You'll likely see scenes similar to this again in 2011, but at what cost?

Desean Jackson Named Eagles Punt Returner–Bet He’s Thrilled About That


Earlier this week, former Eagles wide receiver and resident jackass Terrell Owens opined that if he were Desean Jackson he would’ve never reported to camp.  When I first heard about this story I wanted to dismiss Owens because a) he’s an idiot and b) he’s clearly someone that wants to get his name back in the news cycle as he sits out to nurse his rapidly declining body.


And while he is an idiot and history shows he’s certainly seeking attention, he’s also right–Desean Jackson should have continued his hold out.

When Jackson didn’t report to Lehigh the mantra was that the Eagles wouldn’t negotiate with holdouts. Fine. Cool.

But he did report. And maybe they did negotiate, and sure, it’s a complicated process because no other receiver is comparable to Jackson. But as the regular season rapidly approaches, there’s seemingly been no movement in the direction of a new deal for Jackson. And in a season in which the Eagles feel they can win the Super Bowl, they would have had to eventually give into Jackson’s demands to do it.

So when you take into account that Jackson is viewed as a player who is one punishing hit away from serious health concerns and combine it with the fact that he’s still pining for a new contract, today’s announcement that he will be the team’s primary punt returner is stunning.

The guy is electric and fans understandably want the best player at each position, but to put a fragile player who is looking to strike it rich in harms way as he runs down punts is a curious move. And you could argue that the move will possibly be interpreted as a slap in the face to Jackson.

You might argue that Jackson gets paid to play football so the Eagles can use him however they want, but that’s naive. That’s not how today’s NFL works.  This ain’t Chuck Bednarik’s NFL–an era when a guy got his bell rung, dusted off his jersey, and hopped back in for the next play. No, this is the era ImPACT testing, doctor’s clearances, and most important to Jackson, big money.

And I have to imagine that although it’s one more way for him to prove his worth when it comes time to sign that next contract, I’m willing to bet that every single time he drifts back to catch a punt he’s going to wonder if he’s going to have the opportunity to sign it.

Tags: Concussions DeSean Jackson ImPACT Punt Returner

  • jermolx

    Why is T.O. a jackass? I mean If he played for the Eagles today, He is there best reciever..(lets be honest, desean is mini randy moss,, one trick pony) He is a idiot because he is correct? If D Jax gets hurt, he is screwed, they didnt negoitate, trust me in the world the way it is today, we would know about it.

    I know this won’t be something Eagles fans like to hear, but it’s not like there’s no logic to what Owens is saying. At $600,000, Jackson’s earning way less than market value for a player of his ability. Careers are short. Injuries happen. Market value is fair, and most of the time, holding out is the only leverage a player has. Not that I want this to happen, of course. Everyone wants Jackson to show up and play (with the possible exceptions of the Rams and Philadelphia’s NFC East rivals), because he’s fun to watch and he makes the game better. For these reasons, I’m glad he’s not holding out. But I can’t say Owens is wrong, either. I can’t accuse him of giving bad advice. I wonder what effect this has on Owens’ own employment chances, though. He’s fighting two things in his quest to keep playing: 1) his injury, and 2) the perception that he’s a bad influence. If he’s publicly advising another player to bail on his team right before opening week, that probably doesn’t help with the perception that he’s a selfish guy. Whether you think it’s good advice or bad advice, it’s definitely not organization-friendly advice. He might as well be honest about what he’s feeling. It’s not like anyone was going to sign him for the positive influence he’d bring to the locker room anyway.

    So you people who are hating on T.O because he answered a question that he was ASKED are retarded.. Id welcome him back to Philly in a HOT minute..he would be the best overall WR on the team.

  • ngowdy

    I’m with you on the whole holdout situation — but if you saw DeSean return punts at Cal, you’d know why I have a giant grin on my face in anticipation of watching him run these things back. I mean, the return against the Giants for the win was amazing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUr_oXh6h_o

    But I want to see another one of these (Cal vs. Tennessee):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPXSzia2Zfg

  • JonathanMallinger

    Bullshit why put your best reciever in harms way because u don’t like his attitude, NFLs way of trying to teach players lessons is gonna come back to bite him and almost did

  • jermolx

    Why is T.O. a jackass? I mean If he played for the Eagles today, He is there best reciever..(lets be honest, desean is mini randy moss,, one trick pony) He is a idiot because he is correct? If D Jax gets hurt, he is screwed, they didnt negoitate, trust me in the world the way it is today, we would know about it.

    I know this won’t be something Eagles fans like to hear, but it’s not like there’s no logic to what Owens is saying. At $600,000, Jackson’s earning way less than market value for a player of his ability. Careers are short. Injuries happen. Market value is fair, and most of the time, holding out is the only leverage a player has. Not that I want this to happen, of course. Everyone wants Jackson to show up and play (with the possible exceptions of the Rams and Philadelphia’s NFC East rivals), because he’s fun to watch and he makes the game better. For these reasons, I’m glad he’s not holding out. But I can’t say Owens is wrong, either. I can’t accuse him of giving bad advice. I wonder what effect this has on Owens’ own employment chances, though. He’s fighting two things in his quest to keep playing: 1) his injury, and 2) the perception that he’s a bad influence. If he’s publicly advising another player to bail on his team right before opening week, that probably doesn’t help with the perception that he’s a selfish guy. Whether you think it’s good advice or bad advice, it’s definitely not organization-friendly advice. He might as well be honest about what he’s feeling. It’s not like anyone was going to sign him for the positive influence he’d bring to the locker room anyway.

    So you people who are hating on T.O because he answered a question that he was ASKED are retarded.. Id welcome him back to Philly in a HOT minute..he would be the best overall WR on the team.

  • ngowdy

    I’m with you on the whole holdout situation — but if you saw DeSean return punts at Cal, you’d know why I have a giant grin on my face in anticipation of watching him run these things back. I mean, the return against the Giants for the win was amazing:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUr_oXh6h_o

    But I want to see another one of these (Cal vs. Tennessee):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPXSzia2Zfg

  • JonathanMallinger

    Bullshit why put your best reciever in harms way because u don’t like his attitude, NFLs way of trying to teach players lessons is gonna come back to bite him and almost did