The options at wide receiver were already slim pickings. Now they are starting to resemble an elephant graveyard.
The Carolina Panthers claimed speed threat Donte Moncrief off the waiver wire Monday and took one more receiver away from the Eagles. The move was mildly surprising for two reasons. First, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson boldly proclaimed Monday the team was looking to upgrade their pass-catching unit and, secondly, Moncrief has made a living off the biggest thing the Eagles’ offense is lacking: breakaway speed.
The 26-year-old is young enough to still provide valuable depth at a position of need in Philadelphia, plus the former third-round pick was easily available. The Panthers had a lower waiver-wire priority due to their 5-3 record versus the Eagles’ 5-4 mark.
They could have jumped Carolina and claimed Moncrief first. Of course, that didn’t happen. The move was announced just seven minutes after the Eagles let it be known that DeSean Jackson was undergoing surgery on his lingering core muscle injury.
Donte Moncrief Filled Immediate Need for Eagles
No one is saying Donte Moncrief would have saved the Eagles’ season, not a sane opinion. But the speedy receiver could have contributed immediately in an offense desperate for someone to stretch the defense.
Moncrief, the 90th overall pick in 2014, has put up respectable numbers in his six-year NFL career with 204 receptions for 2,561 yards and 21 touchdowns. His speed is off the charts: 4.4 seconds in the 40-yard dash. More importantly, Moncrief has the size to outmuscle defenders at 6-foot-2 and 216 pounds.
Remember, Moncrief is only one year removed from catching 48 balls for 668 yards while averaging 13.9 yards per reception. The Pittsburgh Steelers cut him over the weekend following a disappointing start to the season. Yes, he could have made a serious impact in Philadelphia.
Any Other Options Left on the NFL Waiver Wire?
There was a pretty long list analyzed and discussed at length in this space yesterday. But there are two more names to consider: Mike Wallace and Bryce Treggs. Yes, it’s very hard to keep track of the current free-agent crop.
Wallace, of course, was brought in last year by GM Howie Roseman as a possible replacement for outgoing speed threat Torrey Smith. The experiment never worked out after Wallace fractured his right fibula in Week 2 and soon hit injured reserve. He returned late in the season, but never appeared in any games for the Eagles. He registered zero catches on the year.
Does the 33-year-old have something left in the tank? He was extremely productive in 2017 for Baltimore when he hauled in 52 balls for 748 yards and four touchdowns. Wallace could be worth a phone call, especially at this point.
The other guy out there is Treggs, another former Eagles receiver. The team waived Treggs at the beginning of the 2018 season as he struggled to return from a nagging hamstring injury. However, the Eagles always saw potential in the speedy receiver and might be wise to spin the tires. Treggs had three catches for 80 yards in 2017 for Philadelphia.
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