DeSean Jackson, Daniel Snyder union will be a disaster

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DeSean Jackson, Daniel Snyder union will be a disaster

Daniel Snyder got his man. Daniel Snyder has gotten his man in the past. It has rarely gone well for Daniel Snyder.
 
DeSean Jackson signed with Washington on Tuesday (see story). It’s said to be a three-year deal for $24 million, with $16 million guaranteed, according to Forbes.  
 
Isn’t it grand? As landing spots go for the former Eagle, you couldn’t pick a more dysfunctional destination than Washington.
 
Yes, Jackson is coming off a season in which he had a career-best 1,332 receiving yards, tied a personal best with nine touchdowns and made his third Pro Bowl. And, yes, the Eagles will face him twice a year in what’s sure to be must-watch, drama-filed matchups. But, come on, he went to Washington. That has to assuage any fears from the woe-is-the-put-upon-fan/the-Eagles-will-rue-the-day crowd. Shy of signing with the Oakland Raiders or the Saskatchewan Roughriders (that’s a real team! Sort of!), it’s hard to imagine an organization that could render Jackson more inert than Washington.
 
Between Jackson’s bloated contract and his off-field concerns, it wasn’t surprising that the Eagles moved on. It also wasn’t surprising that Jackson’s first and last free-agent stop -- the lack of any real market for him was telling -- was Washington, where he immediately fell in with some Redskins players. And Wale. It’s the perfect union. And it’s almost certainly doomed.
 
Under Daniel Snyder, Washington has become the football equivalent of Goodwill. All the other teams drop off their unwanted goods. The only shock here is that the Eagles didn’t ask the Redskins for a receipt so they can use Jackson as a tax write-off next year.
 
Despite being a very rich man, Snyder has never been a savvy decision maker with his football team. He’s the NFL’s anti-Midas. A quick and schadenfreude-filled review of Snyder’s many, many (there are many) ill-advised and hilarious decisions over the years:
 
In 2000, Washington gave aging Bruce Smith a five-year, $23-million deal. (Keep in mind, per the norm in the NFL, that not all of the contract money outlined here was guaranteed.) Smith played four years with the Redskins. He had double-digit sacks just once.
 
Also in 2000, Washington signed Jeff George (four years, $18.5 million) and Deion Sanders (seven years, $56 million). George played eight games in two years and then retired. Sanders lasted one season before finishing his career with the Ravens.  
 
In 2002, Snyder threw a five-year, $25 million contract at Steve Spurrier to get him to leave college. Spurrier went 12-20 in two seasons, then quit and went back to college.
 
In 2003, Laveranues Coles got five years and $35 million. He lasted two seasons.
 
In 2004, Mark Brunell signed for seven years and $43 million. He started just nine games in two of his three seasons, and he never had a QB rating higher than 86.5 for the Redskins.
 
In 2006, Antwaan Randle El got a contract for seven years and $31 million. That’s an awful lot for a guy who was always more of a punt returner than a receiver. He played four years in Washington.
 
But Snyder and the Redskins really outdid themselves in 2009 when they signed Albert Haynesworth for seven years and $100 million. Haynesworth recorded just 6½ sacks over two years before the Redskins traded him. He even failed a conditioning test in Washington. Which was awesome.
 
Oh, and Snyder OK’d a trade for Donovan McNabb.
 
Washington isn’t a football team. It’s the Island of Misfit Toys.
 
And if you think Jackson has gotten some bad press recently, it’s nothing compared to the kind of ink Snyder gets. It’s part of the reason why Jackson will fit right in with Snyder. They can compare clips and assure each other that they’re misunderstood.
 
Here’s a long list of things for which Snyder has been criticized over the years. Among the owner’s many, many (there are many) curious and/or detestable acts: He charged fans to attend training camp. He sued ticketholders. He filed a ridiculous libel lawsuit. And during the debate over the team’s offensive moniker, he told USA Today the team will “never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
 
If that sounds like a stable work environment where Jackson is sure to thrive and make the Eagles regret their decision to release him, you must work some place that’s really scary. It was so bad in Washington that Shanahan, who isn’t exactly warm or fuzzy or fun, said Snyder meddled with his team by getting too close with Robert Griffin III. That probably sounds familiar to Washington fans. Former coach Joe Gibbs once called Clinton Portis, who was tight with Snyder, the team’s “assistant general manager.”
 
That’s good news for Jackson. He can be Snyder’s new guy. Which is good news for the Eagles and their fans.

Eagles Mailbag: Bennie Logan, top WRs in draft, Jeremy Maclin return?

Eagles Mailbag: Bennie Logan, top WRs in draft, Jeremy Maclin return?

There hasn't been much Eagles talk recently. The last few weeks have been pretty dead. 

