DeSean Jackson is playing the Eagles against the NFL

DeSean Jackson is playing the Eagles against the NFL

The Eagles sure could use a wide receiver, and DeSean Jackson is a free agent. Jackson even said it himself in an interview that ran on Tuesday: a reunion with the Eagles would be a good story.

Or perhaps a story that's almost too good to be true.

Don't get me wrong, Jackson could very well wind up back in an Eagles uniform once everything is said and done. He can become a free agent in March. There's an obvious need at wide receiver. Jackson never wanted to leave Philadelphia in the first place, and the person responsible for that — Chip Kelly — is long gone. It makes perfect sense.

So much sense, Jackson can use what is considered common knowledge around the NFL for leverage in contract negotiations with 31 other teams.

Jackson is a smart, calculating guy, especially when it comes to business. He doesn't even have to say he wants to play for the Eagles for people to presume the interest is there, and more to the point, he hasn't.

When a bunch of Philly reporters pressed Jackson about his impending free agency in October, he said there were no hard feelings with the Eagles. When confronted again in December, the three-time Pro Bowler responded that you never know what can happen. On Tuesday, Jackson flat out admitted he's thought about a potential return — while describing talk of it as "a lot of speculation."

There are reports the Eagles will pursue Jackson should he hit the market on March 9. The 30-year-old speedster will be happy to field their call.

Along with the rest of the calls he'll get from around the league.

Unlike the Eagles, Jackson has come right out and said he wants to remain in Washington, and as recently as two weeks ago. Whether the interest is mutual on the Redskins' part remains to be seen, particularly at Jackson's contract demands, but that's a lot stronger than any suggestion he's made to the contrary.

Another report emerged on Tuesday that indicates the Buccaneers are a potential landing spot for Jackson as well, citing a pre-existing rapport with quarterback Jameis Winston. In other words, at the very least, there are more teams competing for his services.

Philadelphia, Washington, Tampa Bay, the West Coast, wherever — this is ultimately going to come down to which one can or is willing to make the most attractive offer.

That might be strike one against the Eagles already. They don't have a great deal of room to maneuver under the salary cap as of now, and while additional money could become available, signing Jackson for around $10 million per year or more would be a strain no matter what.

Keep in mind, Jackson is simply answering the questions he's asked about the Eagles. He's not running around from one media outlet to the other trying to create a market there. And in all honesty, his answers have been lukewarm at best, essentially amounting to, Sure, I'll listen if the Eagles call. Why not?

In the meantime, that puts the rest of the NFL on notice. The Eagles can be very competitive in free agency when they choose to be, and if they really want Jackson — and there are people in high-ranking places that probably wouldn't mind that — they will be players. Even if the Eagles have no serious intention of chasing Jackson, the perception is out there.

Jackson certainly understands that, and he hasn't had to put much effort into keeping the fire burning. He's more or less let the flames fan themselves.

Ultimately, Jackson to the Eagles isn't the least bit unlikely. Yet the idea that he's going to show the club any more deference than another doesn't seem quite as plausible when his comments, this entire situation are placed under the microscope.

Words are cheap. Signing Jackson, on the other hand, will not be. Not for the Eagles. Not for anybody. Not while he's expertly pitting his suitors against one another in the DeSean Jackson Sweepstakes.

The winner isn't going to be based on sentimental favorite or nostalgia. It's who's going to make the best deal for Jackson.

Eagles lineman to attend random fan's wedding

Eagles lineman to attend random fan's wedding

Well, if you are a die-hard Philadelphia Eagles fan who attended Miami University in Ohio, you’re in luck because Brandon Brooks would love to join you and your soon-to-be spouse on your wedding day.

All you need to do is send a letter.

This morning, Brooks tweeted out a letter he received from fellow Miami University graduates Geoffrey Lane and his bride-to-be Marni Goldberg, inviting him to their wedding tomorrow afternoon.

Geoffrey took a shot in the dark trying to bring a celebrity to his wedding. Low risk, high reward situation.

It paid off as Brooks accepted the blind-date style invitation.

You have to wonder what Brooks might get the newlyweds as a gift. Perhaps a midnight-green toaster.

This isn’t the first time an Eagles player made someone’s day special. This past season Rookie QB Carson Wentz was tasked to complete a fan’s quiz after losing two straight games and leading in into a week-14 game against the Bengals. That game would be an embarrassing 32-14 loss

Luckily for Wentz, the five-question test from this young fan did not ask about his receiving corps or his struggles adjusting to the NFL.

