The DeSean Dilemma

Posted: January 31st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 141 Comments »

To re-sign, or not to re-sign.  To tag, or not to tag.  These are the questions we face with DeSean Jackson, one of the league’s most explosive and most frustrating players.

Let’s start by talking about the situation.  DeSean has wanted a new deal for a while.  The Eagles have wanted to re-sign him for a while.  The two sides have talked, but the problem is that they aren’t close on numbers.  Here is a nugget from the latest Paul Domowitch column:

Owner Jeff Lurie said earlier this month that the Eagles would welcome the wide receiver back, “if the right terms develop.” But league sources said Jackson’s opinion of his worth continues to be night-and-day different from the Eagles’.

This is not a case of the Eagles trying to go cheap and refusing to pay a player.  Andy Reid loves DeSean and very much wants to keep him.  The problem is that the Eagles, and the rest of Earth, see DeSean as a good, but flawed player.  DeSean and his agent Drew Rosenhaus see the diminutive speedster as an elite weapon deserving of elite money.  Adam Caplan earlier this year mentioned that the Eagles were offering in the neighborhood of $8M per year while Drew/DeSean were looking for $10M.

If the price comes down, the Eagles will gladly work out a long term deal.  If the price remains $10M or so per year, that simply isn’t going to happen.  DeSean isn’t worth it.

Sheil Kapadia put up an interesting post recently.  He compared the top free agent WRs.  One number really stood out to me.  In the last 3 years, DeSean has just 4 Red Zone TDs.  The other star WRs have double digit TD totals in that area.  That is a huge point of consideration.

Replacing DeSean is hardly a no-brainer.  He can be a special player.  Defenses don’t fear other receivers the way they do DeSean.  Andre Waters used to joke that Wes Hopkins had done his job just by walking out on the field, meaning that opposing receivers would be scared to cross the middle.  Just Wes’s presence was a factor.  DeSean is the same way.  He doesn’t have to make a catch in order to significantly affect a game.  That’s rare.

The downside is that DeSean is a small guy.  He’s all speed.  If anything happens to that, he becomes more worthless than a Jerome McDougle autograph.  DeSean has concussion issues.  If he gets another huge hit in the noggin, who knows how that affects him.  Toughness is an issue with DeSean.  In the last 2 years, he’s made a lot of “business decisions”.  When in doubt, go out of bounds or get on the ground.  One of the reasons to love a guy with DeSean’s speed and elusiveness is for his RAC skills.  The problem is that DeSean avoids contact the way I avoid salads.  You must use the middle of the field.  That’s where the big plays are.  His instinct is to head for the sideline.  The sideline has never missed a tackle.  What’s the point in having that RAC ability if you won’t run in traffic?

DeSean was a dynamic PR for a while.  He had one long PR this year, but too often ran backwards.  He averaged a career low 6.7 yards per PR.  To be fair, teams kick away from him.  As a rookie, he had 50 attempts.  Then 29, 20, and just 17 in 2011.  He is desperate to make something happen when he does get the ball, but his fumble vs the Bears was a huge turning point in the game.  We didn’t lose because of that, but it was a major factor.

DeSean has lost the locker room for parts of both 2010 and 2011.  His “business decisions” bothered other players, who were selling out to win each week.  It is one thing to be cautions.  It is something else when you literally avoid contact.  This is football.  Can’t have that.  DeSean managed to get back in the good graces of his teammates, but that says something that even those guys grew tired of his act.

DeSean would love you to believe that he was nervous about taking a huge hit because of his lack of financial security.  I get that mindset and there is logic to it.  I just have to question if handing a guy a huge signing bonus is going to toughen him up.  Normally players get a bit softer when they get money.  Is DeSean going to really start crossing the middle with regularity after getting a huge deal?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

Two major factors hurt DeSean.  First, the FA class of WRs is quite good.  Teams can go with:

WR Reggie Wayne
WR Marques Colston
WR Dwayne Bowe
WR Vincent Jackson
WR Stevie Johnson

There are also guys like Robert Meachem, Pierre Garcon, and Brandon Lloyd to choose from.  Wes Welker is almost certain to stay in NE.  That’s a lot of quality pass catchers to choose from.  You can go for big guys, small guys, young guys, proven vets.

