Earlier today pro-bowl receiver, DeSean Jackson, was released by the Philadelphia Eagles for suspected affiliations to an LA based gang. Jackson denied any gang affiliation in a press conference a couple hours after he was released.
How does this impact the Eagles?
DeSean Jackson played a large part in the Eagles’ new offense last year, coached by former Oregon coach Chip Kelly, and also started all 16 games for them. Last season, Jackson was 9th in the NFL in receiving yards, racking up 1,332 yards and was also 2nd in the NFL in receptions over 20 yards, behind only Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns. Jackson is a threat to score on any play due to the mind blowing speed that he is known for. A lot of the success last year was due to the immersion of 2nd year quarterback, Nick Foles. Foles, who came in to start for the Eagles after the injury to starting quarterback Michael Vick, proved he was NFL quality and quickly stole the starting role from Vick, who was released this off-season and just recently signed by the New York Jets. Jackson accounted for about a third of Foles passing yards this season and played a key role in the offense. The release though may not be as detrimental as you may think for the NFC East champions. The Eagles had one of the best receiving cores last year with Jackson and a lot of production from young receiver Riley Cooper. Not only did they manage to resign Cooper but they also will get back WR Jeremy Maclin this upcoming year after losing him to a torn ACL last July. They also have the best receiving backfield in all of football with LeSean McCoy and the new edition of Darren Sproles, who was signed to the team this off-season after another terrific season with the New Orleans Saints. If the Eagles truly miss Jackson’s presence then lucky for them, because this up-coming NFL draft is loaded with talent at the WR position.
But what does this mean for Jackson?
With the talent Jackson possesses he should be a target for any franchise in the NFL, but how big are the red flags? Jackson has previously been criticized for a poor work ethic and for being a bad role model (which is why he could potentially be a great fit for the Oakland Raiders). Are these issues too big to handle for teams desperately in need of a receiver? Here are some potential buyers for the former Eagles star.
With the offensive editions of quarterback Matt Schaub and runningback Maurice Jones-Drew this off-season the Raiders have accomplished quite a bit in improving a team that has been infamous the past decade for being as bad as their state’s air pollution. Jackson would make a nice fit to a receiving core consisting of up and coming receivers Rob Streater and Denarius Moore. They also added James Jones from the Packers this off-season so WR is not as serious a need as it was, but still, it can’t hurt to have more depth! The Raiders also have one of the top picks in this year’s upcoming draft, so if they decide to beef up a certain offensive position, they have the power to do that.
After the loss of Steve Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Brandon LaFell, and Domenik Hixon the best receiver left in the franchise was none other than… wait for it… Marvin McNutt! (who happens to sound more like a Dr. Suess character than a football player). Recent additions of Jerricho Cotchery and Tiquan Underwood should help out the cause but serious help is still needed to give Cam Newton some help in the passing game. If they do happen to nab Jackson this will allow them to improve an offensive line or secondary in the draft, both of which also need serious help.
Picture this: A team with an all-pro, super bowl winning quarterback with a super strong arm and then add in 2 of the fastest players in all of football. This is what Seattle can have by creating a tandem of Jackson and Percy Harvin. The Seahawks lost Golden Tate this off-season to the Detroit Lions so they need a replacement for him. It doesn’t necessarily need to be someone with the quality of Jackson if they aren’t looking to carry on his $48.5 million contract; which would make sense if they didn’t considering they will have to resign some of their younger players coming up in the near future.
After an absolute stellar season Josh Gordon is ready to tear up the field again in 2014-15, unfortunately he doesn’t have too many other people on his team that defenders care about covering. Jackson would be perfect in this offense and would help out whatever quarterback they will decide to draft in the star studded draft. They have already made it clear that they will draft a quarterback after the release of Brandon Weeden. Although they have Brian Hoyer, you can never put full faith in a player to lead your team coming off a season in which he played in 3 games tore his ACL. The Jackson, Gordon, and Jordan Cameron tandem would finally give people something to cheer for in Cleveland, and something for opposing teams’ secondaries to be afraid of.