After a disappointing and injury-plagued 2019 season with the Eagles, receiver Alshon Jeffery was a candidate to be released this offseason, but he’s still on the roster and expects a bounce-back year. Here are Jeffrey’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Eagles’ over/under win total.
Jeffery was a second-round pick out of South Carolina in the 2012 draft by the Bears, and he had two huge seasons in Chicago. In 2013, he finished with 89 receptions for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns. The yards were the second-most in team history, behind Brandon Marshall’s 1,508 in 2012 and the receptions were the sixth-highest in franchise history. The next year, Jeffery had 1,133 yards with 85 receptions for 10 touchdowns.
Alas, Jeffery would miss seven games in 2015 and four in 2016. The Bears let him walk in free agency and Jeffery signed a one-year prove it deal with the Eagles. The team was impressed enough with his performance in that 2017 season that it signed him to a four-year extension worth $52 million with $27 million guaranteed. In the Super Bowl win over the Patriots, Jeffery caught 3 passes for 73 yards and scored the first touchdown of the game. In that postseason overall, Jeffery produced team postseason records in receiving yards (219) and receiving TDs (3).
However, not long after that Super Bowl, Jeffery underwent surgery for a torn rotator cuff and has had trouble staying on the field since. He missed three games in 2018 and then six last year with a foot injury, finishing with 43 receptions for 490 receiving yards and four receiving touchdowns.
His most notable game last year was on Sept. 18 vs. Washington in which Jeffery had 5 receptions for 49 yards and 1 TD and added his first career rushing TD in the 32-27 win. He became the first Eagles receiver to record a receiving TD and rushing TD in the same game since DeSean Jackson on 10/17/10 at Atlanta.
Jeffery has produced the 5th-most red zone receiving TDs (17) in the NFL since 2017, trailing only Davante Adams (22), Zach Ertz (20), Michael Thomas (20) and DeAndre Hopkins (19).
had surgery to repair a Lisfranc injury on his foot in December. Lisfranc injuries are always tricky for wideouts. There were rumors Jeffery wanted out of Philly, and that the Eagles might trade him because Jeffery’s release would provide no cap relief in 2020. He has a $15.7 million cap hit this season followed by another $18.5 million in 2021.
The Eagles wide receiver situation was dreadful last season, largely due to injuries suffered by their starters that ultimately left Greg Ward as the Birds’ top option in a playoff game.
As recently as mid-June, Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Jeffery is without a timetable for return. Pederson just wants Jeffery to “focus on his rehab and get strong” but notes that he will be “a big part of the process” upon return. It’s possible that Jeffery will miss games early in the season.
When he is ready to play, Jeffery faces more competition for targets than he did last year when he averaged 49.0 yards per game. Philly will be adding DeSean Jackson (2019 injury), Jalen Reagor (first-round rookie), and Marquise Goodwin (trade) this season.
A healthy and fully focused and hungry Jeffery would be a huge boost for the offense. He dominates defensive backs and the Eagles are well aware that the last complete game Jeffery played was at Miami, on December 1 last year, and he caught nine passes for 137 passes and a touchdown.
Per Pro Football Focus, Jeffery had the fourth-best grade of all wide receivers in the second half of games last season, only behind DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas and Chris Godwin. Jeffrey accumulated 321 of his 490 yards in the second half, as well as three touchdowns and averaged 13.3 yards per catch.
The Eagles are 6-point favorites for Week 1 at the division-rival Washington Redskins.