In a stunning move, the Eagles have released three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The enigmatic pass-catcher gave the city of Philadelphia some tremendous memories in his six seasons with the Eagles, but they have decided to move in another direction this season. The BGN editorial staff has had some time to come to peace with this move (to an extent) and offer their thoughts below.
"DeSean Jackson is no longer a member of the Philadelphia Eagles."
That just looks so strange. But given all the speculation leading up to this event, it's reality that I've had to consider.
Jackson's absence is a tough one to swallow. He's obviously a fantastic player. He's given Eagles fans so many reasons to cheer in his time here.
But if the Eagles released him, I have to think they wouldn't do it without good reason. Here's what I wrote last week in a post entitled "In Chip Kelly We Trust?"
I can't ask you to blindly trust him in this DeSean scenario. Mistakes are always possible. What I will ask, based on his history in Philadelphia, is that you consider Kelly just might know what he's doing. And that he also just might know better than any of us think we do. At the very least, try to keep an open mind. I know that's not easy to ask because of the nature of this issue. But it's the only way to survive this tough time.
Perhaps I'm putting too much faith in Kelly. We'll see how everything turns out. For now, I trust the team's decision, I thank Jackson for his time here, and I wish him well in the future.
Well, this is the part that no one likes to talk about. While BGN has known about a possible Jackson move for a while, we (like the rest of you) were hoping for a trade of any sort. When it seemed clear that teams were not going to trade for him at his current contract or the Eagles asking price, it became evident that Jackson was a goner in the worst way possible. It's unfortunate and there is likely more to this story than sources can tell us or that we currently have as public knowledge. Teams just don't cut guys coming off 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns.
I will tell you that I don't think he was popular in the locker room or with the coaching staff. Jackson seemingly rubbed people the wrong way at times and that likely cost him his spot on the roster, first and foremost. As far as other stuff, I am not going to speculate. This move makes the Eagles worse on the field and really, that's all that matters at this point. It's unfortunate the Eagles felt the need to outright cut him, but that's the way it goes.
I am obviously not a fan of this move, as like you I am a fan. However, this would be the time to do it as the wide receiver class is easily the best I have ever seen. The Eagles will come away with a starting wide receiver from this draft and while he probably won't match Jackson's production, the position will get younger and cheaper. I think there is some optimism about the offense, regardless of Jackson's presence. Arrelious Benn, Jeremy Maclin and Darren Sproles are all additions to the offense, and if healthy, are extremely talented player. Take a breath, the band-aid has just come off.
Like everyone else, I'm very much going to miss DeSean on the field. What a tremendous player he is, and the offense is obviously not the better for it. But that speaks volumes of what the team thought of Jackson off the field, as they feel the team as a whole is better off with Jackson being anywhere else. Maybe they're right, maybe they're wrong, only time will tell.
There was no one incident that caused this, it was not a knee-jerk reaction. As I've said before, Chip Kelly has a history of letting his players rehabilitate their image under him. He suspended LeGarrette Blount and then allowed him to earn his way back on the team. He told Riley Cooper to go away for a few days, and then had him earn his place on the team. But he also gave Cliff Harris a chance, and Harris failed. And now DeSean is in the latter camp. He had his chance with Chip, and he failed. Restructuring his contract wasn't going to change anything, appeasement only makes the aggressor more aggressive. The phone call the other day and an OTA in April weren't going to undo all that brought Jackson and the Eagles to a crossroads. Nothing was, they were already past the breaking point.
It's unfortunate that this is the way it ended, but things rarely turn out like we want them to. I hope DeSean can fix the things that are broken and caused this to happen. I trust that the team has made the right move.