Rating the Rumor: Eagles likely to pursue DeSean Jackson

Rating the Rumor: Eagles likely to pursue DeSean Jackson

The seeds of DeSean Jackson reuniting with the Eagles were planted way back in October on a conference call with reporters in the week leading up a game against Washington. Since then, the story has taken on sort of a life of its own, with perhaps the strongest report coming from Tim McManus for ESPN, writing in December that the Eagles are likely to pursue the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

For the first time since his unceremonious release from the Eagles, Jackson is about to become a free agent. The person responsible for his departure, Chip Kelly, is nowhere to be found. Jackson never wanted to leave in the first place, and there are people within the organization who probably like the guy.

Meanwhile, the Eagles have a clear need at receiver, particularly somebody who can stretch the field. And although Jackson is now 30, he went over 1,000 yards receiving again in 2016 and has shown few signs of slowing down.

Everything about Jackson returning to the Eagles makes sense… on the surface. It’s when we begin to look at the foundation for this rumor that there are some obvious cracks.

Keep in mind, the speculation is almost entirely media fueled. It’s not as if Jackson has been running around telling anybody who will listen that he wants to come back. He was asked about the possibility during that conference call, and again at a postgame press conference in December, and once more by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on his podcast. And each time the question was raised, Jackson has sort of shrugged and said anything is possible.

Sure, anything is possible – for the right amount of money. If the price is right, Jackson will remain in Washington, or check out Tampa Bay, or sign with San Francisco and move a little closer to home. These are all plausible destinations for Jackson. If we’re being honest about it, each of those destinations is arguably more plausible than re-signing with the Eagles, for simple reason.

The salary cap.

The biggest hurdle the Eagles must clear before signing any of these top free-agent receivers, be it Jackon, Alshon Jeffery, Kenny Stills or anybody we haven’t made it to yet. The organization doesn’t have the money to make a huge splash in free agency at the moment. Even if the Eagles clear a few contracts between now and March 9, it’s going to be tight.

A veteran of nine NFL seasons, this is almost certainly Jackson’s last opportunity to cash in with a huge contract. It’s not as if the Eagles offer an especially great chance of winning the Super Bowl in the next year or two as a reason to accept a hometown discount, either.

That doesn’t mean the Eagles aren’t interested, or Jackson isn’t interest. That doesn’t even mean it absolutely won’t happen. It simply means for all the discussion about Jackson returning, it’s no more likely than his signing anywhere else. In fact, it’s less likely.

The Eagles will come away with a wide receiver in free agency. That much is almost certain. The idea that they have a leg up in negotiations with Jackson, on the other hand, is almost certainly false.

Rating the Rumor: Good luck with that

11 must visit attractions for Cowboys fans attending the NFL Draft in Philly

11 must visit attractions for Cowboys fans attending the NFL Draft in Philly

Jeff Lurie and the Philadelphia Eagles are a very hospitable bunch so they're going to go out of their way to make sure all of the football fans descending upon Philadelphia for the NFL Draft this week have a wonderful experience.

And Philly fans are known as being some of the most welcoming and gracious in all of sports.

So in keeping with that spirit, we thought we'd put together a handy list of destinations that any Dallas Cowboys fan who is in town for the draft could use to get a truly authentic Philly experience.

1. The Center City Applebees (215 S 15th St.)

This is a football event after all, so you'll want to start things off with a frosty beverage. Nothing better in the City of Brotherly Love than a nice Appletini to start the day off right.

2. Piercing Pagoda (at the Cherry Hill Mall)

Sure, you could get a Dallas Cowboys tattoo of a mascot peeing on an Eagle somewhere along South Street while you're in town but you're from Texas or more likely North Philly so why not just get something pierced.

3. Bob’s Big Boy in Marlton, NJ

I've never actually been here but my buddy Evan suggested it. 

4. The Pet Shop from Rocky (J & M Tropical Fish, 2146 N. Front Street)

The Liberty Bell is broken and the Rocky Steps are obstructed by a big stage this week. So if you want a truly authentic Philly history experience, head over to Kensington to check out the pet shop from the original Rocky flick. Cuff and Link are allegedly still alive.

5. Southwest Wastewater Treatment Plant (Off 95 Near the Sports Complex)

If you're flying into Philadelphia International Airport and taking I95 towards the sports complex, a tour of the Wastewater treatment plant right before the Girard Point Bridge will bring back plenty of memories of Dallas.

6. Finnegan’s Wake (537 N. 3rd St.)

If Philly is known for anything other than pretzels and cheesesteaks, it's that legendary bro drinking culture. Nowhere better to experience this than with the fun people at Finnegan's Wake on Spring Garden. Fitting to its name, the place has died down a bit in recent years.

7. Auntie Anne's (Amtrak's 30th Street Station)

Speaking of soft pretzels, right when you arrive at 30th Street Station you can get one of the most authentic Philly pretzels around at the Auntie Anne's kiosk. Try one of the pretzel dogs as well, a hipster favorite in Philly that not many people know about.

8. Cleveland, Ohio

9. Talon Energy Stadium in Chester

You'll want to pay your respects to Philly's amazing sports culture. So head down to beautiful home of the Philadelphia Union soccer club and take a stroll in the lovely neighborhood surrounding the beautiful waterfront property.

10. Primanti Brothers (46 18th Street, Pittsburgh, PA)

You can't come to Pennsylvania without trying an authentic cheesesteak. Nowhere better than one of the Primanti Brothers locations. Pro Tip: Just type "46 18th Street, Pittsburgh" into your Uber app and let the driver handle the rest.

11. Geno’s Steaks

If your first cheesesteak experience doesn't work out, head to where it all started at 9th and Passyunk. Be sure to show off your Tex-Mex bona fides and order a "Me gustaría filete con queso y cebollas." And don't be shy with the toppings. Try some mushrooms, mayonnaise, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, peppers, etc. Go wild!

And enjoy all of the Philly hospitality you receive.

Watch: The Phillies hit rare back-to-back-to-back home runs

Watch: The Phillies hit rare back-to-back-to-back home runs

The Phillies completing a sweep of a division rival at Citizens Bank Park is a pretty rare occurence these days.

But it happened over the weekend.

An even rarer feat took place in the 8th inning when the Phillies went back-to-back-to-back jacks to give the Phils a comanding lead that really allowed the fans to bring the brooms out.

In case you missed it, it's worth giving Cesar Hernandez, Aaron Altherr, and Odubel Herrera another look.

Jim Salisbury has the full story on the exciting win.