Wentz responded via twitter and passed with flying colors.

The Eagles and the Joe Mixon dilemma

The Eagles and the Joe Mixon dilemma

Last year, the Eagles took chances on a number of college athletes with checkered pasts. Wendell Smallwood, Jalen Mills and Alex McCalister were all followed by off-field issues, largely legal in nature. Now, with the 2017 NFL draft quickly approaching and Oklahoma prospect Joe Mixon becoming a hot topic, the question becomes where does the franchise draw the line?

Mixon rose to a level of infamy few college athletes ever achieve -- or many pros, for that matter -- when video of his 2014 misdemeanor assault went public in December. Security footage shows the running back punching a woman in the head, a strike that resulted in a broken jaw, eye socket and cheekbone. If it sounds at all like the video that derailed the career Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, that's because it is.

The timelines of the incidents are eerily similar as well, as both occurred months apart in 2014. Rice was eventually released by the Ravens once his video emerged, and he never played football again, nor even granted a tryout. Mixon's draft stock is damaged, perhaps irreparably, yet odds are high he will be in an NFL camp come May, and the expectation is his name will be called at some point during the draft.

After all, there's no denying Mixon is talented. He carried 300 times for 2,027 yards for a 6.8 average and 17 touchdowns in two seasons with the Sooners, plus tacked on another 65 receptions for 894 yards and 9 scores. At Oklahoma’s pro day -- Mixon was not allowed to attend the NFL Scouting Combine -- he measured 6-foot-1, 228 pounds, and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds.

Were it not for the assault charge, Mixon might be a first-round pick. It's impossible to predict where he’ll go now, but rankings suggest he might not slip past the third. Even there, Mixon would be an incredible value to a team, provided he can stay out of trouble.

That is, if said team can weather the fallout. Plenty of football fans are mortified a person could commit such a terrible act and would be unable to support Mixon or whatever club drafts him. Protests are not entirely out of the question, either.

The Eagles have demonstrated a willingness to confront such a backlash head on, and in just the past year.

Smallwood and McCalister were not involved in violent crimes, but Mills -- in a case not nearly as high profile as Mixon's -- was charged with misdemeanor battery for allegedly striking a woman in '14 as well. Mills was allowed to enter a pretrial diversion program, although the biggest difference is the lack of video evidence, so the public outcry was somewhere between minimal and nonexistent.

Which doesn't mean the Eagles are only willing to take on a player with character concerns when it won't result in overwhelming negative publicity. This is the same organization that took a chance on Michael Vick in 2009, fresh out prison for his role in operating an interstate dog-fighting ring.

Signing Vick sparked protests and turned off fans, some permanently. Seven years later, it seems the Eagles were vindicated in their decision. Vick never got into a whiff of trouble from that point on, and has probably done more to aid animal causes and other charitable efforts since serving his time than the majority of his detractors will in a lifetime.

Yet, human beings had a right to view Vick critically so soon after his incarceration, just as they do Mixon now. The Eagles or some other NFL team must figure out whether a kid who turns 21 in July deserves that kind of benefit of the doubt, or whether he'll turn around and make a fool of the franchise.

For what it's worth, Mixon didn't do himself any favors last year by getting into an altercation with a parking attendant. For anybody else, the ensuing one-game suspension might be considered minor. Mixon, on the other hand, couldn't really afford another black mark on his reputation. It was a sign of immaturity and that he doesn't understand his actions are under the microscope.

While the Eagles have shown a tendency toward leniency in the past, even as recently as the 2016 draft, they may not be in the same position this year. The arrests of Nigel Bradham and Josh Huff were big stories for the club last season, eventually prompting Huff's release.

Smallwood, Mills and McCalister may have stayed out of trouble, but it seems the front office might be out of second chances to give for the moment.

Regardless, somebody is going to give Mixon the opportunity to play in the NFL, no matter where you stand on the subject of second chances and the particular crime he committed. In the past, the Eagles have not been opposed to bringing in a player they feel has been rehabilitated, which is the right thing to do.

But it's a case-by-case situation. Mixon is a gifted athlete and a potential Pro Bowl talent, and at a position of need for the Eagles no less. Then again, has he truly learned from his actions? Because it’s not just an athlete's skill the Eagles are taking a chance on -- it's a person, and if he still hasn’t grown up, as recent events suggest, it may be best to let someone else find out.