Eagles sign WR Alshon Jeffery to 4-year extension

Eagles sign WR Alshon Jeffery to 4-year extension

The Eagles have signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to a four-year contract extension that runs through 2021, the team announced Saturday morning.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the extension is worth $52 million over four years with $27 million guaranteed.

With an average of $13 million, the deal makes Jeffery the eighth-highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL based on average annual salary.

Jeffery is the second veteran offseason acquisition the Eagles have signed in recent weeks to a one-year deal to a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract extension. They secured Tim Jernigan last month.

“First of all I just want to thank Jeffrey Lurie and the entire Eagles organization,” Jeffery said. “I love it here. 

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to play for this organization and for these fans. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms and now I’m looking forward to being here for a long time. We have a great group here and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Jeffery hasn’t put up huge numbers in his first 11 games with the Eagles, but his chemistry with Carson Wentz seems to be growing each week.

He has 17 catches for 265 yards and five touchdowns the last four games and is 43 for 619 with seven TDs so far this year.

Although he only ranks 42nd in the NFL in catches and 30th in yards, Jeffery is tied for fifth in touchdown receptions.

The seven TD catches match the second-most of Jeffery’s career. He had 10 in 2014 with the Bears.

Jeffery takes a streak of four straight games with a touchdown catch into Seattle Sunday night and is just two shy of the team record of six, set in 1985 by Mike Quick. 

Jeffery, 27, needs just 203 yards for his best season since 2014, his second consecutive 1,000-yard season with the Bears.

The Eagles revamped their wide receiving corps during the offseason, cutting ties with Jordan Matthews, Paul Turner, Dorial Green-Beckham and Bryce Treggs.

Jeffery was the centerpiece of the rebuild, and both sides took a chance on a one-year, $9.5 million deal. The Eagles, facing some difficult cap decisions in 2018, risked losing Jeffery this offseason, and Jeffery risked hurting his value if he didn’t produce.

According to Spotrac, the only wide receivers with a higher average annual salary than Jeffery are Antonio Brown ($17 million average per year), DeAndre Hopkins ($16.2 million), A.J. Green ($15 million), Julio Jones ($14.25 million) and Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant ($14 million).

The $27 million in guaranteed components is also the eighth-highest figure among receivers.

It’s quite an investment on a receiver who hasn’t made a Pro Bowl since 2013 and hasn’t had a 1,000-yard season since 2014.

But the Eagles believe Jeffery is the perfect receiver for Wentz to grow with. It took a few weeks but their chemistry recently, especially in the red zone, has been one of the biggest reasons Wentz is having an MVP season and the Eagles are an NFL-best 10-1 and take a nine-game winning streak into Seattle Sunday.

One thing the Eagles really liked about Jeffery early on was that even though he wasn't putting up big numbers — four of his first seven games he had fewer than 40 yards — he always showed a team-first mentality and supported his younger teammates.

"That's one of the things that I love about Alshon," offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. "Even early on when the ball wasn't going to him as much, totally unselfish, hard worker. 

"You just know these things take time — the chemistry, the opportunities — and so the confidence level grows. He's made some huge plays … and that's why he's here."

Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

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Trey Burton denies report questioning his Eagles future

Several hours after an NJ.com report surfaced that the Eagles were unlikely to re-sign Trey Burton, the tight end denied it on Twitter.

Replying to a tweet about the report from former Eagles teammate Emmanuel Acho, Burton said he hasn't spoken to anyone.

NJ.com's Matt Lombardo reported Friday that the Eagles made Burton an offer that the soon-to-be-free-agent "didn't consider serious."

"We are fully expecting Trey to sign elsewhere," the source said.

It wouldn't be surprising whatsoever if Burton leaves in free agency. A team will likely pay him starter's money and offer him a chance to start, which he doesn't have here with Zach Ertz firmly entrenched.

The Eagles are over the projected salary cap, and while they could create space in numerous ways, they also have to worry about re-signing key linebacker Nigel Bradham.

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

6 ways for Eagles to create cap space

The Eagles are coming off a thrilling season but there's a lot of work to be done. 

The NFL's new league year begins on March 14 and the Eagles must be under the salary cap by then. The problem is that based on projections, the Eagles are set to be more than $9 million over the cap, according to OverTheCap. So it's time for some maneuvering. 

The good news is that Howie Roseman's specialty has always been finding unique ways to get the Eagles out of cap trouble. There are ways for him to do it again.

Cut Torrey Smith 
Probably the easiest one. Smith was a great teammate and a solid addition to the Eagles' locker room, and he really stepped up his game in the playoffs, but it's probably not enough to bring him back. He just wasn't good enough last season, and cutting him would save the Eagles $5 million in cap room with no dead money. The Birds still have Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, while Mack Hollins is entering Year 2. 

Cut Brent Celek
This one will hurt, but Celek can take away the sting if he decides to walk away as a champion. He's set to have a cap number of $5 million. That's just way too much for what Celek provides these days. By cutting him, the Eagles would save $4 million in cap space. So just between Smith and Celek, the Eagles will almost get back to zero ... but there's other work to do. They'll still need money to sign free agents and draft picks. 

Extend Brandon Graham 
Graham is entering the final year of his contract with a cap number of $8 million. He wants a new contract and deserves one. Good news: An extension would work for both sides. Graham would get more money long term and the Eagles could get his cap number down this season. 

Rework/cut Vinny Curry
Curry is coming off of probably his best season in the NFL but will have an $11 million cap number. That's tough to swallow, especially with Derek Barnett waiting for his chance to start. It seems likely the Eagles will ask Curry to take a pay cut or rework his deal. If not, cutting him would leave $6 million in dead money but would also save $5 million in cap room. 

Trade Mychal Kendricks
If you remember, Kendricks actually wanted a trade last offseason. Good thing that didn't happen. Kendricks ended up being a big part of the Eagles' success in 2017. Depending on what happens with Nigel Bradham in free agency and with Jordan Hicks' Achilles recovery, trading Kendricks might again be an option. A trade would save $4.4 million in cap space. 

Trade Nick Foles 
This is such a tough one — we explore it more here. But basically, Foles is a pretty amazing insurance policy until we know when Carson Wentz is going to be ready. If the Eagles do trade Foles, it would save them $5.2 million that they could certainly use. The problem is that by the time they know Wentz's status, free agency will be long gone and that cap space won't help this year. But it could help in 2019.