The other factor is that there are good choices in the draft.  The Eagles could move up from pick 15 to get Justin Blackmon.  They could stay put at 15 and go with the speedy Kendall Wright or big guy Michael Floyd.  There is another guy of possible interest.  Check out these numbers:

Rec: 164-2410-17
Rush: 27-248-2
PR: 36-570-5
KOR: 7-124

Rec: 162-2423-22
Rush: 24-199-1
PR: 38-633-6
KOR: 2-38

Amazing how similar those numbers are, huh?  The top set of numbers belongs to Joe Adams.  The bottom set are DeSean’s numbers from Cal.  Both guys are speed returners/receivers with a similar build.  There is a difference.  Joe is a bit more muscular and showed that this week in the Senior Bowl when he broke several tackles.  He finished the game 8-133.  Could the Eagles target Adams in the 2nd round to replace DeSean, who they also got in the 2nd round?  Maybe.

The Eagles do have some very interesting options if they decide to replace DeSean.

Now comes the question of tagging.  This is complicated.  If the Eagles let DeSean just walk, they could get a Comp pick for him next year, but only if the Eagles fail to sign a big FA.  I’m guessing they’ll add at least one.

The next option is to place the Franchise Tag on DeSean and then try to trade him.  Sounds simple, but as we found out with Corey Simon in 2005…it isn’t.  The player and agent must work with the team in order to get a deal done.  The good news is that Drew is good at working out deals.  He can sell his clients.  Maybe he can get some offensively desperate team to give a late 2nd or early 3rd round pick to us.  And the new team will have to agree to a deal with DeSean before any trade goes down.

The risk here is that if no trade partner emerges and DeSean has signed the tender, he’s on the roster for $9.5M in 2012.  If he doesn’t sign the tender, you can just remove the tag and he’s a FA.  This is a gamble.

The Eagles will definitely want to tag and trade him, but must find some teams that are interested.  You can bet they will talk to Drew and a few teams at the Combine about DeSean.  The Eagles need to know if there is a market for him or not.  Using the tag ‘n trade is risky.  Only do that if you really think you can get a deal done.  If not, you just have to bite the bullet and let him walk.

Again, all of this can be avoided if Drew/DeSean simply lower their asking price.  It doesn’t seem like that will happen, but it could simply be a negotiating tactic.  You always start high.  Some people come down, some don’t.  There’s still time to work out a deal.

I know more than a few fans hate the thought of losing a home grown star like DeSean.  He is the first top notch receiver developed by the Eagles since…Fred Barnett?  Chris T. Jones was on the right path, but tore up his knee.  There is a definite downside to losing DeSean.  I certainly get that, as does the team.  The problem is that you can’t overpay him with so many good options on the market, as well as Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy waiting for new deals.

FA starts on March 13th.  Expect to hear a lot of crazy things between now and then.

* * * * *

So what is it that you guys want done with DeSean’s situation?  Is anyone in favor of paying him $10M per year?

* * * * *

2 ScoutsNotebook links:

Gimpy has his Super Bowl preview

Here is a quick game recap for the Senior Bowl


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    Excellent post Tommy

    I’ve been thinking. What does DeSean expect to get in FA? Is there really a team out there willing to pay him 10 million per year? I have a hard time believing that. If so, why wouldn’t he take what he can here, and play in a system that is perfect for his abilities?

    What happens if he gets paid by a team with a QB who has an average arm? Like the 49’ers…

    I can understand he wanted to take care of his body. He has showed the league what he can do, and now wants to be paid. I fully understand. But why do you jeopardize your career by wanting 10 million instead of 8 million? I really don’t get that. I think it’s stupid, and it will hurt him in the long run.

    • Anonymous

      A team that is desperate for big plays might just pay him. SF? STL? CLE? I won’t go into all teams of interest. There could be someone who feels a gamebreaker like DeSean is worth the money and the risk. He does change things.

      Players have egos. They don’t always mesh with reality.

      • Anonymous

        I could def see San Fran make a play for him. They are a player I two away. Crabtree has been a bust, put Desean out on the field defenses can double Davis all the time. One of the two of them will take the top off the coverage.

    • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

      I don’t necessarily blame him for at least asking for it. It may come down to it that some other team is only willing to offer 8 million as well and he just ends up re-signing here.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, either I’m psychic, or you never sleep! Awesome, awesome, awesome! Just what and when I needed to read! Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    how much do you think each of those other FA WRs would be looking for or worth? if we don’t plan on spending $10M/yr to desean, would we be willing to give that much (or more) for one of the other WRs? and would that be a good idea financially?

    • Anonymous

      Sam would be a better source for that. He knows money infinitely better than me.

      And we could invest big bucks in a WR. We’re trying to “win now”. Counting on a rookie isn’t ideal. The Eagles are willing to pay top dollar, but want a top WR in return. They don’t think DeSean is worth elite money.

      • Septhinox

        Rumor has it that Sam is really Drew Rosenhaus…Any truth to this rumor?

