Philadelphia Eagles: Who steps up with Marquise Goodwin opt-out?

Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Marquise Goodwin, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Who is going to step up for the Philadelphia Eagles with Marquise Goodwin opting out of the 2020 season?

The Philadelphia Eagles emphasized speed in the 2020 NFL Draft, and they particularly emphasized adding it at the wide receiver position.

Not only did the Eagles use their top pick on speedy wide receiver Jalen Reagor, but they also made a trade for veteran Marquise Goodwin on day three of the draft from the San Francisco 49ers.

The Eagles already had plenty of wide receivers prior to the 2020 NFL Draft, but they completely revamped the position with their draft capital, using three selections on receivers and trading for Goodwin. So what were their plans for Goodwin?

With Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson on the roster, the Eagles were already poised for an interesting camp competition at the position with the guys they added during the 2020 draft, but Goodwin’s decision to opt-out of the 2020 season re-shuffles the deck yet again.

Goodwin has been through a lot personally in recent years, even just from what has been reported by the media. The fact that he has a five-month-old daughter and doesn’t want to put his family at risk makes this almost a no-brainer decision for him.

The Eagles will still have Goodwin under contract for two years starting in 2021, but that leaves plenty of time for other players behind him on the roster to make an impact.

The door is wide open for Philly

The Eagles’ offseason acquisitions seemed to spell doom for 2019 second-round pick JJ Arcega-Whiteside, whose chances to make an impact on the 2020 team have now been somewhat resurrected.

Arcega-Whiteside definitely struggled in his rookie season and the Eagles’ offseason moves are indicative of the confidence they have in him based on what they saw last year.

The decision by Goodwin probably most directly impacts first-round pick Jalen Reagor, who will now be more relied upon than simply asked to contribute when called upon in his rookie season.

It could also significantly increase the chances of sleeper picks John Hightower and Quez Watkins making a splash in their rookie seasons.

No one knows exactly what Philadelphia’s plan was for Goodwin, but those two players drafted on day three could be pressed into roles, especially if one of the veterans suffers an injury or contracts COVID-19, or if Arcega-Whiteside continues to struggle in his sophomore season.

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Even without Goodwin in the fold, the Eagles’ wide receiver group is going to be much more dynamic in 2020 with the other additions they made through the 2020 NFL Draft, and Goodwin’s absence only paves the way for more reps early on for those young guys.