JJ Arcega-Whiteside has failed the Eagles and made things worse for Reagor

J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Occasionally, when you have a ton of free time on your hands, it’s easy to overthink things or ask yourself questions that you think you already know the answer to. Take the Philadelphia Eagles‘ wide receiver issues for instance. It’s been three years, 2022 will begin a fourth, and most of us can’t figure out why JJ Arcega-Whiteside and Jalen Reagor are on this football team.

Sure, the Birds spent high draft picks on both of them, a second-rounder for JJAW in 2019 and a first-rounder for Reagor in 2020. Sure, it’s hard to move on from someone so quickly after you’ve made that type of investment, but this has gotten ridiculous.

The Eagles used to be a team that moved off of players early. Now, they consistently move off of guys one or two years too late, especially at the wide receiver position.

JJ Arcega-Whiteside has only created unneeded pressure for every Eagles WR who has followed him.

The deterioration we saw from Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson wasn’t just sad. It was embarrassing, but Reagor and Arcega-Whiteside’s stories are worse… probably because their stories followed those of Jeffery and Jackson.

In JJAW’s rookie campaign, he was only able to muster ten receptions for 169 yards and a single touchdown (and believe it or not, a mere seven receptions that resulted in a first down). Since then, he and Reagor have combined for 70 receptions for 816 yards and three touchdown receptions over the past two seasons. Unfortunately, JJ was only able to add six of those receptions and 121 of those receiving yards to the tally.

Arcega-Whiteside has been an awful find for this team. There’s no nice way to say it. He’s let his teammates down. He’s failed two quarterbacks, Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts, but at least he can block!

You know… come to think of it, it’s worse than that. Part of the reason we heaped so much pressure on Reagor was that he followed JJAW, so we analyze every misstep thoroughly. We shine a brighter light on the deficiencies of Reagor and throw boulders on his shoulders that were impossible to carry.

Now, that isn’t meant to make excuses for Reagor. He should be ashamed of himself for the production he’s left on the field, but this is like a domino effect. One man’s failures create a tougher workload for the guy that follows and so on.

Think about it, there’s a ton of pressure for DeVonta Smith because he followed Reagor and JJAW (and Shelton Gibson and Mack Hollins if you think about it).

Howie Roseman and the Eagles brass swung and missed on a wide receiver out of Stanford in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and after passing on D.K. Metcalf and seeing him become a star, the sting is worse.

Since drafting JJ Arcega-Whiteside, the Seattle Seahawks have found a star in the six-foot-four Metcalf as he’s hauled in 216 receptions for 3,170 yards. He’s also found his way into the end zone 29 times. He earned a Pro Bowl nod and was voted a Second-team All-Pro in 2020.

Arcega-Whiteside, on the other hand, has hauled in 16 receptions for 290 yards, and he hasn’t caught a touchdown pass since he caught his first one. That came in Week 13 of his rookie year. Throw in the fact that the Birds, again, swung and missed on Shelton Gibson and Mack Hollins in 2017, and something becomes very clear.

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We might have had more patience with Reagor if the Birds hadn’t missed on so many wideouts right before he arrived. In other words, JJAW has been so bad that he’s made things harder on his team and, again, every wide receiver prospect that has come behind him.

The Birds really made a mess of this one. The only way to put things back in their proper order is for the Eagles brass to do the right thing and move on from JJ Arcega-Whiteside in the offseason. It’s over. The experiment has failed. It’s time to cut ties and move on. At this point, all number 19 is doing is occupying a roster spot that should go to someone more deserving.