The Philadelphia Eagles have been through a roller coaster offseason to say the least. With the recent, and very shocking news of the release of Eagles former pro bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson, analysts, fans, and beat writers are trying to digest and understand as to why. The team is reluctant to say. Lawyers are advising the team to remain tight lipped. There’s a reason for this silence, the Philadelphia Eagles want to move forward and not look back.
The DeSean Jackson move was gut wrenching. For about a month prior to his release, speculation was swirling about Jackson being actively shopped. With a recent photo Jackson posted on his personal Instagram account, many thought the speculation was just that. Instead, a couple of days later, the Eagles let DeSean go for nothing. No draft pick, player, or anything. The team dumped him. The reasons for such a move have been speculated to Jackson’s gang ties, work ethic, and lackadaisical play. The real reason as to exactly why are unknown, but the Eagles head coach Chip Kelly and the front office have a plan for success, and that didn’t include DeSean Jackson.
So what now? The Eagles must keep moving forward with their plan. Besides the DeSean Jackson fiasco, the team has had a quiet, effective and successful offseason. Giving extensions to Eagles all pro left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce, and re-signing wide receivers Jeremy Maclin, and Riley Cooper. This kept most of the offensive core intact and added former New Orleans offensive weapon Darren Sproles. The team has rising stars in Philadelphia Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, and quarterback Nick Foles. The Eagles also brought in help to fix a leaky defensive secondary with former Saints Safety Malcolm Jenkins and Dolphins corner Nolan Carroll. The entire team has been upgraded, the loss of DeSean hurts, but in no way is it a back breaker. Like Chip Kelly said, not one guy makes the offense or the team.
The upcoming draft is crucial for the teams success. We’ve seen how bad drafts cripple a team. The 2010 and 2011 drafts are living proof of this. The Eagles were reaching for players and were drafting off need and not best available. When these players turn into busts, the team had no youth and talent to count on so it forces the front office to splurge in free agency. Thus leading to the “dream team” free agency class debacle. So this draft, the Eagles will use the best available system and hope to fill some of the void left by DeSean’s absence. With his release, it becomes even more critical for the team to find young talent that can step in and contribute right away. The Eagles cannot afford to have another 2011 draft class. The pressure is on Chip Kelly. He has to find quality and talented players who want to win and play as a team.
With the sudden need for a wide receiver, look for the Eagles to use a early round draft pick on one. The good news is the wide receiver class this year is the deepest it has ever been. Maybe this was a reason that helped the Eagles decide to part ways with a pro bowler in his prime. Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks and Florida State’s wide receiverKelvin Benjamin are players that will more than likely be available when the Eagles are on the clock with the number 22 pick. Brandin Cooks is a carbon copy of DeSean Jackson. At 5’10, 185 lbs., he is the definition of explosive. He had an outrageous combine running a 4.33 forty and showed his sticky hands in drills. The knock on Cooks is his size. Like DeSean, Cooks struggles in press coverage and the Eagles might want to change the look of their offense with bigger receivers. Kelvin Benjamin is the receiver that the league is transitioning to. Benjamin is 6’6, 240 lbs with an outrageous wingspan and has superstar written all over him. Benjamin uses his height very well and makes the tough catches in traffic, Benjamin’s flaws are coachable, but he is still a very raw talent. Any one of these players will help the Eagles moving forward.
Philadelphia is staying the course. Build in the draft, find underrated talent in free agency, and move forward. Get guys who are coachable and responsible and want to win, simple as that. It’s easy to get lost in the DeSean Jackson circus, but nothing has changed with the Eagles. The team hasn’t lost sight of the ultimate goal. Expectations are still high and they feel that the road to a Super Bowl is still intact. This organization will not make rash decisions, everything is calculated and well thought out. The Eagles are still very much a contender. This team knows what they’re doing. This organization is doing it the right way.
Fans and analysts were baffled by the Eagles when they decided to let DeSean Jackson walk. It was a very bold move, but it sent a clear message, the Philadelphia Eagles have a plan to win a Lombardi trophy. If you aren’t in their plans, then that makes you expendable. The Philly beat writers will voice their opinion and analysts will analyze, but one thing in all this DeSean mess is the team has bought into Chip Kelly’s plan. Players, staff, fans, the front office have immense trust in Chip. The team has the pieces to contend and are still a very good football team. What’s done is done, the Philadelphia Eagles are moving forward, now its time to support them.