    • Anonymous

      I remember reading Stevie Johnson wanted like 8.5 from Buffalo. Buffalo didn’t seem to keen on the idea.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

    I wouldn’t want to pay him 10M per year. I wouldn’t even want to pay him 8M. I would offer him a 6 year contract worth 40M with about 15M guaranteed. How does that sound? That’s an average of 6,66M per year (what a coincidence!)

    I really think Maclin and Shady is worth more to this organization, and they are my number one priority. We have to be able to extend those to long contracts without tying our hands with other options…

    • Anonymous

      What has Mcalin contributed to this franachise, apart from being injured one quarter a season?!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

        Jeremy Maclin through 3! seasons…
        Receptions 181
        Receiving Yards 2,491
        Receiving TDs 19

        DeSean Jackson through 4! seasons
        Receptions 229
        Receiving Yards 4,085
        Receiving TDs 21

        Besides being a much better person than Jackson, Maclin already almost have as many TDs as Jackson. He has a much higher reception average as well. Yes, Jackson has more yards per reception, but that is in large because of his long TDs where opposition defenses have tried to come from behind… I think Maclin is much more valuable to our team, and I would rather have someone who sells out while playing than someone who just plays for himself!

        • Anonymous

          I don’t think Mac is a much better person than Desean. In fact Desean is a great guy. Watch the episode re the littel boy being bullied. That was pure class.

        • Anonymous

          You need to throw in the ST contributions of Desean versus Maclin as well if we are going to evaluate the players full body of work. Regardless of the reason for long TD’s he makes those plays because of his talent not because the D is giving it to him.

  • http://twitter.com/bubqr Virgile – Bubqr

    I really like Desean and what he brings, but the drops, lack of will/ability to go over the middle and injury issue doesn’t make him worth paying 10 M per season.
    It’s been a few years now that I want the Eagles to go for a big WR (I think you feel the same Tommy). I loved Bowe coming out, I wanted Nicks over Maclin (still do), and also Devin Thomas(oops) – Point is, I’d rather go with Bowe, or even maybe Stevie Johnson, over Desean if it was at the same price, and roll the dice on a speedy WR in the draft (J.Adams now being the obvious name).
    At the same time, seeing Desean go away for not much, and watching him having great numbers in another team would just kill me. so hey, no good solution for me if he’s not willing to lower his demands – Sign him and I’ll wonder what it could have been with a Bowe, or S.Johnson instead, trade/let him go and we might regret it forever.

    • Anonymous

      There is risk. What if DeSean goes somewhere and suddenly does play with a chip on his shoulder? He could turn into an elite WR. Can’t make decisions based on that, but it is possible and it would drive us all crazy.

  • Anonymous

    Certainly don’t pay him $10 million. Even if he comes down to the Eagles number there is a risk. DeSean is not emotionally mature and who knows what crap Rosenhaus is using to inflate DeSeans already bloated ego. DeSean is not only bad in the red zone he is wildly inconsistent. Other teams have been able to take him out of the game with physical play. In 2011 he had a bad season and while you just might look at it as an aberration given his personality it just might be that his commitment to the game is beginning to wane and his 2011 performance is the beginning of a downward trend.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve made my position clear, he’s probably the most overrated player in the league.

    Look at his FO ratings over his career, i.e., his value EVERY PLAY
    2011: DYAR 38 DVOA % 45
    2010: DYAR 45 DVOA % 44
    2009: DYAR 20 DVOA % 29
    2008: DYAR 40 DVOA % 61
    Those are the numbers of a run of the mill #2 WR.
    Why so low despite all the big plays?
    Go back and see who he made the big plays against, and when in those games.
    Then try and think, how many big 4th Q catches against tough defenses does he have in his career, compare to say Fitz in the Zona game against us.

    As far as defenses “fearing him,” I’d say fear is too strong a word, they certainly take him into account.
    But watching defenses over the years, other than Megatron and Randy Moss in his prime, I don’t see many defenses making big adjustments to stop WRs – defenses adjust to QBs.

    With McNabb and Vick, they fear the deep pass, whether it’s Pinkston/Lewis, Stallworth/Reggie Brown, DeSean, Maclin or Riley Cooper. A mobile QB with a big arm can buy a couple seconds and throw it 30-40 yards on target. QBs who can’t do that, no matter how good their WRs, don’t worry DCs.

    One thing to think about with DeSean, can you point to any aspect of his game that improved since 2009 and 2011? Those are the years most players hit their peak, DeSean peaked in his second season. I’d say his next four years won’t be nearly as productive as the last four.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=565087931 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee

      I agree with you! How much would to pay him? 6M? 4M? And how would you replace him? Would you go get a FA WR? I don’t think that would be ideal (rather spend the money on Shady and Maclin)
      Or would you go get someone in the draft?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

      You really can’t compare DeSean to the bigger receivers on things like tough catches because that isn’t his game. DeSean’s game is to get wide open with speed and quickness and make the catch easy.

