Alshon Jeffery's Time in Philly Nearing End?
It feels safe to assume now that nobody in the Eagles organization sent receiver Alshon Jeffery any Valentine’s Day cards with little bubble hearts and the words “be mine” inscribed inside.
Probably no birthday card, either, for it was Valentine’s Day that Jeffery turned 30.
Friday was another fun-filled afternoon of listening to reports from Jeffery-land.
One said the relationship between Jeffery and quarterback Carson Wentz is strained.
You don’t say?
That’s been rather apparent these past two seasons with the anonymous leaks that sprung from the locker room implicating Wentz for a whole list of flaws, with Jeffery being outed as the likely leaker.
The report said that Jeffery wants out of town.
Well, good luck to the Eagles moving that contract, and moving it to a team that is willing to accept a Jeffery who won’t be able to play football again until sometime in late summer after having surgery for a Lisfranc sprain at the end of December.
A report said that maybe the New York Jets might be interested in acquiring Jeffery in what would amount to a salary dump for the Eagles.
All these reports compelled Jeffery’s agent, Tory Dandy, to tweet a response that said his client loves being in Philadelphia and loves playing for the Eagles.
It was just three years ago when Jeffery was the big conquest of the Eagles’ offseason. He chose to come to Philly on a one-year deal rather than take more money and more years from the Minnesota Vikings.
And his reason for doing that?
They got a long just fine in the beginning.
Jeffery was one of the Eagles’ heroes in their 2017 Super Bowl season and in Super Bowl LII when he caught a 34-yard touchdown with 2:34 to play in the first quarter to give the Eagles a 9-3 lead. Jeffery inspired confidence in his teammates all week long, helping them believe they could beat the New England Patriots.
Days after the Super Bowl it was revealed that Jeffery played much of the season with a torn rotator cuff. Again, hero type stuff.
I still remember how impressed I was during Jeffery’s first training camp when he would always take time to sing autographs for fans and, when I asked him about doing it, he said he appreciates the fans because “they’re the ones we play for.”
How fast things have unraveled for Jeffery, the Eagles and their fan base.
Even before his recent the injury, Jeffery looked to be slowing down. Never blessed with the greatest of speed, Jeffery looked even slower.
He is a jump-ball specialist. Put the ball in his area and he’ll go get it. Except Wentz isn’t exactly the type of quarterback who enjoys throwing 50-50 balls. It’s one of many reasons Wentz threw just seven interceptions in more than 600 pass attempts this past season and didn’t throw any in the final four regular season games.
There’s a reason Nick Foles had greater chemistry with Jeffery, because Foles will take that chance.
It became more and more apparent the past couple of years that the relationship between Wentz and Jeffery became more strained, and probably beyond repair.
There really shouldn’t be any reason, though, that the relationship between Jeffery and the fans should be fraying.
When Jeffery let a pass slip through his hands for a game-sealing interception by the New Orleans Saints while the Eagles were driving to win the game in the Divisional Round of the 2018 playoffs, Jeffery was the first to own up to mistake. He even visited a group of second graders in West Chester that had written him letters of support.
Again, Jeffery is all about the fans, and he certanly should always be rememebered for delivering them their long-awaited Super Bowl title.
It seems like his time is nearing an end, and that end will likely be when the team decides to outright release him even though the salary cap hit will be debilitating.
Still, it will be short-term pain for a long-term gain of not having a receiver around who is unhappy and one who no longer gets along with his quarterback.