Eagles sign ex-Texans receiver Gaffney
The Philadelphia Eagles have added another solid player to their young wide receiver corps, a group that collectively will try to compensate for the departure of Terrell Owens, by signing unrestricted free agent Jabar Gaffney to a one-year contract.
A four-year veteran, Gaffney had played his entire career with the Houston Texans, either as a No. 2 or a No. 3 wideout. He figures to compete for the No. 2 job with Philadelphia, where the Eagles coaches will use mini-camps and training camp to better define the roles of its young wide receivers.
Gaffney, 25, is more quick than fast, works well out of the slot and between the hashes, and should be a good fit in the Eagles' offense, which features West Coast-style principles. The durable Gaffney, the son of former NFL wide receiver Derrick Gaffney, has never missed a game in his career.
A second-round choice in the 2002 draft, Gaffney has appeared in 64 games, with 50 starts. Playing in a Houston passing game that lacked consistency, he registered 171 receptions for 2,009 yards and seven touchdowns. He started 13 of 16 games in 2005 and had a career-best 55 catches, although he averaged just 8.9 yards per catch. In 2004, he averaged 15.4 yards per reception.
The former University of Florida standout is a good athlete and he will bring some size (6-feet-1, 205 pounds) to an Eagles wide receiver contingent that collectively lacks that commodity.
With the departure of Owens, who was released on Tuesday afternoon, Philadelphia became even younger at wide receiver. The team's top six receivers, counting Gaffney, average just 3.5 seasons of experience and only one, Todd Pinkston, who is coming off an Achilles injury that sidelined him for all of 2005, has more than four seasons in the league.
Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.