      You’re wrong about DeSean’s effect on defenses. Before he showed up, the rolled up on McNabb all the time. The QB with a big arm did not scare them, defenses pressed the heck out of our slow receivers and never paid for it. It happened every game. DeSean before 2011 made safeties play 20 yards off the ball. Teams have learned how to play him better now, and by the end of 2011 I think they stopped doing that because the Eagles were so out of sync, but he certainly loosened things up how Ds play the Eagles..

      • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

        And the fact that has yet to be brought up (outside the comment about lack of red zone production) is that DeSean’s value on the field lessens as the team progresses down the field.

      • Anonymous

        Really?
        I must have missed the 2004 and 2006 seasons.
        Darn psychtrophic drugs.

    • Anonymous

      I agree. If he isn’t the most overrated player in the league, he’s certainly the most overrated player on the Eagles.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t want to see DeSean leave but I agree he’s not worth top 5 WR money and with the options we have to replace him it’s hard to justify pushing for him to stay. Maclin is fast enough to play the Z as he has proved, (Tampa Bay game with #5) and players like Colston, Wayne or Bowe would be much better fits at X.
    Really though, more than anything else I don’t want to see DeSean on another team, that could really come and bite us in the ass, make us look stupid and cost us games/credibility.

  • Anonymous

    Hey, just for S’s and G’s, what are the quality of Joe Adams intangibles? Does he love him some him?

    • Anonymous

      Good question. Not real sure. I don’t get the sense he’s a prima donna. The guy played at Arkansas. Won’t be a 1st round pick. Will fight to break tackles. That said, he is a WR and they are all a bit crazy.

      • Anonymous

        I emailed Tony Pauline…lol. I’ll crack this mystery!

  • Anonymous

    Gone….I would rather move on from desean and avant. (Avant has hands of glue, great team player, but creates no match up problems for any defense.) I would rather replace them with a Kendal Wright, Joe Adams, and Garcon combo. Joe Adams would be awesome to have in the slot…Victor Cruz like. Kendall/Machlin/Garcon work the outside. Adams and Wright also take over the return duties. Desean is not worth the money. Send him to the Rams, they are looking for playmakers for Bradford. I also wouldn’t mind sending Asante to the Rams for their very high 3rd RD pick. They have absolutely NO corners. 1st – Wright 2nd – Curry 2nd Adams 3rd-Slot Corner (boykin if he falls there) 3rd- Robinson (OLB) 4th – OLB 4th – OT

    FA – Mathis, Landry, MLB, Jason Jones, Vet Safety, possibly Backup RB.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      I am a Garcon fan. The kid has got game, and I think I’m at a point where I’m comfortable with the idea of Maclin as our #1 and letting D-Jax pound sand to pick up a legit #2 receiver.

      Save the $ for our FA Mike, and get me Garcon!

      • Anonymous

        Desean picked the wrong year to dig in. Eagles should have the choice between Floyd and Wright at 15 and also a huge FA class. I really like Wright to replace desean. But would still like a tier 2 WR (FA) to come in. Garcon/Meechum.

        • Anonymous

          There are just way too many dollars to be saved. I’m not saying which is the right call, but approx. 8 mill additional for free agent MLBs and WRs? That’s room to work some deals.

          EDIT: Screw it – I’m going on record. That IS what I want to happen. Use a 2nd for the best fit at WR and lock up free agents at MLB and WR. No transition tag anymore right? Allow Desean to walk.

          • Anonymous

            What do you suggest using our #1 on then? If you are saying a FA WR and MLB? I think Kendall Wright and/or Micheal Floyd are too elite of a talent to pass up at 15. I would rather get a college stud at WR in the 1st, and Joe Adams in the 2nd to be our slot then go after a vet WR, but if they have the cash, why not grab a tier 2 guy like a Garcon. I really think we need to upgrade our slot reciever. Look at the damage Cruz did this year. Joe Adams is that guy.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll wait until after the combine on the who, but I would like to see (assuming Desean leaves) very high picks at WR and LB and then free agents at WR and LB. Joe Adams was def. explosive at the Senior Bowl.

            The FA WR can be #2 to Maclin, the WR draftie can do ST returns. If we were to draft Luke, I would want the FA LB to be able to play SAM or MLB.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            The easy response is… take BPA.

            I like your suggestion of waiting to fall in love with this rookie class.

          • Anonymous

            I’m glad everybody loves my guy Garcon.

