After weeks of reports and speculation, the Eagles released star wide out Desean Jackson this afternoon. Jackson is coming off a season where he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. He was due to make around $10 million this season and a little over $12 million the following two seasons.
Recent reports from nj.com have also caused quite the stir this morning, citing that Jackson may be “gang affiliated.” Here are my points to ponder in regards to the Jets possibly bringing in Desean Jackson…
1) There may be more to the story:
The Eagles just released their best wide receiver coming off of a career year at age 27. Instead, they re-signed Jeremy Maclin coming off a torn ACL and Riley Cooper who has had his fair share of troubles off the field in the past year.
Let that sink in for a moment, they let their best wide receiver in his prime walk away without any compensation. They are opting to start a player coming off of a serious knee injury and Cooper who has averaged 23 catches a year in his four year NFL career, while letting Jackson walk.
I’m not in the Eagles locker room nor am I an insider. All I’m saying is, there might be more to this story. This tweet from Jason Kelce seemed to hint it was just a matter of time before this happened.
2) Was Desean not a “Chip Kelly” guy?
Here is the other spectrum of the story. It is quite possible Desean Jackson was not a “Chip Kelly guy.” Kelly is a hands on coach that is a perfectionist when it comes to building an environment and culture. There are hundreds of stories from last Summer of how unique his training camp was.
It is quite possible the Eagles front office and Kelly did not see Jackson as a fit and that his salary was too much to keep him around. Releasing him after the “gang affiliation” reports was certainly awful timing if this was the case though. Those reports had the rumor mill and speculation swirling at an all time high.
3) What if the Jets sign him?
It is hard to imagine teams lining up and throwing large contracts at Jackson with how this played out. The Jets are an interesting fit because of his familiarity with Marty Mornhinweg’s offense and Michael Vick being a close friend.
Jackson has also done a lot of nice work in the Philadelphia community with anti-bullying campaign and other organizations. Before the rumors began to swirl that Jackson hangs out with “bad people”, his biggest concern was his contract demands. While he was set to make between $10 and $12 million each of the next three seasons, it has been reported that he wanted an even higher deal.
4) My final take:
I am in no position to believe Jackson is a bad guy because of who he hangs out with, but I am definitely concerned. Could you imagine the headlines and media attention Jackson will draw as a Jet?
If the Jets are truly intrigued by Desean Jackson and want to bring him in, they need to do their due diligence. The way the end of his career played out in Philadelphia does not seem to add up at the moment. A one year flier type contract would be ideal, but I’m not quite sure that is realistic for a player of Jackson’s caliber.
There is no denying his talent and how he could change this offense. He is arguably the best deep threat receiver in the league, which is an area where Geno Smith excels in. At the end of the day though the locker room is vital, as Jets fans have seen the team implode before. This will certainly continue to be one of the off-season’s more interesting story-lines.