May 22, 2024   4 MIN READ

Catch Of The Day

WR Options For Birds After Parker Retirement


An unforeseen development happened Monday evening, as veteran wide receiver DeVante Parker announced his retirement from the NFL.

The Eagles signed Parker, 31, to a one-year deal in March, and the former 2015 first-round pick was expected to challenge for the No. 3 receiver role on an Eagles receiving corps short on depth.

Appearing in 106 career games (75 starts), Parker accumulated 5,266 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns on 369 receptions.

The vacancy created by Parker’s announcement gave a boost to fellow veteran Parris Campbell, the early odds-on favorite to win the third receiver job, as well as third-day rookies Ainias Smith and Johnny Wilson.

Also not to be forgotten are the four Futures deals signings, including Joseph Ngata, Austin Watkins, Jacob Harris and Shaq Davis.

With depth behind starters A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith is largely unproven, it’s fair to ponder whether the Eagles will consider back-filling the depth chart for experience and competition purposes.

If they want to look outward to bolster the group, here are four of the top names who make the most sense:

Hunter Renfrow

GETTY IMAGES: Former Raiders slot WR Hunter Renfrow is one of the most productive receivers on the open market.

Hunter Renfrow

Arguably the most effective free-agent solution available for what the Eagles need – if they’re looking for a slot wideout – Renfrow would be a plug-and-play mid-range option for quarterback Jalen Hurts. A savvy, decisive route-runner with notable short-area quickness, Renfrow has a strong feel for finding the soft spots in zone and would act as a security blanket, thriving on dump-offs and short-to-intermediate routes.

The 28-year-old doesn’t provide an explosive skill set and is slight of build, but if the Eagles seek a dependable chain-mover in the slot, Renfrow should be the first call. Appearing in all 17 games (three starts) last season for the Raiders, Renfrow totaled 255 receiving yards on 25 catches (37 targets).

Michael Thomas

The most accomplished pass-catcher still unsigned – totaling 5,512 receiving yards through his first four seasons – Thomas’ upward trajectory was derailed by various injuries. If fully healthy, the big-bodied possession receiver could alleviate some pressure from Hurts, serving as a pitch-and-catch chain-mover and redzone option. But it remains to be seen just how much the foot, ankle and knee injuries have impacted his overall functionality, specifically his ability to separate. Still, given his frame, past success and projected role, Thomas would be worth bringing to the NovaCare Complex for a workout.

Mecole Hardman

GETTY IMAGES: Super Bowl champion WR Mecole Hardman could bring a versatile skill set to the Eagles.

Mecole Hardman

A 26-year-old former second-round pick with 4.3 speed, Hardman undoubtedly offers the most upside of the players listed but hasn’t been a model of consistency through five seasons. Hardman, another former Georgia standout who most recently reeled in the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl LVIII, is electric in space and his long speed must always be accounted for by defenses. Dynamic qualities notwithstanding, Hardman has underwhelmed, eclipsing 40 receptions only twice in his career. While he’s not a volume option and serves more of a complementary piece, Hardman warrants consideration.

DeAndre Carter

A one-time Eagle, the well-traveled Carter most recently completed a year-long stint with the Raiders, managing only 39 receiving yards on four receptions (seven targets). Compactly built at 5-foot-8, 190 pounds, Carter, at age 31, can still create separation with his speed and has largely maintained his burst. But two years removed from his most productive NFL season – 538 receiving yards and three touchdowns on 46 catches with the Chargers – Carter is no longer wired for any sort of prominent or rotational role. The journeyman wideout is best equipped providing depth while also doubling as a return specialist.

– Andrew DiCecco (@AndrewDiCecco) is a Staff Reporter/Content Producer for

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