Philadelphia Eagles to release Pro Bowl WR Alshon Jeffery

Jan 13, 2019; New Orleans, LA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) reacts after an interception by the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 iteration of the Philadelphia Eagles is going to look vastly different from what we saw this previous season. Carson Wentz is gone. Philadelphia just released former Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

There’s now going to be another longtime member of the Eagles on the NFL free agent market come March. According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Philadelphia is set to release wide receiver Alshon Jeffery.

This was an obvious move. The Philadelphia Eagles attempted to find trade partners for Jeffery ahead of the 2020 season. But given his hefty contract and recent injury issues, that was never going to be in the cards.

A Pro Bowler with the Chicago Bears back in 2013, Jeffery never really lived up to expectations in Philadelphia. He played a grand total of seven games this past season and has suited up a total of 17 games over the past two years. All said, Jeffery has recorded a mere 49 catches for 605 yards during that two-year span.

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NFL salary cap ramifications of Philadelphia Eagles releasing Alshon Jeffery

Philadelphia Eagles release Alshon Jeffery
Dec 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (17) catches a pass against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles will actually take on a $10.51 million dead cap hit by releasing Jeffery. He was set to count just $6.56 million against said cap. The difference here is Jeffery restructured his contract back in September of 2019, forcing the Eagles to push back cap hits moving forward.

With that said, the Eagles could designate Jeffery a post-June 1 cut, spreading out the above-mentioned dead cap hit over the next two years. This scenario would actually save Philadelphia $2 million against the 2021 cap. The Eagles currently find themselves a whopping $43.1 million over the projected 2021 NFL salary cap, meaning general manager Howie Roseman has a lot of work to do.

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Philadelphia Eagles depth chart at wide receiver

Philadelphia Eagles release DeSean Jackson.
Sep 20, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) warms up before action against the Los Angeles Rams at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Following the releases of DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery, the Eagles find themselves in a bad situation at wide receiver. If it is indeed Jalen Hurts starting next season following the trade of Carson Wentz, there’s a lot of work to do here. That’s especially true with the Eagles set to trade Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz here soon.

Impending exclusive rights free agent Greg Ward led the Philadelphia Eagles with 53 receptions last season. The surprising Travis Fulgham finished second among receivers in catches with 38. Meanwhile, rookie first-round pick Jalen Reagor caught just 31 passes.

Philadelphia is obviously banking on Reagor upping his game as a sophomore. It has no other choice. Despite that, the Eagles are going to need to address wide receiver big time during the 2021 offseason. Given their cap situation, that will more than likely come via the NFL Draft.

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