Earlier this week the Philadelphia Eagles made one of their biggest and most controversial moves in the Chip Kelly era by blatantly releasing their superstar wide receiver, DeSean Jackson. If that wasn’t bad enough, Jackson just so happened to conveniently be picked up by the division rival Washington Redskins.
Before the move, the Eagles were clear-cut favorites to win the NFC East, after the departure of Jackson however, the division champion may not be as clear as it once was. Last season, the Eagles won the division in the last week of the season and that was with Jackson’s 82 receptions, 1,332 yards, and nine touchdowns.
Taking that production away from the Eagles offense and replacing it with Jeremy Maclin, coming off of a torn ACL, Riley Cooper, and an unproven rookie, could certainly shake things up, and the Washington Redskins now deserve to be put in the conversation.
The Redskins won the division two years ago and really could have made a deep playoff run had quarterback Robert Griffin III not gotten hurt. Griffin III’s knee will now be completely healed and with the addition of Jackson, paired with receiver Pierre Garcon, and a new head coach, it could help Griffin III get back to the high level he was playing at in his rookie year.
You also can’t count out the New York Giants, because it seems like every time people do, they go on to win the win the Super Bowl. Like it or not, Eli Manning is one of the league’s best quarterbacks, and just that alone, gives the Giants a chance.
The Dallas Cowboys will as usual be in the division race until the final weeks, and even though they haven’t been noisy so far this offseason, with Tony Romo and Dez Bryant starring on the offense, they will always be in the conversation.
No team has won the NFC East in back to back years since the Eagles won it four consecutive years in a row from 2001-2004. With that said, along with the release of Jackson, it would almost be safer to assume that the Eagles will not defend their crown as NFC East champions.