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D.J. Chark
Philadelphia Eagles

Should Eagles Pursue D.J. Chark This Offseason?

  • Justin Melo
  • January 28, 2022
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According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Philadelphia Eagles may show interest in Jacksonville Jaguars unrestricted free-agent wide receiver D.J. Chark this offseason. The 25-year-old Chark exploded in 2019 and 2020, having accounted for 126 receptions, 1,714 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns across those two seasons. Chark unfortunately suffered a fractured ankle in 2021 and was limited to just four appearances before landing on season-ending injured reserve. Chark qualifies as a fascinating free-agent target that should interest several receiver-needy teams. The Eagles certainly find themselves in that category as March's impending free agency period will provide general manager Howie Roseman with an opportunity to upgrade his thin pass-catching corps ahead of a crucial 2022 campaign. While the likes of Davante Adams, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, and Odell Beckham Jr. may attract the majority of the attention should they hit the market, pursuing Chark on a short-term prove-it deal would be an excellent, low-risk strategy for a team to deploy. Chark's deep speed and vertical ability would serve as an excellent complement to DeVonta Smith’s skills underneath. The Eagles need to upgrade the position this offseason as they continue to build around promising quarterback Jalen Hurts. Jalen Reagor has failed to make the desired impact since being the 21st overall selection in the 2020 draft and his days in Philadelphia may be numbered as both sides would benefit from a mutual parting of the ways. The 2021 iteration of the Eagles shocked the world by qualifying for the postseason in Nick Sirianni's first season as head coach. The Eagles surpassed those low expectations by winning nine games and finishing second place in the NFC East. Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen successfully built their offense around a dynamic rushing attack that averaged a league-high 159.7 rushing yards per contest and improved drastically as the season progressed. Philadelphia's identity as a dominant run-first football team has been well established, and Roseman, Sirianni, and Steichen must now turn their attention to upgrading their capabilities in the passing game should they want to become a more balanced and unpredictable offense in 2022. Hurts is capable of better developing himself as a passer, and that process must begin immediately by surrounding him with more talented receivers. The Eagles averaged just 200.2 passing yards per contest in 2021, a mark that placed them in below-average territory alongside the likes of the New York Giants, Houston Texans, and Carolina Panthers. The Eagles have seemingly committed to Hurts as their signal-caller for the 2022 campaign. All parties involved must assist Hurts to take steps forward as a pure thrower of the football. Providing Hurts with him more legitimate playmakers at the receiver position must take priority throughout the offseason. Chark has the necessary skill set to provide the Eagles with the game-changing ability they desperately crave offensively.

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Justin Melo