So, as rotoworld has reported, DeSean Jackson has been franchised tagged. This is not a new development, but does now beg the question, will he be an Eagle or on another team on opening day? I am of the opinion that we shop him, and take the best offer, as I think it will be the best for the Eagles.
So, we just franchised DeSean, costing us $9.5 million for next season. If we were to keep him, it would be a season where he would have to prove his worth to us, for him to get a large contract, with guaranteed money. Here's the reason's why we shouldn't.
1. How much money do you want to give a guy who has averaged 58 catches, 1024 yards, and 5 TDs a season receiving (averaged the last four years - he does have some rushes in there as well, but last year was poor)?
2. He is a speedster who can attract double coverage opening up the center of the field, but we can grab a speedster to do a similar job later in the draft, or through FA much cheaper. The draft is deep with WRs, the FAs depth is crazy good and we could find a cheap alternative (not my first choice) in a Robert Meachem type player. I would prefer Colston, or someone of that pedigree, but there are other options out there.
3. He is 5'10" and weighs 175 pounds, and is a good hit away from being out multiple games... again. Concussions are serious business in the NFL now, and this shouldn't be discounted when thinking of guaranteed money and years of a contract.
4. For as much as his special team's abilities have been touted, he had a rather pedestrian return game last season. Is this indicative of future output? Who knows, but I'm unwilling to spend 8+ million on a guy who I know was a good returner, and might still be?
5. Don't get me wrong, I really do like DeSean, and I have two of his jerseys. However, the way he handled himself this last season needs to be a concern as well. I assume he will not be happy with the franchise tag, and I can't stand watching him take plays off. Sure the coaches can defend him, but when you jog off the line of scrimmage, I'm not sure if you're truly "demanding" that double team!
I think DeSean Jackson is a good kid, and I think he brings a dynamic, playing making ability to our team. When you hear an announcer say that the ball is heading toward DeSean, you sit a little closer to the television, waiting to see what "magic" might happen. However, throughout his career his receiving stats and return stats simply don't equate to a 8+ million dollar contract. We can find cheaper options, while keeping a dynamic offense (e.g. Vick, McCoy, Maclin, Celek, Avant), and that's without FAs which has some great options for us.