Examining the Eagles Trend Toward Short-Term Deals

By Tom Long, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

The Philadelphia Eagles have made a handful of offseason free-agent acquisitions this year, all signings with short-term contract details. These signings inspire a question: Are the Eagles focusing on sustaining long-term success or short-term fixes?

The Eagles are desperate to surround rookie QB sensation Carson Wentz with more talent, on both sides of the ball, than last year. This, as owner Jeffrey Lurie emphasized, is their highest priority. All of the upper management on the team believe Wentz has potential to be an incredible talent in the NFL, however, to make that happen, the Eagles need long-term sustainability within the locker room. 

Let's take a look at some of the short-term deals the Eagles have offered their new players.

Chris Long

The Eagles signed former Super Bowl champion Chris Long to a two-year deal, vastly improving the quickly depleting defensive line with a veteran presence. Long turned 32 years old on the day of his signing, leaving room for debate about his ability to perform at a high, competitive level. I can't imagine that he will be an every-down player for the Eagles, however, he can certainly contribute to a defense who has recently been underachieving. Long posted four sacks and 22 tackles last season with the Patriots. He also recorded a forced fumble and three blocked passes. 

Alshon Jeffery

Alshon Jeffery is probably the biggest, most explosive acquisition for the Eagles this offseason. Jeffery signed a one-year, $9.5 million deal that can reach $14 million if certain benchmarks are met. Jeffery is receiving a one-year deal because he has been relatively unproven in recent years, riddled by injuries and suspension.

Jeffery surely brings some much needed talent to the wide receiving corps for the Eagles. The only downside is that if Jeffery does not have the productive year coaches are expecting, the Eagles are potentially back to square one. If Jeffery is productive, healthy, and efficient, he will be searching for a longer term and larger contract going forward, and it's in question if the Eagles will be willing to give it to him.

Torrey Smith

Torrey Smith comes to the Eagles after two poor seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. Prior to that, Smith was a productive, young receiver for the Baltimore Ravens. Smith signs a three-year, $15 million contract, giving Wentz a veteran on the offense. Smith has had two seasons of at least 800 receiving yards, and recorded 11 touchdowns in 2014.

Lurie knows that this Eagles team needs a lot more depth and talent to be a Super Bowl contender. I have a slight problem with the number of short-term deals the Eagles are getting done, regardless of the talent these players possess. It has been proven in professional sports time and time again that winning teams are not built overnight. These additions in particular make me wonder if the Eagles have the future in the forefront of their minds.

The Eagles have an obviously important draft approaching. And they need to find their long-term answers to help Wentz bring the city success.

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