When the Philadelphia Eagles re-signed wide receiver Alshon Jeffery to a four-year, $ 52 million extension a day before their Week 13 match with the Seattle Seahawks They did it I just secured one of Carson Wentz's new toys.
They also solidified that Philadelphia, a year after finishing 7-9 and less than two full seasons since the franchise underwent a complete regime change, posses possibly the most dangerous core of the NFL forward.
None of the team members would be so important, of course, without Wentz himself: the meteoric rise of the second quarterback has elevated the Eagles in and out of the field on the way to an inevitable and long-awaited return to the playoffs. But now that the number 11 has proved to be the face of the franchise, it's even more terrifying how well, much less how quickly, the lineup of Doug Pederson has met.
While playing even halfway as he did in 2017, Wentz will remain the key ingredient for the Eagles, and he is already under contract until 2021 thanks to his rookie contract (which, incidentally, figures will be replaced in a remarkable way when the time comes). And Jeffery, who has not mastered the stat, but has become No. 1 in Philadelphia, is far from being the only player blocked by the Birds with Wentz. Not even close.
As ESPN's Field Yates noted in the wake of Jeffery's new agreement, the following Eagles are under contract with the team for at least four seasons beyond 2017: Wentz, Jeffery, tight end Zach Ertz , center Jason Kelce, right guard Brandon Brooks, right tackle Lane Johnson, defensive tackles Fletcher Cox and Tim Jernigan, defenses Vinny Curry and Derek Barnett, and deep-set Malcolm Jenkins and Rodney McLeod. Leading pbad rider Brandon Graham will also be locked up until 2018, as will left tackle Jason Peters and wide receiver Nelson Agholor.
If that is not a core, then what is it?
Between Wentz, Jeffery, Ertz, Kelce, Brooks and Johnson, you already have at least four Pro Bowl-caliber starters, maybe five, to go with a runner in Jay Ajayi, whose deal extends until 2018 after coming of the Miami Dolphins. It can be argued that Johnson is the best right tackle in the game, and Ertz's All-Pro race has confirmed that he is among the best power forward in the NFL. What better way to accelerate the growth of his stellar quarterback than to make sure he plays with men of this caliber for at least the next half decade?
And on the other side of the ball, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz leads the league of defenders will not go anywhere soon with Cox, Jernigan and Barnett insured for the long term. In the back of high school, Jenkins and McLeod, remember, make up the most stable safety duo of the Eagles since the days of Brian Dawkins and Michael Lewis, and even in the midst of waves of serious injury, the unit has been ranked between The best of 2017 the board. Consider that Schwartz's defensive backfield is also led by second- or third-year cornerbacks such as Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby, and there is as much, if not more, future potential in defense.
It's a testament to the salary – Feat from the Eagles staff cap Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas, even if it's a promising sign of what might be reserved for a team that has not made repeated postseason trips since the era by Andy Reid. Even if a couple of big names are among the 2018 cover victims, in fact, it can not be denied that Philadelphia has built a supporting cast around Wentz, and that Jeffery's extension is simply the latest on a growing list of Team examples -term promise.