The Wentz Wagon: Not just for fans, anymore.
According to an ESPN.com report, some of the top wide receivers set to be available on the open market when the new NFL league-year opens on March 9 are already interested in signing with the Eagles because of quarterback Carson Wentz.
As Tim McManus points out, other than signing for top-dollar, some of the marquee wide receivers would welcome the opportunity to catch passes from last year's No. 2 overall pick in the NFL Draft:
Speaking with league insiders in preparation for the start of free agency (March 9, 4 p.m.), it has become clear that there are several free-agent wide receivers drawn to the idea of playing for the Philadelphia Eagles because of Wentz, the second-year quarterback out of North Dakota State.
The focus, though, seems to be on Wentz's upside. It's more about looking at the big arm, the top-end physical skill-set and the pre-snap command and seeing a young quarterback with the potential to keep his weapons well-fed for a long time.
DeSean Jackson offered his thoughts on Wentz during a recent appearance on Adam Schefter's podcast.
"Carson Wentz, he came in and had a heck of the year as a rookie. I don't think a lot of people saw that coming," he said, adding that Wentz "has all the intangibles in being a big-time quarter in this league." Jackson noted that, as a 10-year veteran, "I obviously would love to play with a great, great, great quarterback" before crediting Kirk Cousins for his production. The desire to be paired with a top-flight QB has been expressed privately as well.
NFL Combine: What Eagles must accomplish
The Eagles have been linked to Jackson, and Alshon Jeffery in several reports ahead of free agency beginning and an individual with knowledge of the situation told NJ Advance Media this week that the Eagles should be considered a front-runner to sign Stills.
Given that the Eagles are relatively strapped for cap space ahead of this offseason, having Wentz as a trump-card in negotiations could be a secret weapon for Howie Roseman and the front office.
In addition to his drawing power among free agent players, Wentz has also been seen working out with some NFL Draft prospects such as wide receiver Cooper Kupp in recent weeks.
Wentz finished his rookie season with 3,782 yards, 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 64 percent of his passes despite a wide receiving corps that dropped 24 balls.
Wide receiver is bound to be a top priority for the Eagles this offseason and whether it is addressed through the NFL Draft with the likes of Mike Williams, Corey Davis, John Ross or others in free agency with Jackson, Stills, Jeffery or Terrelle Pryor or both, it is likely that Wentz's supporting cast will get a significant upgrade ahead of his second season.What Eagles need to accomplish at NFL Combine
Matt Lombardo may be reached at MDLombardo@yahoo.com. Follow him on Twitter @MattLombardo975.
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