Trading DeSean Jackson Makes Sense

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized
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jacksonEver since news broke that the Philadelphia Eagles were shopping DeSean Jackson, fans of the franchise have been up-in-arms over the team’s decision to reportedly part with one of their best offensive talents. Not only is Jackson a three-time pro bowler. But, he’s also coming off his best statistical season to date.

The truth is that Philadelphia wants to part ways with their enigmatic target for multiple reasons, not the least of which being his egomaniacal, “me first” attitude that clashes considerably with Chip Kelly’s philosophy on how to build a winning organization. The second year coach has had enough of Jackson’s foolish penalties and off-field issues, that much is clear. But, what if it’s actually Jackson’s performance on the field that has the Eagles believing that he’s expendable after such a glorious statistical season.

Yes, the 27-year old is coming off a season in which he set career highs in catches (82), yards (1332), and tied his career high with nine touchdowns. But, Jackson was an absolute no-show at times this year. After his 10-catch, 195 yard performance in the team’s brutal loss to Minnesota in week 15, Jackson went missing. He caught just 7 passes for 57 yards combined between the last two games against Chicago and Dallas. The former 2nd-round pick then caught just 3 balls for 53 yards against New Orleans in the Wild Card playoff.

That, after all, has been Jackson’s Achilles heel for years. Despite the magic of the “Miracle at the Meadowlands” in 2010 (a game, I might add, in which Jackson caught only 3 passes for 52 yards), the former Cal Bear has rarely come through in the clutch. In six career postseason games, Jackson has just 19 catches for 321 yards and two touchdowns (none since 2009). In his last two playoff games against Green Bay and New Orleans, Jackson had a combined 5 receptions.

Now, that’s all well and good if you’re Jason Avant, a role player with a role player’s contract. Instead, Jackson is scheduled to make $10.5 million this season as part of the megadeal he reached with the team following his shallow, “for who, for what” campaign of 2011. Now, reports say that Jackson is out for more money, clamoring through the media for a new contract from Philadelphia. Is that the type of player that a team on the rise should reward? The type who takes entire seasons off to get what he wants, then does the whole thing again a year later.

What if Jackson, who admitted to taking plays off in 2011, reverts back to his old ways this year? Wouldn’t it be a better financial move to grab a couple of draft picks and rid themselves of this $10.5 million anchor; especially in a draft that is so rich with talented receiving prospects? That’s the question that Chip Kelly, Howie Roseman, and Jeff Laurie have to answer over the next month or so.

Is Jackson a phenomenal talent? Yes, he absolutely is. The kid is a million dollar talent with a five-cent head, and that’s what will always hold him back from being great. It’s also what will run him out of the only NFL locker room he’s ever known.

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