Wide receiver Jalen Reagor is entering his third season with Philadelphia, and if he needs anything, it’s a miracle. But the Eagles are rallying behind him as they approach the 2022-2023 season, leaving the rest in the rearview.
A FIRST-ROUND FAIL?
An athlete at Texas Christian University, Reagor made his collegiate debut as a freshman. He finished with 17.5 yards per reception, and was named Co-Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year for his efforts. The following season, Reagor became the first TCU wide receiver since 2014 to finish with over 1,000 yards. He had nine touchdowns, also rushing for 170 yards and two touchdowns. Reagor was named Second-Team All-Big 12.
In 2019, he finished with 43 receptions for 611 yards and five touchdowns, declaring for the NFL a year early.
The Eagles selected Reagor in the first-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and looking back now, did Howie Roseman miss something? Reagor had one great season at TCU, bookmarked by mediocre gameplay. Since he entered the league, fans haven’t seen him live up to his first-round hype.
As a rookie, Reagor missed five games due to injury, finishing with 31 receptions for 396 receiving yards and one touchdown. He returned in 2021, ready to make a change, but finished with an even worse season.
In 16 games, Reagor completed 31 receptions again, this time only completing 280 receiving yards. In Week 12, he dropped two passes, including a touchdown, leaving the Eagles with a loss against the New York Giants. Reagor finished the season with two additional punt errors, losing one in Philadelphia’s playoff game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Now, entering his third season on his rookie contract, will fans continue to see the same performance?
JALEN REAGOR HAS EAGLES’ SUPPORT
Despite rumors in the offseason that Jalen Reagor would be traded, the deal is never going to happen.
Reagor hasn’t proven himself enough to be traded to another team. And, if the Eagles cut him now, it would cost them more in cap space than if they were to keep him. Reagor’s 2022 payout is worth $3 million with an additional $3.6 million in 2023. If Philadelphia cuts him, they incur a $6 million dead cap this season, including a $1.8 million loss in 2023. It simply isn’t worth it when the Eagles are trying to use their money to build around quarterback Jalen Hurts.
But, all hope isn’t lost yet.
Darius Slay stated, “He’s just been working consistently hard, man. Right now, he’s just been grinding.”
“We brought A.J. [Brown] in, so A.J.’s teaching him a little bit, too,” Slay continued. So he’s [Reagor] understanding the game more. He’s still young. I think Reagor’s only 23 years old and in his third year going into the league and (23) was my second year in the league, so he’s still learning.”
“He works hard, and we’ve got to get him going. That’s it. We’ve got to all be behind him.”
Reagor is a part of a hefty group of receivers this season. With the addition of A.J. Brown, Reagor now falls behind Brown, DeVonta Smith, Quez Watkins, and Zach Pascal. The Eagles also have Greg Ward, John Hightower, Devon Allen, and Britain Covey in the wings.
With training camp a little more than a month away (July 26), eyes will be on what Reagor has learned in the offseason.
Offensive coordinator Shane Steichen still has hope. “He’s explosive,” Steichen stated. “That’s one of his biggest assets. He’s an explosive player. He still has that ability to run routes, and be fast and strong and physical, and again, we’re just continuing to improve on those things every single day.”
Though Reagor was once perceived as a player who will take over WR1 for the Eagles, he still has the ability to make a name for himself on special teams. Despite some mishaps, last season Reagor led the Eagles in both punt and kickoff return averages.
“Last year Jalen showed me, and regardless if it’s right, wrong, or indifferent, that he was able to catch the ball at a very highly consistent rate,” Eagles’ ST coordinator Michal Clay stated. “He had two [mistakes] in the Tampa Bay game, and one in the New York game which he made a heck of a play, picked it up, and got 20 yards out of it. But it takes a lot of courage for punt returners back there to stay back there knowing there are two guys flying at you to stay calm and catch the ball right there. So, I thought Jalen did actually a very good job.”
The Eagles seem to think Reagor will be a top option, so all fans can do is wait and see.