            I remember talking to him after one of the Stagg Bowls where he was talking about playing on ESPN, and there was a championship game where he skied over a guy into the end zone IMO to embarass him when he could have just scooted in … In other words, I thought he was a prima donna then.

            But Larry Kehres always swore up and down Pierre loved to block and do the dirty work, and his time with the Colts and his reactions to the Haiti tragedy have proved he’s a class act.

            If the Colts let Manning walk, I think it’s a good possibility Pierre could be available and would be a great fit here. He’s all speed, but at about 6-feet, 210 he’s bigger and more able to withstand hits than DeSean. I can’t imagine he’d command the same kind of deal, but he would be a nice addition if we bring DeSean back, or consolation price if he walks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xbcsmith Brett Smith

    I would be all for him staying and paying him (not my checkbook) if he could take over games. He hasn’t taken over a game since Redskins Monday night slugfest.

    Give me the guy that can take over a game. I think our money is better spent on LeSean and Maclin as LeSean can take over a game and Maclin is a real #1 WR.

    I like the though of getting a Fast/Tough guy in the draft to replace him. In the old days rookie WRs did not have an impact year one in the WC offense. However we don’t look like a traditional WC offense anymore…

    With Vicks arm there are plenty of go routes to go around.

    I miss Barnett….

    • Anonymous

      Fred was great before we went to the WCO. I loved Irving Fryar. He was a joy to watch in ’96, ’97. So tough.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

    It looks to me like DeSean Jackson is only the 4th best WR in the FA market.

    I do think he’s worth $7 mil plus up to $3 or $4 mil in bonuses. The argument around DeSean is that he’s not worth Larry Fitzgerald money because his game has shortcomings. He counters that he does other things that make up for it. Fine, figure those short coming and excellings out, put numbers on them, and let him go earn himself up to LF money. If DeSean Jackson has a year like Fitz with 1400 total yards and 10 TDs, I have no problem giving him $11 mil!

    The player and the team disagree about DeSean’s value, this is what incentives are for.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

      I agree in principle.

      DeSean’s biggest issues is that he disappears in the Red (money) Zone. I’ve been saying for 2 years that his skinny ass shouldn’t even be on the field when we’re inside the 20. Get Riley Cooper or even Chad Hall out there. His flat out speed play style decreases in value incrementally from the time you cross into enemy territory.

      Just my perception, and I admit it may not be 100% reality.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000462635892 Thorin McGee

        I think you’re right, but the redzone issues do basically wash with his return ability. I see that part of DeSean’s argument. I still think you can quanitfy it all in dollars and sense incentives based on TDs, and perhaps other incentives based on total yard, catches and drops.

        I don’t care where he scores from or if we pull him out on the goal line so long as he’s scoring from somewhere. Sign a big, slow, cheap redzone specialist to take those low snaps and let DeSean concentrate on improving his open field routes (which do still need work, he has untapped potential there).

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

          Yeah, I’m all for us lining up in the RZ (especially inside the 10) with Jason Peters at TE (he used to play in college) and Herrimans at the other TE spot (already has a TD in his career). You bring in your best backups to play OT…

          I would put Harbor at FB and McCoy at RB

          WR would be Celek

          I call it the Super Duper Heavy Jumbo Package.

          Lots and lots of options of all kinds of crazy stuff you could run out of this. Heck, you can swap Celek for Maclin or McCoy for DeSean (if he’s still here) drop out Vick and have McCoy take the snap with another WR on the field…

          I wouldn’t cry if they resign DeSean, grab Garcon or some other legit WR and get Kuechley at 15.

          But if they do pay DeSean like you said it’s going to be incentive laden, and it’s going to be made clear to Andy and Marty that we’re tired of the bullshit of keeping p-nut on the field when the field has reduced his effectiveness to below 40%.

          • Anonymous

            QB sneak w/ Peters. We can call it “WHO GUN STOP ME?”

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            Haha… a more athletic version of the Fridge…

          • Anonymous

            Yeah, then put Ronnie Brown to take the direct snap and pitch it out to…

            Well, maybe we shouldn’t get cute. I like the our-guys-are-stronger-than-your-guys approach.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            I’m talking matchup problems… not full on pants on the ground “marty ball” here. lol put some big bruisers in there and get some friggin points instead of turnovers.

  • Doug Muller

    I would much rather spend the 8-10 mill on someone like Colston or Jackson who have the big play ability but can also catch more then one ball a game. If Desean wants to come back for 6-7 million I say we keep him, but to offer him any more then that would be a disservice to the team. Hell we could sign Meachem for cheap and then draft Joe Adams and I would be happy.

  • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

    For the record, I dislike the statement “all of this can be avoided if Drew/DeSean simply lower their asking price.” Because you can also say “all of this can be avoided if the Eagles front office simply raises their offer price.”

