DeSean Jackson is absolutely one of the most electric players in the NFL. He’s a pure playmaker who just turned 24 years old and already has over 3,400 yards from scrimmage in three short NFL seasons. The Eagles should entertain offers for him. After another trip to Hawaii in his young NFL career, why would a team consider moving one of the most exciting pure playmakers in the game?
We all love DeSean Jackson for his long catches and dazzling open field moves. However, there’s a lot not to like about him. First of all, he’s suffered two serious concussions, and a third could result in him missing an entire season or could possibly threaten his career. His slight frame is a devastating injury waiting to happen, and I hold my breath every time he takes a hit. Obviously, nobody wishes injury on him, but I’d rather that another team’s fans worry about him instead of me. The biggest qualm I have with Jackson is that he disappears for long stretches way too often. He doesn’t run crossing routes because he’s not very tough over the middle, but you can live with that because of everything else he has to offer. However, as a result, Jackson just ends up running long routes on every play, which became quite predictable towards the end of the season. Asher Allen, Sam Shields, and Corey Webster all shut him down in the last three games Jackson played in. All three are good corners, but nowhere near the level of Darrelle Revis or Nnamdi Asomugha. None are truly elite at this stage of their careers. Jackson exceeded 52 receiving yards on only six occasions and had only one game where he recorded over five catches. There’s no doubt that he can change a game any time he touches the ball, but a long-term financial commitment may not be a wise move for somebody with his potential for injury and inconsistency. Michael Vick is due for a long-term deal, as is LeSean McCoy. DeSean Jackson may be the odd man out for the Eagles offense and the franchise may be better off if they can get a package of appealing picks and players.
Don’t get me wrong, Jackson is a player who impacts the game even when he doesn’t touch the ball and he deserves all the recognition he gets for his play. The Eagle offense is less dangerous without him. So, I wouldn’t deal him for just anything. It would just be wise to test the market and see if the Eagles can’t improve the team. I have no clue what Jackson is worth, but I would be very curious to find out. Here are some trade scenarios that are highly unlikely but that I think would make sense.
1. DeSean Jackson for Logan Mankins and 17th overall pick: The Patriots plan on tagging Logan Mankins, who would likely hold out again. Therefore, the Pats would likely be open to trading him. Their biggest need is arguably a deep threat as Randy Moss and Brandon Tate failed miserably to fill that role in 2010. Jackson could make the Patriot offense as good as it was during their 18-1 run, and Bill Belichick is willing to bring in the big name. Jackson is obviously much more valuable than Logan Mankins, so New England would have to throw in a high pick. 28th or 33rd may get it done, but I think 17th overall is more likely. The Eagles would also get a huge boost to their offensive line.
2. DeSean Jackson and Kevin Kolb for Larry Fitzgerald: Arizona really needs a franchise saving move, and they may be desperate enough to pull the trigger on this one. They would only do it if they are convinced that Fitzgerald would leave after his contract expires after next season. A quarterback and a very good receiver for a dominant receiver would certainly be an intriguing proposition for Arizona, while the Eagles would have a tandem in Fitzgerald and Jeremy Maclin that would be the toughest, most productive, and most talented in the league.
3. DeSean Jackson for Vincent Jackson and the 61st overall pick: It’s no secret that Vincent Jackson and the Chargers don’t have the best relationship in the world. The Eagles and Chargers could swap immature star receivers named Jackson and solve each other’s problems here. The Chargers (who have two second round picks) would throw in a pick because they are more desperate to move their Jackson than the Eagles are to move their Jackson. Both guys are vertical threats, although D. Jackson does it with his speed while V. Jackson does it with his height.
I’m sure DeSean Jackson’s job is safe in Philly, but he’s a risky player to tie up in a lot of money, especially when you have other playmakers on offense who are more valuable than him in my opinion. It would behoove the Eagles to explore the market for him. They could trade him in for several upgrades or draft picks that could benefit them in the long run.