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DeVonta Smith knows patience, but the Eagles need to get him the ball | Locked On Eagles

Even though Smith would never handle things in a Terrell Owens-like way, causing issues if he doesn’t get the ball, the Eagles need to make sure he is involved.

PHILADELPHIA — If any wide receiver can handle a game like Sunday’s in Detroit, where they see just four targets and no receptions, it is DeVonta Smith.

The Philadelphia Eagles newly-acquired receiver A.J. Brown was the star of the show in the 38-35 victory, catching 10 of 13 targets for 155 yards. Brown was targeted throughout the entire game, in every area of the field: the screen game, routes over the middle, plays down the field, he completely took over.

That dominant performance came at the expense of Smith, however, who for the first time ever, finished a game without a catch. In 47 college games at Alabama, 18 regular season and playoff starts with the Eagles, Smith had never registered a goose egg in that column before.

He handled the lack of involvement in a very mature way, telling the media that is what Brown was brought to Philadelphia to do. Smith called Brown a great leader and said that it was his day to shine.

Smith taking the high road shouldn’t surprise anyone. He is no stranger in having to share targets with a number of talented pass catchers. In four years with the Crimson Tide, Smith was teammates with many star skill position players that would go on to be top draft picks: Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs, Jaylen Waddle, John Metchie, the list goes on-and-on.

Even though Smith would never handle things in a Terrell Owens or Antonio Brown like way, causing issues if he wouldn't get the ball, the Eagles need to make sure he is equally as involved as any weapon.

Not only because he can be one of the best playmakers in the NFL with the ball in his hands, but the Eagles also have the most to lose with Smith versus the likes of Brown, and Dallas Goedert.

Unlike Brown and Goedert, Smith doesn’t have that illustrious, big second contract yet.

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Sure, Philadelphia still has three more years of team control on Smith’s rookie deal, with a fifth-year option. However, like many star receivers over the last few off seasons, he will likely want that new contract much sooner than that.

If the Eagles want to be the team to give him that contract, they should make sure his patience isn’t tested.

Many of the players that got monster deals were also able to choose where they got it, forcing trades to more ideal destinations. A.J. Brown is one of those players. As is Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams.

Are we getting ahead of ourselves talking about this after just one game? Absolutely. 

It is more of a warning that this needs to be an outlier and not the trend. Smith already dealt with inconsistent involvement throughout his rookie season because of a run-heavy approach that was embraced due to Jalen Hurts not being able to step up as a volume passer.

Smith is always going to deal with a lot of involvement from Brown, Goedert, and the run game. Sometimes, the ball simply doesn’t go your way with all of those options. But, the Eagles need to make sure Smith is an equal part of the plan week-in and week-out.

He is too good not to be.

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