javon Hargrave or Malik Jackson? — Bryen Singleton-Pradia (@eaglesfans2488)

If everything goes to plan for the Eagles this number likely won’t be close — it’ll be Hargrave. The Eagles are extremely high on Hargrave, viewing him as perhaps the centerpiece of the future of their defensive line. Both the coaching staff and the front office thinks he can come in and make an immediate impact. Jackson, on the other hand, is 30-years old and coming off of a bad foot injury that cost him basically the entire 2019 season. Jackson is likely to be the obvious third defensive tackle behind Fletcher Cox and Hargrave, and the snap count should reflect that. 

Will you continue to hashtag emojis this season? — Sean (@_SeanShawnShaun)

Of course.

The Eagles have 29 million in cap space remaining. Are they really not going to use that money to improve the roster for this season and let it all roll into 2021 season to help that years cap season? Or does this team have one more big move up it’s sleeve before the draft? — Greg T. (@phillygm711)

Chances are that money will be going to one of two things — either rolling over into 2021 or front-loading a Zach Ertz contract extension. The Eagles are currently, according to Over The Cap, $25 million over the salary cap in 2021. That dead last in the NFL and $45 million less salary cap space than the team ahead of them. The $30 million they have will go a long way in helping dig themselves out of that hole. 

Ertz’s desire for a new contract is still an issue lingering over this team’s head, and it could become a major issue once Travis Kelce and George Kittle get paid. Considering Ertz will be 30-years old midway through next season, the Eagles might prefer to front load his deal, making it easier to pay Dallas Goedert after the 2021 season. Ertz’s new deal, which could look more like a receiver deal, might take up a good portion of the remaining salary cap space if the Eagles do front load it. 

As for other big moves, the only player in the league likely to get a significant portion of the Eagles’ remaining salary cap space? Yannick Ngakoue, a move fans should absolutely not count out. 

Biscuits or cinnamon rolls? — Philip Dudley (@Pdudley243)

This is a tough one. The issue is there are a lot of bad biscuits out there, whereas cinnamon rolls are pretty consistent. Biscuits, at their best, however, are very good and better than cinnamon rolls. I’ll go biscuits. 

Tacos or burritos? — NR @lreadthetweet 

This one is easy, assuming we are talking soft shell, because hard-shell tacos are trash. The answer is tacos. Burritos are just too much, and you almost always feel gross after eating one. It is possible to really enjoy tacos, which taste better anyway, without feeling like you put on 10 pounds in the process. Tacos all day. 

You can reach Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!