The following article is contributed by Jason Hunsicker.
Monday’s press conference with Philadelphia Eagles general manager Howie Roseman was mostly a muddy mess of misinformation, but crystal clear on one point:
The Eagles are ready and willing to deal wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
As Philadelphia Daily News staff writer Les Bowen detailed in his report, Roseman didn’t say anything to confirm Jackson is on his way out, but he also didn’t say anything to counter the last month of rampant speculation. When a general manager goes no further than “He’s still under contract” in regards to questions about a star player’s status, that isn’t a ringing endorsement for you to run out and purchase a No. 10 jersey.
All of this presumably sets up the Eagles to move into head coach Chip Kelly’s second season without Jackson, their three-time Pro Bowler coming off a career year in which he led the team with 82 catches and 1,332 yards receiving. It is their preference, apparently, to jettison a man who has played in at least 14 games and amassed more than 900 yards in each of his professional seasons, with the exception of an injury-shortened 2012.
This is somewhat alarming considering what the Eagles are left with. In Jeremy Maclin, they have a wide receiver with a history of serious knee injuries, playing on a one-year contract, who has never had a 1,000-yard season. In Riley Cooper, the Birds have a polarizing player who came out of nowhere to rack up 835 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, numbers he never came close to putting up before and it’s fair to wonder if he can put them up again.
It is also fair to conclude the Eagles plan on drafting at least one wide receiver. Roseman holds this year’s wide receiver class in high esteem, most recently reported by Birds 24/7’s Sheil Kapadia, and the general manager has always maintained he wishes to build a Super Bowl contender through the draft.
The Eagles have only six picks in the upcoming draft, Jackson’s value should never be higher and the position of need created by his removal seems to have an abundance of potential low-cost replacements.
The DeSean Jackson era is over in Philadelphia. All we’re waiting for is the date to chisel onto the tombstone.