FanPost

A case for trading Jackson

So like most the hardest thing I have dealt with regarding the possible Jackson trade is the simple question "Why?" Why trade a player coming off his best season for a 3rd round pick? A player who is the best WR we have, the only real difference maker we have? I haven't yet seen a convincing case made for the logic behind this, so I decided to try to come up with one and see how convincing it is.

First a few assumptions: 1) Chip Kelly is a lot smarter than I am, and wouldn't trade away Jackson for no reason.

2) Given that he has dealt with football players all his life, it's not likely the reason he would be willing to trade him has to do with any prima donna attitude - you just don't become a successful coach if you can't deal with such personalities.

3) Therefore, there must be a football related reason. What could it be?

Let's consider what kind of player Jackson is. He's a short and small guy whose game is all about speed. What do we know about such players? I dug around the internet and didn't really see much, but luckily there's a ton of research on speed guys over the in baseball Sabermetrics world - here is one article as an example by Nate Silver (there are many): http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?%20articleid=4464

Without going through all the gritty details, the bottom line is speed evaporates faster than any other skill, this skill peaks at age 26, and goes away starting at age 27. Jackson will turn 28 in December of this year, so it's quite likely he will never have a season as good as the one he just had. I assume that Mr. Sports Science Chip Kelly - who let's remember has those monitor things on his players for every practice - knows this quite a bit better than any of us, and also has a pretty good idea about what Jackson will be capable of this year and next.

Let's assume that Jackson loses a half-step this year, and another half-step next. What will you have then? A small receiver without great route running or ball skills who can't outrun anyone anymore. Such a player would be useless to almost anyone, certainly wouldn't be a difference maker any more. I would hazard to say that if he remains an Eagle, he would have to accept a pay cut after this season or next.

So if this is all true, does it make sense to get rid of his salary and get a 3rd round pick? Does it then make sense that no team is willing to spend more than a 3rd rounder on an aging high cost player who might very well be out of football in another 2 years or so? Personally, I think Jackson will have a very good year no matter what his team next year, and should still be productive next year, regardless of his slowing down a step. I hope we keep him, but if we trade him away for peanuts, maybe there's something to my argument above after all.

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