When I wrote a story last week about the Philadelphia Eagles possibly having the leagues best offense, I didn’t put much stock into the media created DeSean Jackson trade rumors. Now, a week later, these rumors have taken on a life of their own. The speculation has some merit, and a ton of so called “league sources” are breaking contradicting stories almost daily. One day a team will call the Eagles inquiring about the pro bowl wide out, the next day it turns out it wasn’t the case. So, I decided to look at this speculation and came to the conclusion, no matter how you slice it from a salary cap, football, off the field issues, and fans perspective, a DeSean Jackson trade makes no sense.
The main reason analysts say the Eagles want to part ways with the receiver is his big contract. This is also the reason why the Eagles can not move him. This has to be false, it’s not like DeSean went to the NovaCare complex and stole this money. The fact is the Eagles rewarded him with this contract and felt that DeSean had earned his money, all DeSean did was put the pen to the paper. Jackson signed this two years ago and now all of a sudden it has become a huge issue? Cap space most definitely isn’t the issue. The team is still around 16 million dollars above the cap. Now a report has surfaced the team wants to dump Jackson so bad, the Eagles are even willing to release him. Now how does that make any sense? The Eagles are a team that does not like spending or throwing away money. If the team does decide to go this route, the Eagles would take a 6 million dollar cap hit. So, you lose your best receiver, get nothing for him, and you lose 6 million dollars? Yeah, I don’t think so!
Another head scratcher is the Eagles willingness to trade him to a contending team in the conference. Why would you arguably make your team worse off and trade him to a team that’s standing in your way to a Super Bowl? The Seattle Seahawks are among the teams “interested”. How would the Eagles explain to their fans that moving DeSean to a contender was the best football decision? I don’t think the Eagles would be able to convince the fan base. This would be a bone head move on the team’s part which is surprising considering the Eagles have been smart when it comes to transactions like these.
Now comes the so called “off the field issues” many have labeled a main reason to this fiasco. DeSean Jackson has a reputation that seems to follow him everywhere. Bad attitude, bad teammate, selfish, and a bad locker room guy. Sure DeSean has had a couple of heated moments on the sideline or at practice, but who hasn’t? Tom Brady makes it no secret when he’s upset at his line or receivers. When he does it it’s because he plays with passion and is a leader. But when Jackson does it, it’s considered selfish. What you don’t see in the headlines are the numerous charity works DeSean Jackson is involved in and how teammates publicly back him and say that he is a good guy and leader. Not once has Jackson been arrested while a member of the Eagles. Recently, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice assaulted his girlfriend on camera and still isn’t labeled this way. “Off the field issues” seems like a bogus reason to trade Jackson. Of course there might be an issue the fans and analysts don’t know about, but as it stands, this label placed on DeSean is far from the truth.
You cant find one person that says a DeSean Jackson trade makes perfect sense schematically. From an X’s and O’s standpoint, Jackson is the perfect fit for Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly’s offense. Jackson at only 27 years old is still in his prime and has that elite speed that is hard to come by. He takes a safety off other receivers and allows one on one matchups. Riley Cooper directly benefited from this last season. Jackson posted career numbers last season, over 80 catches, 1300 yards and 9 touchdowns and made his third pro bowl. With Jackson gone a deadly receiving core turns really suspect. Riley Cooper is a number two receiver nothing more and other Eagles wide out Jeremy Maclin is coming off an ACL injury. And to think that a draft pick can match DeSeans production is just wishful thinking. Jackson even proved to be a decent blocker in the run game, making key blocks to free up space for the Eagles running backs. Yes, the Eagles offense is loaded, but losing DeSean would hurt.
When the Eagles traded future Hall of Fame Quarterback, Donovan McNabb a couple of years back, the fans weren’t entirely shocked. It hurt to see a great player like that leave, but fans knew deep down McNabb was done. The talent and skill wasn’t there anymore. With DeSean Jackson, nearly every Eagle fan is against this rumored trade. Yes, as fans, our judgment is biased, but I can honestly say the fans are right on this one. The backlash from a move like this can hurt the team because their fan base would already be crushed before the season even starts. It is even gotten to the point where fans are going on twitter and other social media to beg the Eagles to refrain from doing this. Whether the fans opinions carry any weight with the decisions being made, only time will tell. I can tell you this, with the development of social networks, fans are trying to fight this thing all the way till the end.
The Eagles can come up with a laundry list of reasons why the team wants to move DeSean Jackson, but none of them make any real sense. The team is on the cusp of being a contender but with this impending move the future is very hazy. What will happen? How will it affect the Eagles? Answers will come in due time, but trading DeSean Jackson is a move that will have you scratching your head as to WHY?