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Jalen Reagor: What’s Next for the Troubled Receiver?

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In the first round of the 2020 NFL draft, Eagles GM Howie Roseman elected to draft Jalen Reagor, a wide receiver from TCU. Often revered as most likely one of his worst draft picks ever and rightfully so, Roseman needs to make a decision in regards to the future of the troubled wideout. Reagor has severely underperformed since his debut in the NFL and has completely infuriated Eagles fans with his inability to catch the football. Roseman got completely schooled by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2020 draft, as the Birds had an earlier pick and chose Reagor while the Vikings were able to grab perhaps one of the top 4 receivers in the league today, Justin Jefferson. This will no doubt go down as one of the most notorious “what ifs” in Philly sports history. The Eagles began training camp on Tuesday, July 26th, Reagor will be competing amongst returning veterans and newly signed receivers for a spot on the 53-man roster. However, one cannot help but think about the possibility of trading Reagor.

2020 Season

During his rookie campaign in 2020, Jalen Reagor played in 11 games. The burner was responsible for some quite abysmal numbers in the stats column. Reagor accounted for 31 receptions on 54 targets, 396 total yards, and 1 touchdown. Now, all of this cannot be solely placed on Reagor, during his rookie season he suffered a UCL tear in his thumb during week 2 against the Rams, the tear required surgery which sidelined the wideout for 5 games. In addition to the injury, the 2020 Eagles were nothing short of a dumpster fire due to the Carson Wentz controversy and a less than stellar relationship between then Head Coach Doug Pederson and the Front Office.

2021 Season

After a disappointing rookie season, Eagles fans, coaches, and executives were hopeful for a much more productive sophomore campaign out of Reagor. Unfortunately, that was not exactly the case for the 2020 21st overall pick. Reagor is credited with 33 receptions on 57 targets, 299 total yards, and 2 touchdowns. The wideout was torched in the stats column by Devonta Smith and Quez Watkins during the 2021-2022 season.

While not producing numbers in the stats column, Reagor was also the cause of many dropped passes. Perhaps the most notable being the TWO dropped touchdown passes at Metlife Stadium against the Giants in November of last year. The first meeting between the Eagles and Giants in 2021 was a terrible game for both teams (ending in a 13-7 win for the Giants). With little time left in the 4th quarter the Eagles were marching down field in hopes to punch in a score to propel them to victory over the Giants, quarterback Jalen Hurts targeted Reagor twice for game-winning touchdowns and both passes were dropped by the wideout. One could say they have seen better hands on a snake.

2022 Offseason and Early days of Training Camp

It is no secret that Reagor entered this past offseason as a player who was not adored by the Philly faithful. Eagles fans took to social media to express their very brutal and honest opinions on the receiver, can you blame them? Absolutely not, the city is a demanding but loving city that wants its players to play hard and produce out on the field, which Jalen Reagor has failed to do in his first two years. The wideout had a tumultuous offseason surrounded by trade rumors and critical evaluations from analysts and reporters across the NFL. In addition, Reagor deleted all pictures relating to the Eagles from his Instagram account spurring rumors of bad blood between the organization and their 2020 first overall pick. Despite this, Eagles executives and coaches addressed the media expressing their support for Reagor as well as their expectations for the receiver to have a much better season in 2022.

Training camp has just begun for the Birds, the team hit the field for the first time for mandatory practice on Wednesday, July 27th. NFL Insider, Ian Rappaport was in South Philly for day one of field work for the Eagles. Rappaport tweeted some thoughts after the day was complete, including some remarks on Reagor. It was said that the third year receiver reported to camp “in great shape and had a really nice day”. It seems like all players usually have good days on the first day of practice so this is nothing definitive, but it is good to hear that the wideout is in football shape. Leads me to believe Reagor had his nose to the grindstone this offseason and spent a good amount of time in the weight room and on the field. This is obviously all speculation, but perhaps the TCU alum had enough of the critics and finally decided to get pissed off and ready himself to make a jump in his career this season. Only time will tell.

Looking to the Future

Howie Roseman is presented with a difficult decision this year in regards to Reagor. Does he keep the trouble receiver on the roster or aggressively look to trade him away? Despite the expressed commitment in regards to Reagor remaining an Eagle for the foreseeable future, there have been rumors that the front office in south Philly has been shopping the wideout around the league. Although due to his poor performances during the 2020 and 2021 seasons it is unlikely that the Eagles would receive much compensation in return.

However, the man Howie Roseman has worked his magic before, essentially turning Carson Wentz into the AJ Brown deal with his ability to wheel and deal with other front offices. NFL legend and former Cincinnati Bengal, Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson took to Twitter in January to defend Reagor amidst one of his many sub-par performances. Ocho expressed his faith in the young wideout and pleaded to Eagles fans to give him another year to grow and develop. This training camp is make or break for Reagor, he must develop and improve his ability considerably or else he will most likely be chased out of Philly, similar to how Carson Wentz was.

main image credit: Embed from Getty Images

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