What Do Eagles' Additions Mean for Dorial Green-Beckham, Other Receivers?

Dorial Green-Beckham is big but he plays small. He's fast but plays slow. His routes are sloppy. He doesn't play special teams. His effort is suspect. And, basically, he was just a giant waste of potential in 2016. 

No more excuses this year. 

Green-Beckham arrived in Philadelphia during training camp last summer as the return for reserve tackle Dennis Kelly. When things appear to be too good to be true, they usually are. Meet DGB. There were reasons the Titans were willing to part with their second-round pick after just one year, and those reasons became more evident as his year in Philly played out. And he's frustrating because there is clearly potential there; he has talent! 

Throughout last year, the main excuse kept coming up: He came to camp late and was playing catch-up. There's no questioning his athleticism, talent and size (6-5, 237), but there are plenty of other areas to question DGB. who is entering his third year in the league without the go-to excuse from 2016. 

"I think that this will be a good offseason for DGB," Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said last week at the NFL owners meetings. "This will be a great offseason for him. It's going to be an opportunity for him to come in and, No. 1, show what he's really capable of. Now, we got him sort of at the end of training camp last year. I believe it was Week 3 of training camp so he was learning our system really the whole year. 

"Now, having time to work with him and really develop his talent, to get in there with (receivers coach) Mike Groh and learn and with all our players. But at that position with him, it's going to be big with him. And just to see where he's at. It's kind of like the offensive line. You acquire as much depth as you can because you never know when a guy goes down and you need somebody. And competition makes everybody better. I've said that from Day 1. I believe that with everything that I have. For him to come in here and show that will be big for him."

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With the additions of Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith this offseason, Green-Beckham is far from a lock on the roster, and not being a contributor on special teams doesn't help his cause. 

In addition to Jeffery, Smith and DGB, the Eagles still have Jordan Matthews, Nelson Agholor, Bryce Treggs, Paul Turner and others on the roster. The Eagles kept five receivers on their 53-man roster coming out of training camp in 2016, so it's not hard to see that all of these guys won't be on the 53-man coming out of this summer's camp. And this is before the draft later this month.  

One guy who will still very likely be on the team -- sorry, Eagles fans -- is Agholor. Because of the structure of his first-round rookie contract, it would actually cost the Eagles more in salary cap space to cut him than it would to keep him around for his third NFL season. 

There's no sugarcoating this one. Agholor, the 20th overall pick in 2015, has had a disastrous first two seasons. Things reached a new low last season when he was a healthy scratch for a game after admitting the pressures of the NFL got to him. 

So maybe the additions of Jeffery and Smith will be good for Agholor, who likely won't need to be a starter for the Eagles in 2017. Perhaps he'll be able to carve out a spot as a reserve player who can have a minimal impact coming off the bench. 

"It's hard to sit here today and really answer that because you don't know what's going to happen," Pederson said. "There's so many dynamics that go into that. ... Again, it's early in the offseason. We haven't even started OTAs yet. But we'll see. We'll see through him working with Coach Groh and another year. Obviously, he's got a leg up on the guys because he's been here and he knows exactly what he's doing. It'll be exciting. It'll be exciting to watch him progress this spring."

Then, there's Matthews, who has been the Eagles' most productive wide receiver over the last couple of seasons. In fact, Matthews -- at least statistically -- is off to a heckuva start to his career. In his first three years, Matthews has 225 catches for 2,673 yards and 19 touchdowns. He's one of just seven players in NFL history to put up those numbers. 

Earlier this offseason, speculation arose about the Eagles' possibly trading Matthews. Asked about it last week at the owners meetings, Pederson responded, "As far as that goes, I haven't heard any of that." 

So, barring an unforeseen change, expect Matthews to be back with the Eagles for the final year of his rookie contract in 2017. While Pederson likes to move his receivers around, the ideal outcome for the Eagles would be to have Jeffery and Smith outside, with Matthews in the slot. 

"Jordan, obviously, he and Carson (Wentz) have a great relationship," Pederson said. "You saw it I think early in the season and throughout the season, his confidence level in finding him and throwing him the football. He's a big part of what we do. And he's a dynamic slot guy, he's a little bit bigger guy, he works well in there, he understands space. He understands route combinations and what we do and what we try to get done in there. I think he's very comfortable in there."

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