That's about to change soon enough. Next week, the football world will take over Indianapolis for the combine and just after that, free agency will begin on March 9. After that, the draft isn't too far away. 

So let's jump into your mailbag questions: 

Yeah, I think there's a real chance Bennie Logan isn't an Eagle next year. Howie Roseman has been pretty consistent in saying he wants Logan to return, but it's fair to wonder about the price. Logan has now proven that he can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme, so there will be plenty of teams interested. 

If the Eagles lose Logan, their defense will take a big hit. There's not really a way around that. He's a good player and has been an important part of the line. But with a ton of money devoted to the defensive line over the next few years -- even assuming Connor Barwin isn't back -- will the Eagles pay another? I'm not so sure. 

And I agree that Logan was really good against the run last year. But I think his real value is in being great against the run while also being able to generate some pass rush. I think Beau Allen can be a decent run-stuffer, but he's clearly not the same player as Logan. 

I can't give a real answer here. Sorry. While I don't wholeheartedly agree with the best player available notion, the Eagles also can't prioritize one need over the other in this scenario. There will be either 13 or 14 picks before the Eagles are on the board. 

Really, it's going to depend on which players are left. Are Mike Williams and Corey Davis on the board? How about the top corners? There's a lot of them. If the player the Eagles really want at one of those positions is off the board, they could look elsewhere. And it's not automatic they'll take a receiver or a cornerback. What if they opt for an edge rusher? 

But getting back to corner vs. receiver, there are a couple thoughts: 

1. They'll pick a corner because receivers are far from a sure thing. Roseman made it a point to talk about how the 2014 draft changed expectations for rookie receivers. And the Eagles haven't had much luck recently drafting receivers in the first round. And Roseman has also said that while it might make sense to grab a first-round corner in the second round because of depth, there's often a run at positions where a draft is strong. It would be better to just get the best one. 

2. On the flip side of that, maybe they'll pick a receiver with the idea that at least one really good corner will be on the board in the second round. That would maximize value, especially if they get the receiver they want in the first round. 

That's a long way to say: I don't think it'll be about position as much as it will be about the specific player at 14 or 15. 

This is a tough one. I really think the margin separating these two is so close that the combine could flip them for me. But for now, I'm going with Mike Williams. 

Clemson listed him at 6-3, 225 and I think he's going to come close to that at the combine. And he might not have Corey Davis' speed or quick twitch, but he makes up for it. I really want to see how he performs at the combine; I expect it to confirm my belief that he's the top receiver in the draft. Davis will reportedly not run at the combine because of an ankle injury. 

It's possible a team like the Eagles could fall in love with Davis' deep threat ability. That's clearly what they value right now. But ultimately, I think Williams is the top guy. 

I don't think Ryan Mathews will be back next season. He's 29, coming off a serious neck injury and is way too expensive. The Eagles can save $4 million by cutting him. I expect that to happen and for the Eagles to try to find some younger, healthier talent. 

Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy! Let's get the band back together! 

I understand why the Maclin questions are rolling in. An ESPN column recently suggested that the Chiefs could cut the former Eagle. Maclin is familiar with the Eagles' offense and Doug Pederson, which means the move would make some sense. 

But from a football standpoint, Jackson would give the Eagles what they need more than Maclin. Over the last couple years, Maclin has really been utilized in the slot, which happens to be where the Eagles' only decent receiver plays. Sure, Pederson will move around his receivers, but there are probably better fits out there for the Eagles than Maclin. If he does become a free agent, though, it's at least worth inquiring. 

Former Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans joins 49ers coaching staff

Former Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans joins 49ers coaching staff

About a year ago, while in Indianapolis for the combine, the Eagles cut veteran linebacker DeMeco Ryans. 

Ryans has finally found his next job ... as a coach. 

The 32-year-old former linebacker has been named a defensive quality control coach on Kyle Shanahan's staff in San Francisco. Shanahan was on the Texans' staff for the first four years of Ryans' pro career. Niners defensive coordinator Robert Saleh was also on that Houston staff. 

After the Eagles cut him last Feb. 24, Ryans was out of the league in 2016 after 10 NFL seasons. He played the first six years of his career in Houston, where he was a two-time Pro Bowler, before joining the Eagles through a trade in 2012. 

While the Eagles cut Ryans after the 2015 season to save $3.5 million in cap space, they made a point to go out of their way to praise him on his way out. He was very well-thought of in the locker room and throughout the building. 

While Ryans played one season under Andy Reid, he quickly became a favorite of Chip Kelly, who frequently called Ryans the "Mufasa" of the Eagles' defense. 

Kelly didn't forget about Ryans when he went to San Francisco to coach the 49ers for the 2016 season. In fact, in Kelly's questionnaire in the NFL's 2016 information guide, Kelly listed Ryans as a player who'd make a great head coach.