A Head Ache Relieved: Eagles Take Action on Jackson

Posted: March 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Six long years, gone in an instant.

Today, the Philadelphia Eagles released Pro Bowl WR DeSean Jackson with three years remaining on his contract. Jackson, 27, was coming off of the best season in his career. Early reports on the transaction suggested that the decision was not football related.

Of course, rumors had run rampant of late suggesting that Philadelphia was shopping the enigmatic receiver. But, the fact that the Eagles just released Jackson without any compensation is rather awe inspiring. Yes, Jackson is your unfriendly neighborhood receiver; complete with rocket like speed and a mouth that never quits. But, his ability to keep defenses honest was certainly a benefit to Philadelphia, whose offense ranked 2nd in all of football a year ago. Philadelphia is now left with Riley Cooper, Jeremy Maclin, Demaris Johnson, and Arrelious Benn as their only remaining options at Jackson’s position. With free agency all but dried up, the team will likely have to use an early pick on a receiver.

Philadelphia Eagles v Arizona CardinalsNow, Jackson certainly didn’t endear himself to the organization. There have been numerous cases where Jackson cost the team dearly. But, his talent and ability could hardly be questioned. Perhaps no moment was more magnificent than in 2010, when Jackson doused the New York Giants’ division dreams with a walk-off punt return at the Meadowlands. Though, Jackson’s touchdown against Arizona in the NFC Championship Game during his rookie season could have been a nominee.

For all the great moments, Jackson suffered through many sour ones. The receiver all but admitted to taking entire games off during the team’s on-again-off-again 2011 “Dream Team” season because he was upset about his contract. He was also flagged numerous times for personal foul penalties, most notably during that same 2011 season against the Giants. Who could forget his massive mistake against Dallas in 2008, when Jackson dropped the ball a foot short of the goal line after a long catch?

Then, there’s the gang connections. Now, the specifics of this story are still in question. So, I’m not going to speculate that much on the situation. I also don’t think it was a major reason why the team released him. The receiver, for all of the negatives, has also done some pretty amazing things for kids who are bullied. We’ll see which side the pendulum swings on that story when all is said and done.

No, the reason the Eagles cut bait on Jackson was because he’d become more of a headache than an asset. His $10.5 million contract for the next three years could better be used to improve the defense more, as well as pay QB Nick Foles when the time arrives. His recent squabbles about a new contract only served to arouse déjà vu out of the Eagles, who remembered those same gripes prior to his mediocre 2011 campaign. Then, there were the arguments on the sideline between Jackson and coaches. Chip Kelly is trying to build a system in Philadelphia, one built on a foundation of teamwork and determination. Clearly, Jackson had shown that those weren’t the most important traits to his game.

In the end, time will tell whether or not Philadelphia made the wise choice. Jackson will have interest throughout the league. We already know that the New York Jets, with Michael Vick under center, are interested. Other possibilities include the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and New England Patriots. Carolina, on the other hand, has already declined interest according to ProFootballTalk.com. The receiver will be a solid addition “on the field” to any team that lands him. Whether or not he’s in line off the field is another story.

For the Eagles, at least one new receiver is a guarantee. They clearly believe that Zach Ertz is going to be a prime option to line up out there at times. But, their depth is slim outside. Expect Philadelphia to look hard at taking a target in round one.


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