Hate ot say this, but i'm wondering whether we will even sign desean jackson to a long term deal. Andy Reid and company have always made personnel moves that have caused us to scratch our heads or throw things in anger from the time they drafted Mcnabb over Ricky Williams, then saying Mcnabb wont be traded then seeing him sent to a division rival, saying Shawn Mcd will be here this year than days later firing him and eventually replacing him with a offensive line coach!!! The list goes on and on. The one thing we should all realize is with Big Red and company always expect the unexpected. I think signing Desean Jackson is going to come down to a couple factors mainy his health in the next several years and mostly money and length of contract. Most of us probably dont want to even contemplate what it would be like to see Desean in anything other than green however with all the shocking signings, releases, and trades of the last 13 years and double information we have received I think the option of not having Desean next year should be something explored and the reasons why it might not happen.
1st point Whats its really going to boil down to is money. Desean Jackson definitely deserves a raise. He has most certainly worth alot more than 600k per year. But how much money? Desean considers himself one of the top receivers in the league. How do you even begin to describe what kind of receiver Desean is? Hes one of a kind. I started looking at the contract Josh Cribbs signed a while back 3 years 20 million with 7.5 of it guaranteed. Devin Hester signed a 4 year 30 million deal with 15 guaranteed. Now my first reaction is Desean is way better than both Hester and Josh Cribbs. I started looking at all three receivers stats to confirm this. From a return game perspective I would say that Cribbs, Hester, and Desean are all equal in return ability although Desean does it with a little more flash. As a receiver hes much better statistically than Hester and Cribbs combined. In the last 3 years he has caught 3124 yards and 17 touchdowns. In the last 3 seasons Cribbs and Hester have combined for 2342 yards and 13 touchdowns. By stats alone, it obvious that Desean is a better receiver than Hester and Cribbs. Generally Cribbs are thought of return specialists first and receivers second. Desean is a top flight receiver and return man. Keep in mind however it seems the NFL is trying to make the kickoff return obsolete and once Desean signs a big contract somewhere he will most likely only be used on punt returns during dire times. So Desean' double threat ability will most likely eventually just be limited to wide receiver threat. The only good information to take away from this analysis is that he deserves more money than the other two premier return/wr specialists.
Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Joshson are considered the top two pure receivers in the league and i decided to match Desean and his stats against theirs and their contracts. Over the last 3 years Fitzgerald has 3660 yards receiving and 31 touchdowns and signed a whopping 8 year deal worth 120 million. Over the last 3 years Andre Johnson has caught 4360 yards and 25 touchdowns and his contract is worth 73 million over 10 years. While Johnson and Fitzgeralds stats are impressive it should be noted that over the last 3 years Fitz has had 283 receptions, Johnson 302 receptions and amazingly Desean Jackson has had on 171 receptions. Desean Jackson has put up 3124 yards and 17 touchdowns the last three years with 112 less receptions than Fitzgerald and 131 less receptions that Johnson. By stats alone it would seem Jackson should be demanding top 5 receiver money, but i don't believe he will ever get it. The one thing that Desean has against him in negotiations is the same thing that makes him great...his size. Howie Roseman and Big Red have showed us one thing this off season is that they play their cards wisely and they prepare their rosters and decision making not based on this season alone but several season in advance. Being a 5-9 171 lbs receiver in this league makes you vulnerable to getting hurt. So far hes had 1 concussion and 1 small knee injury. But you have to think whens the big one coming and I think that has to be on the mind of the Eagles front office as well on the mind as Jacksons camp. Also the one other thing against Jackson is that because of his size hes not really considered a red zone threat that can go up for the ball. Even with that said Jackson is truly one of the top 3 return men in this game and one of the most electrifying wide out this league has ever seen.
2nd point - One trend I have seen with the Eagles is that they always release or trade players before the fans think the should have. Runyan, Dawkins, Mcnabb, Kolb benched, Westbrook, and Stewart Bradley are all players i was pretty shocked when they were released, traded or benched. But again I have to go back to my point I made before. The Eagles dont make short term personnel decisions they think ahead several years. Looking back on things they probably got rid of Runyan at the right time thinking Winston could fill his shoes, Dawkins, as much as i loved him lost a few steps in his coverage his last year with the eagles and it was very noticable, Mcnabb I was worried about when we traded him but it seems we got rid of him at the perfect time, and Kolbs a very good qb but we robbed arizona for what we got for him, and westbrook wasnt that good last year. I know what your going to say though, Desean shouldn't be considered with any of those players above because hes in the prime of his career. But the big difference is the question of how many hits can a player his size be allowed to take compared to larger receivers? Deseans going to want a long term deal with a lot of guaranteed money in it. What if we only get one or two more good years out of him? Its so hard to predict someone like Deseans future because hes so different than every other elite wide receiver in the league. The safest way to deal with Desean is giving him a incentive heavy contract with many stipulations. But would he go for something like that especially when if he does hit the market a team like the St. Louis Rams would most likely give him alot more than what we would offer. It comes down to risk vs reward. Whenever the Eagles make a big personnel move I usually always hate it at first but understand it as the next year or two develops.
In conclusion, I think Desean has another 4-5 great years ahead of him barring injury. Making a educated guess based on salaries previously mentioned I think Desean is looking for a 5 year deal worth about 56 million with 30 million guaranteed. I think the Eagles are thinking more like 5 years 38 million and 20-25 million guaranteed. Other things to keep in mind, its seems the NFL is trying to make the kickoff return obsolete and if the eagles do sign Desean to a big deal he will only be used a returner on punts only when they really need him. Taking him out of the return game takes away half of Deseans threat as a player so he will be pretty much a receiver that serves as a deep ball threat and someone to open up the field and not being much of a red zone threat that bigger receivers are. I hope we get a long term deal with Desean but the fact that their have been no negotiations yet that we have heard of makes me wonder worst case scenarios