    If DeSean Jackson can get a $10 million deal on the market … and don’t sell him too short here because there is way more money out there than people think … then who, exactly, is being unreasonable?

    • Anonymous

      Fair enough.

      To some other team starved for offense, he might be worth $10M. Not to us.

      • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

        Here’s the thing. There are four options:

        1) We can let DeSean walk. Enjoy the 2013 3rd round comp pick, assuming we don’t sign any FAs. Hope we can either get an inferior talent at a lower price to approximate his performance or reallocate the money to another position and hope that we can get someone in the draft who can approximate his performance. That’s a high risk strategy, but is certainly an option.

        2) We can work out a deal. We’d have to “overpay” him, and the Eagles front office would have to take a moral defeat. We would be less cap efficient, and would lose cap space to spend on players in the future. Presumably we would make this a highly pay-as-you-go based deal, where if he started to turn into a turd, we wouldn’t be stuck with large sunk costs in the way of bonuses.

        3) We can tag him and let him play out the year. He will almost certainly not be seen in the Delaware Valley until Week 1 of the season at the earliest. He doesn’t have to show, because he isn’t under contract; he doesn’t get paid under a signed tag until week 1 anyway, so why show up? We will have non-stop media coverage of his absence, which will upset the fans. But in reality, does anyone really want DeSean Jackson taking preseason hits? If anyone on the team can just waltz in and play, it’s him. So missing camp will be a non factor.

        What will matter is that we will have DeSean and Shady in their walk years, with Drew Rosenhaus representing both and only one tag to use in 2013. That’s a lot of leverage to give to a guy who likes leverage.

        4) We can tag him and tell Drew to work out a trade. No agent better in the business at finding a trade than Drew Rosenhaus. That said, you’d have to find a deal where a) DeSean Jackson likes what he will be paid and b) the Eagles like what they get in return. Are the Eagles willing to take a third day pick for Jackson? Or a future second day pick? The team has recently seemed to low-ball their own players in terms of salary but set the bar too high on the trade market. A rational outcome would be for the Eagles to take whatever they can get, but I doubt it will be much, since what team will pay a big salary and give up a big pick as well? This is where the market glut really comes in to play.

        Frankly, I would take option 2. I think all the other outcomes make the team worse. My fear is that the team will worm its way into option 3.

        • http://twitter.com/aceandson Ace

          The main issue with option 2, from the Front Office perspective, is that it sets the standard for Maclin. As shown, Maclin has, as the very least, comparable numbers and could Jackson’s $10 million to leverage $12 million or so.

          Personally, I’d like to see both players retained and since it’s not my money the Eagles can pay them all $100 billion.

        • Anonymous

          Sam,
          This is pratically its own blog post.

          A couple questions: Is it possible to take care of the extensions for LeSean and Maclin *before* free agency this year, therefore eliminating the uncertainty you raised about having McCoy and Jackson both seeking new deals under Rosenhaus (assuming LeSean doesn’t fire him again) at the same time? Also that would pave the way going forward to know how much money

          Would another option (No. 5) be to sign Dwayne Bowe or Vincent Jackson on the first day of free agency and *then* offer DeSean the franchise tag? I know that sounds like a lot of money to have tied up at WR, but I’m wondering if it would benefit the team at all to have the flexibility to trade DeSean … or is that just silly and overthinking it and we should let him walk if we can sign one of the other top tier guys? I guess if I have to ask …

          • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

            Tag has to be given prior to FA. Sorry.

          • Anonymous

            Probably good to have to the decision made by then anyway. That’s why I ask.

            Do you think there’s any chance they’ll do extensions for the next-year guys early, or that they’d agree to them? LeSean is coming off a huge year and it might not seem wise for him, but then again RBs are likely to get hurt and not repeat those so maybe he sees now as the time to capitalize, and the team can get a decent deal and one headache out of the way by doing it now. Maybe this way keeps it shorter too.

    • Anonymous

      In this current, wide receiver market, I don’t think agents have as much leverage for their clients value.

      • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

        That’s all fine and well. I mean, except for the fact that a team losing the WR (the Eagles, for example, if we let DeSean walk) has to replace him somehow. The supply/demand imbalance doesn’t really exist, from what I can see.

        • Anonymous

          That will be relative to the perceived future contribution, or lack of.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

            Not to mention the glut of 1st and 2nd day WR coming in the draft when most teams are going to playing catchup and overvaluing TEs (a prediction)

            I think the risk between DeSean and a rookie is about the same. Rookie could be a bust, DeSean could get his head busted….

