Once viewed as a bust from the 2015 draft, Breshad Perriman broke out at the end of last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With a desperate need for pass-catchers and money to spend, the Philadelphia Eagles should be targeting Perriman in free agency.
Tampa Bay: 36 Receptions, 645 Yards, 6 Touchdowns, 17.9 YPC
After running a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, Perriman was a highly touted prospect coming out of UCF back in 2015. Perriman got taken 26th overall by the Baltimore Ravens that year. However, his run with the Ravens did not go as planned. Injuries and drops hurt his production; the team cut him after three lackluster seasons in which he only caught 43 passes and three touchdowns in 27 games from 2015-2017.
After a stint with Washington’s practice squad, Perriman got an opportunity by Cleveland in 2018, where he finally showed some promise. He finished that season with 16 catches in 10 games for 340 yards and a pair of touchdowns in ten games.
That brings us to 2019, where Perriman was the beneficiary of many Jameis Winston deep balls. After he started the season buried on the depth chart, Perriman came alive towards the end of last season. In five December games, he caught 25 passes for 506 yards and five touchdowns. Mike Evans missed the end of the season with an injury, and Perriman was able to take full advantage of the opportunity to play. Once considered a bust, the former first-round pick has earned his future in the NFL.
Why the Eagles should sign him:
After Desean Jackson suffered a season-ending abdominal injury, the Eagles’ receiver production was abysmal in 2019. Alshon Jeffery regressed, Nelson Agholor’s hands turned to sticks of butter, and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside looked like a complete bust. By playoff time, people who began the season on practice squads such as Greg Ward Jr. and Deontay Burnett were Carson Wentz’s top options. With due respect to Ward Jr., who made some big plays down the stretch of the season, that was not an ideal situation for this team.
Perriman would give Carson Wentz another deep threat to target. Outside of one week from D-Jax last season, Wentz has never had a reliable deep-ball receiver. For as great as Jackson has looked, it’s unrealistic for the Eagles to count on a full season from him in 2020. No Eagles’ receiver had over 500 receiving yards last season (excluding tight ends), so Doug Pederson will take all the pass-catching help he can get.
Unlike Amari Cooper and A.J. Green, who will cost top dollar, Perriman will be relatively cheap for a productive receiver. He will likely cost somewhere in the 8-12M AAV range, less than Robby Anderson, but more than a Nelson Agholor level pass-catcher.
How Philly’s Receiving core would look with Perriman:
The Eagles are expected to part ways with Alshon Jeffery, who will miss much of next season as he recovers from a foot injury. Whether they can find a trade partner, or Howie Roseman ultimately decides to eat the dead cap space, Jeffery should be out of the picture for next season. Agholor is an unrestricted free agent, and he seemed unhappy for much of last season. I can’t see him back on the team either.
In addition to free agency, the Eagles will also look to improve at receiver through the draft. Speedster Henry Ruggs III, out of Alabama, could to Philly, as he’s been projected to on several different mock drafts. While Pederson rarely runs three-receiver sets, Ruggs would be a great slot-receiver as a rookie. Barring injuries, that leaves D-Jax and Breshad Perriman as the Eagles top two receivers on the outside. While far from an elite group, that would undoubtedly be a significant upgrade at the receiver position from last season. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Greg Ward Jr. would likely provide depth behind those three receivers. It’s also possible that Roseman will draft a second receiver in a later round, or will sign another cheaper receiver such as Danny Amendola or Taylor Gabriel.
The Eagles need all the receiver help they can get, and Breshad Perriman would be a nice pickup. Now it’s up to Howie Roseman to make the right move once free agency begins.
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