Former Eagles WR says Jalen Reagor needs a change of scenery

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Former Eagles WR says Jalen Reagor needs a change of scenery originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Through two NFL seasons, Jalen Reagor has not approached playing up to the billing of the 21st overall pick in the 2020 Draft. His career averages through 28 games of a bit more than two catches for 25 yards reads more like a No. 3 or No. 4 receiver on an NFL team, at best.

Factor in the handful of times where he has come up small in big situations -- the most recent being the muffed punt in the Wild Card game against the Buccaneers -- and many Eagles fans would rather he takes his talents elsewhere.

Former Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant played in Philadelphia for eight seasons, and is remembered for being one of the most sure-handed, if not prolific, pass-catchers in recent memory.

Avant knows what it means to play in Philadelphia, and on the Take Off with John Clark Podcast, he shared that the City of Brotherly Love may be too much for the 23-year-old from Waxahachie, Texas to handle.

“I think that Jalen Reagor may need a change of scenery. I just do, I think that this city is tough, in and of itself. I just think it has gotten to him in Philadelphia, and I don’t necessarily know if this is the best, you know, city for his personality type.

“Now, that city could be somewhere else, where he can thrive and be a better player, but the truth of the matter is that there’s a lot of growth and development that has not occurred with Jalen Reagor.

“I think that some of it is confidence, but also… he has been able to get away with being the best athlete for so long. When you get to the NFL, being the best athlete is impossible. It’s the upper echelon, the most elite of the elite. You have to have technique, you have to have some subtleties, some tricks, you have to have a bunch of development. I think it’s just caught up to him. The lack of preparation… has caught up to him now.”

That last bit is very telling. Reagor was drafted where he was because of the athletic gifts he showed at TCU, on big stages in the Big 12. But most NFL players know that the work doesn’t stop once you are drafted, regardless of which round you were taken.

The fans in Philadelphia are demanding, especially for big-name free agents and highly-selected draft picks. And fair or not, if you don’t produce, or show measured development, you will draw plenty of negative attention.

Reagor has two seasons remaining on his rookie deal. It would be a surprise if he is not on the team for 2022. It would cost the team more than twice as much to release him than to keep him. But barring a serious turnaround next season, he will have to find his game somewhere else.