Alshon Jeffery must make an impact week one to prove his worth

PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Alshon Jeffery
PHILADELPHIA, PA - AUGUST 24: Alshon Jeffery /

Alshon Jeffery will look to prove he is the Eagles’ number one receiver long-term against All-Pro corner Josh Norman in a “must see” matchup.

Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman made sure that he got quarterback Carson Wentz the help he needs this past offseason. Especially when it comes to the wide receiver position. One of those acquisitions was non other than Pro Bower Alshon Jeffery, who was considered to be the top wide receiver on the market.

The former Chicago Bears wideout signed a one-year, $14 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles back in March. What caught many off guard was the amount of years that Jeffery signed on for. According to Ian Rappaport, Jeffery turn down a long term and very lucrative contract with the Minnesota Vikings. It appears that Jeffery is gambling on himself to set himself up for an even more lucrative deal. For the Eagles, they are hoping that he can be the “go-to-guy” for Wentz going forward.

Some food for thought.

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Though on paper it seems like a great fit, there are some question marks. Jeffery has dealt with injuries and suspensions the past two seasons. In 2015, Jeffery missed seven games with a hamstring injury. In 2016, Jeffery missed four games violating the NFL‘s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Though Jeffery has had consecutive 1000 yard seasons in 2013 and 2014, he did have the luxury of playing alongside All-Pro wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Once Marshall left, Jeffery has had yet to reach 1000 yards in a season.

There is no denying the talent of Jeffery. He’s a big receiver who can stretch the field and win those 50/50 balls. It just all depends on his availability.

Will he answer the challenge?

Jeffery will be challenged right out of the gate when the Eagles travel to play the Washington Redskins. He will battle it out with one the league’s premier shutdown cornerbacks, Josh Norman. This will certainly be a heavyweight showdown between two of the league’s best at their respective positions.

If Jeffery wants to be regarded and paid like a number-one receiver, he better be able to get the better of Norman. In the most-recent encounter between the two, Jeffery had a big day with five receptions totaling 92 yards.  Keep in mind, that was with third-stringer Matt Barkley at quarterback. With a future star in Wentz tossing him the rock, there is no reason why Jeffery can’t replicate that performance or play even better.

This is a very important year for Jeffery. Not only do the Eagles have high hopes that he can be the elite receiver they’ve been looking for, this season also has financial implications as well. After 2017, Jeffery will be a free agent once again.

According to Spotrac, Jeffery has a estimated market value of $61,048,826 over five years averaging $12.2 million per year. With Jordan Matthews no longer on the team, it may become imperative for the Eagles to bring him back. If he can make a statement against one the best cornerbacks in football, It will appear that the Eagles have something special in Jeffery. He might just be worth every penny of a new contract extension, and then some.