The continuing story of Jalen Reagor‘s controversial tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles continues. At this point, there’s minimal need to discuss where he was selected, who the Birds ignored by drafting him, and how both his and Justin Jefferson’s careers have progressed in the aftermath. We’ve all done so until we’re blue in the face. The questions now should be about what comes next.
The 21st-overall selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, Reagor has had more than his fair share of opportunities to justify Philly’s decision to draft him and prove he belongs in the discussion of being one of the cornerstones of what the Birds are building. He’s been a disappointment, and that isn’t a knock on him.
If you asked him to honestly assess his development, he’d probably agree that things haven’t gone as planned. The 2022-2023 regular season will be his third in the NFL, but coming into camp this time around, things are different. Where he was drafted won’t save him, and judging by what’s transpired during the offseason up to this point, he may be falling out of favor.
Nick Sirianni gives us more reason to believe Jalen Reagor isn’t assured of an Eagles’ roster spot.
Indirect statements by head coach Nick Sirianni that can be translated as evidence that Quez Watkins has passed Jalen Reagor on the depth chart are one thing. Stating a man is “battling for a job” is something else entirely.
Remember when Sirianni said Jalen Reagor was the team’s third receiver and implied that Quez had moved ahead of him on the depth chart? That caught everyone’s attention, but his most recent statement may add a little more fuel to the fire.
Prior to the Eagles’ third practice of training camp, Sirianni sat with members of the Philly media. A little over seven minutes in, the topic turned to the wide receivers. Here’s what Nick had to say very matter-of-factly when asked about where Jalen Reagor fits in.
"You know… We have great depth at the wide receiver position, and so, he’s battling for a spot. He is working with (the second string) right now. He’s gotten a lot of balls (thrown in his direction) over the past two days. He’s done a nice job. He’s battling for a spot. He’s battling for his return spot. He’s worked hard in the offseason to come back in great shape (he failed a conditioning test in 2021). Yeah, he’s battling for a spot."
Here’s a translation. Being a first-round draft choice in 2020 doesn’t guarantee him anything. His contract and the amount of dead money he represents ($7.8 million in 2022 and another $4.2 million in 2023 won’t save him). Jalen Reagor is officially on the roster’s bubble.
Keep this in mind. When Sirianni referred to Reagor as the team’s ‘third receiver’, A.J. Brown wasn’t on the team yet. His addition, along with the addition of Zach Pascal has only complicated things for him.
The Philadelphia Eagles figure to carry six wide receivers on the 53-man roster. A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Zach Pascal will make this roster. That means Reagor, Devon Allen, Keric Wheatfall, Greg Ward, Lance Lenoir, John Hightower, Britain Covey, and Deon Cain are, more than likely, in a battle for two roster spots.