Where would be a good fit for DeSean Jackson?
Since he entered the league in 2008, DeSean Jackson has 12 touchdowns of at least 50 yards, tied for most in the NFL with Calvin Johnson. (AP)
On his WIP Radio show, new host Josh Innes refers to the current Eagles vs. DeSean Jackson situation as "DeSean Watch!" For you Anchorman fans, it's like Pandawatch, just goofier. But Innes' point is that Eagles fans can't seem to figure out why the team wants to part company with their dynamic play-making wide receiver.
Here are six reasons they should do so:
1. New boss - same DeSean
Chip Kelly comes to Philly. He hires new coaches to run position groups. Every new coach -- by all accounts -- manages to work well with their players. All except one. In fact, DeSean's relationship with his brand new position coach deteriorates so badly that Jason Avant has to play the role of intermediary just so they can speak to one another. Not good. Especially when DeSean already has a history of being so petulant that Andy Reid sent him home before a game. The new coach absolutely noticed.
2. Mo' money - mo' problems
Stealing a line from Biggie, the theme is true. The Eagles are spending way too much money on the WR position (approximately $24 million to $26 million) according to overthecap.com (via Philly.com's Jimmy Kempski), the second-highest total in the NFL. DeSean makes more than any Eagles WR (approx. $10.5 million in real dollars, but a $6 million cap hit if cut). Add to that, DeSean's post playoff loss comments about being "deserving" of a new deal and I can't imagine the Eagles are pleased.
3. One-trick player
DeSean has spectacular ability... at times. He has dramatic playmaking abilities... at times. Other times, however, his skills are a detriment to the offense. Specifically in the red zone. DeSean's lack of size renders his abilities moot inside the opponent's 20. His poor route running (which might be helped if he spoke to his position coach) makes throwing to him in the red zone a risky proposition. And his inability to stretch a shortened field short-circuits his greatest strength: speed. So while we all get great joy watching the game-breaking plays, it's kind of like the old golf adage: Drive for show, putt for dough. In this case, you make your money in the red zone.
4. No feel for Foles
This team is transitioning to Nick Foles. Here's what Foles does well:
- He commands the offense.
- He throws in rhythm and with timing.
- He generally makes good decisions.
Here's what he doesn't do well:
- He doesn't extend plays with his feet.
- He isn't blessed with a Mike Vick-like howitzer for an arm.
- He doesn't ad-lib plays well.
All of which probably explains the following averages from a year ago:
- DeSean averages with Vick starting: 6 catches, 11.6 targets, 98.0 ypg
- DeSean averages with Foles starting: 4.3 catches, 6.4 targets, 72.4 ypg
Point being, DeSean's unique skills are not showcased with Foles as his QB. The Eagles know this.
5. Keenan the final Key
There are not many DBs who can run with DeSean Jackson. It's why the Eagles were willing to pay him $10 million/year in the first place. But the truth is, when he goes head to head with a DB who can run with him, he gets exposed. The wild card playoff game against Keenan Lewis highlighted this in big, bold text. The Saints essentially said to DeSean, "Go ahead... try and beat us." DeSean couldn't. The Eagles' brass has seen the film. They noticed.
6. 'Big people beat up little people'
It's a catch phrase Kelly has used often, and in this case it's appropriate. If I could replace Jackson with someone like Mike Evans of Texas A&M right now, I would do it in a heartbeat. And I believe Kelly would as well. Evans may not be the game-breaker DeSean can be, but he is a bigger target that makes the Eagles' offense more consistent. And Kelly doesn't want flash. He wants production.
It's for these six reasons I believe the Eagles are fully prepared to do something many fans find unthinkable. And by the way, none of this mentions whatever information the Eagles are privy to about Jackson's life away from football. These are all football-related decisions, but off-the-field could be a factor, too.
All of this is why I wholeheartedly agree. It's time. Deal DeSean.