        • Anonymous

          Actually, you don’t have to “replace” him.
          Football isn’t basketball, where if you lose one of the few guys who can score in the 4th Q you’d better replace him.

          At any time, there are only a few dominant WRs/TEs, and DeSean has never been one of them. He’s not the guy your QB looks for on 3rd and 8 on the game winning drive. He’s completely MIA in the red zone (a key issue on a team that averaged 396 yards per game).

          So you don’t need another grossly undersized WR with great speed, you just need another competent WR. If you want someone to stretch the field, sign Meachem at a far lower cost. If you’re worried about replacing his production, spread the ball around to guys who can produce fewer big plays but more 1st downs.

          Without DeSean, the Eagles will have a different offense, but I’m not convinced it will be a less productive offense. AR/MM have run ball control offenses in the past, and got further in the playoffs (see 2006, and in 2008, they only started winning when they STOPPED throwing long to DeSean).

    • Yuri

      I disagree with the implication that if the deal is not reached, both sides are unreasonable. Overpaying does not mean paying what others would not have, it’s a question of value to the Eagles. In addition to direct “value for $”, there must be opportunity cost–i.e. cap considerations, are there not (have no idea what they are, but clearly Eagles cannot give top tier money to everyone)?

      I agree that the question absolutely is: are there teams out there in the image of the Al Davis Raiders? (which basically what the very first responder asked)

      • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

        Why do we assume the Eagles number is correct? That’s the assumption that I challenge. We have no basis to assume that either side is more right than then other as far as I can tell. It is possible that the Eagles are right, but it is also possible that Jackson is right. We just don’t know.

        • Anonymous

          I’m into the principal of the organization setting a price and sticking with it. We’ve managed to sign good players to good (cheap) deals in past, because they know Eagles FO isn’t overpaying anybody, and that has allowed us to keep the talent level high and have cap space…

          If we pay DeSean 10M, are we going to cave in on whatever McCoy and Maclin think they are worth? And where does it stop then?

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GWMNZ32U6YPGGA7N4JNWH4OSJE Mac

          We assume the number is correct because DeSean is a luxury item. It’s been proven that you stretch the field with either 1.speed or 2. reasonable speed and jump ball ability. We assume the number is correct because we also assume that DeSean is replaceable.

          Having said that… I think DeSean can get his “value” on the open market and I hope he does. Seems like a good kid.

        • Anonymous

          Your confusing two different values:

          1) DeSean’s “market value” – or can he find a big enough fool (the Winner’s curse)

          2) DeSean’s value to the Eagles, which includes the opportunity cost of not signing a FA who brings more overall value to the team (like a MLB).

    • Anonymous

      Just because someone is willing to pay $10 million for him does not mean he is worth it unless you use the circular logic that his worth is whatever the highest bidder will pay.
      In 2011 DeSean had a bad year presumably in part because he was in his head about not having a long term contract. So if the Eagles franchise him and the right number for that is $9.5 million they might get the same lousy year for all that money since DeSean will still be upset about not having a long term deal. If the Eagles are hoping that a greater fool will come along to give them a draft choice and pay DeSean his $10 million they could be in for a rude awakening and lots of alligator arms if nobody takes them up on it and DeSean plays for the Eagles next year.
      Somebody might pay him that $10 million but remember Al Davis is no longer in Oakland and it wouldn’t mean he is worth it.

      • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

        That’s fine, but how do we replace Jackson’s value to the offense? In a year where we allegedly have a Super Bowl mandate?

        If we were building a steady state long term franchise, I have no problem drawing hard lines in terms of value. I don’t think that’s the franchise we are looking at anymore, especially given the incredible amount of money handed out to aging players in the past 6 months.

        • Anonymous

          Obviously we need to replace Jackson at starting receiver and acquire enough talent on offense to offset his loss (and preferable more). Someone suggested replacing Avant as well meaning that the new WR would not have to be better than Jackson.

          I disagree with your assertion that the Eagles are not in it for the long term. So do not overpay and put the best team you can on the field. There is a good free agent class at WR as well as a good draft class. So there are many options.

        • Anonymous

          Last year I would have been agreeing 100% with you, but after seeing how everything imploded after we spent all that money on “all in approach”, I’m more than happy to go back to the steady long term plan for the expense of the present.

          Keep the Eagles way that’s why I like this football organization (Douglas, Simon, Trotter, Owens etc.) and let divas go to the Cowgirls…

          With Maclin, Celek & McCoy I’d say we’ve got decent offensive weapons so failing to replacing DeSean isn’t the end of the world.

          Seems any above average team can make a run at the Super Bowl any given season if it all comes together at the right time and you’ve escaped injuries.

        • Anonymous

          I have no idea how this team moved the ball or scored points before DeSean came on board.

