Jeremy Shockey is no longer the loudmouth idiot who offends people and later says he’s not talking to the media anymore to explain his controversial comments that were said to the media. With age he’s grown meek, and now he’s just another veteran who’s playing with the scars of multiple injuries, and is gradually fading into the NFL twilight. He’s a guy who plays football, and nothing more.
But he can still be useful when put in the right situation, as he demonstrated last year in Carolina. During Cam Newton’s rookie year he was the lesser half of a tight end tandem with Greg Olsen, scoring four times (his highest touchdown total since 2006), while hauling in a modest but still productive 37 receptions for 455 yards. His time as the primary weapon at a position that stresses physicality and the ability to create separation in small spaces is over, but as the backup in a league where teams are increasingly distributing touches between multiple tight ends, he can still be effective.
That’s why he’d fit in nicely as an Eagle, and that’s why Philly is kicking Shockey’s tires, an exploration that could lead to a quality return off of a minimal investment.
The Eagles aren’t satisfied with their TE depth chart beyond starter Brent Celek, which happens when the other three behind him have a combined 235 career receiving yards. So after working out Visanthe Shiancoe today, the Eagles will have Shockey in for a physical tomorrow, according to a report from Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Both options are aging but still potentially effective during the backup stage of their careers.
Age and brittleness haven’t necessarily kept the 31-year-old Shockey on the open market until days before training camp, as instead it’s his salary demands that have scared teams away. He’s reportedly seeking a contract in the vicinity of the $4 million he made last year in Carolina, a price tag that will fall swiftly as camps open.
Shiancoe’s numbers last year in Minnesota were also respectable, especially after he dealt with the calamity at quarterback there between Christian Ponder and Donovan McNabb. He had three touchdowns and 409 receiving yards on 36 receptions, but his yards per game dropped to 25.6 after being above 30 over the previous three seasons, whereas Shockey had 30.3.
Either one would push Celek during training camp and provide a quality veteran presence in a limited role. Despite his slightly better numbers, Shockey comes with more risk due to his uncanny ability to consistently break bones and strain muscles. Although he hasn’t missed significant time since way back in 2003 when he appeared in only nine games, Shockey’s injuries have generally been of the nagging variety, the kind that becomes a lingering annoyance and effects performance. He’s never played in a full season.
UPDATE: Welp, that didn’t last long. McLane now reports that the Eagles have canceled Shockey’s physical, which presumably means Shiancoe’s workout this morning went well and he’s set to sign. If that’s the case, then if he hasn’t already Shockey needs to lower his asking price drastically before he begins to fall behind and miss training camp.
UPDATE II: Nevermind, Shiancoe signed with New England, because the Pats are signing all of the tight ends. Maybe Shockey is still in play for Philadelphia.