          Oh wait, they spread the ball around to a number of receivers, used the RB in the passing game, ran a more balanced efficient offense, and actually played BETTER against good defensive teams. I think I’ve seen this movie before.

          Steelers let Burress and Holmes walk, somehow they survived.
          SD lost Jackson, so Floyd puts up almost the same numbers in the same role.

          It’s a lot easier finding good WRs in the draft than it was ten years ago, b/c the proliferation of spread offenses in college and passing in HS means a lot of good athletes get far more reps than they did in the past.

          Key to offense
          1) QB
          2) OL (or is it the othe way around)
          3) RB (who can catch the ball)
          4) WR/TEs, depends on their relative quality, a top TE is harder to cover than almost any WR

          • Anonymous

            The Eagles top 3 point totals under Reid were 08-10. 2011 comes in at 6th; 0.1 ppg behind 2006 and a full point behind 2002, of all years, which was probably the Eagles’ best defense in the Reid era. This year’s red-zone issues were more a function of Vick than anything else, else they could’ve easily broken their point record, set just last year. Going from a +9 to a -14 in the turnover margin will do that to a team.

            Consider that Vick only threw 17 tds all year while Shady ran 17. That’s as balanced an attack scoring as the Eagles have ever had. In fact, this team hasn’t run a truly balanced offense since 2002-2003. They weren’t balanced when Stallworth and Curtis were their main receiving threats. It has very little to do with DeSean himself; rather, Reids’ attack philosophy.

            In fact, their 356 first downs this year is by far the most under Reid, by almost 30, over last year! They have gained more 1st downs during DeSean’s 4yrs than any other 4ry combo you can come up with, and by a large margin. I think the reasons for that are numerous, but one of them is the fact that DeSean isn’t just your run of the mill deep threat. He does indeed force defense to be a little more on their heels, which of course opens up the underneath game and results in more first downs.

            Pitt is a bad example because 1) Their D still runs the show. 2) Ben has clearly become a more proficient passer than early in his career when the training wheels were on. 3) They have two explosive WRs in Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. That does go in favor of the “you can find WR anywhere” argument, but there is no doubt that the Pitt passing attack is now more explosive than when Burress and Holmes were there.

            DeSean isn’t an elite #1 WR. No argument there. He may not even be a very good #1 WR in the traditional sense of the position, but he does bring an explosive element to an offense that most WRs in the league do not. I think he’s a little more valuable to the offense than you lead on…

          • Anonymous

            I would claim that DeSean is a limited part of the Eagles success:

            1) Scheme, MM/AR are among the best in the league
            2) McCoy
            3) the OL
            4) Vick, see Eagles with Kolb/VY
            5) everyone else

            2009 DeSean mattered because they had to score points, McNabb was a limited QB and the deep throw was their means of trying to stay in games. We saw what happened to that offense in the playoffs. Too easy to defend.

            2010 DeSean mattered less as Maclin and McCoy arrived. Vick had big games with DeSean until defenses adjusted, and then struggled b/c he hadn’t mastered the “real” offense.

            2011 Vick focused on the short and intermediate game, made lots of mistakes but also lots of yards. DeSean became an afterthought.

            Does DeSean open the field up? A tad bit, but other than the Redskins, who did it against the Eagles well before DeSean arrived, no team lined up their safeties significantly deeper, teams used to keep a safety over the top with Pinkston – because any WR with speed who shows he can catch a deep ball will force a team to keep a safety over the top. DeSean may force that safety to take an extra step back, but teams don’t worry about him like Megatron, for one thing, it’s easy to press DeSean, for another, it takes him 4 or more seconds to get deep, so they focus on pressuring Vick.

            Look at the top offenses –
            GB – Jennings is the deep threat, doubt he could beat Maclin in a foot race
            NO – Meachem and Henderson are fast, but certainly not elite, we can buy Meachem if we just want speed
            NE – Hernandez may be their fastest receiver
            SD – scored more points in 2010 without VJ than in 2011

            Can the Eagles replace DeSean? Doubtful.
            Can the Eagles have as good of an offense without DeSean? Probably, if they adjust and add the talent needed to make that adjustment.

            You plug in a #2, make Maclin your #1, draft a young WR, and take a couple throws a game that would have gone to DeSean and spread them around to your TEs and RBs and maybe a true slot WR. And when the safeties cheat, you have your WRs use double moves to get deep (see what NE did to us).

          • Anonymous

            I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree on his relative worth, and that’s ok. Reasonable minds can disagree.

            Let me just say that the offensive line was not nearly a positive last year. The pass blocking was sub-par and a big reason why we had 3 new starters and a new OLine coach this year.

            I don’t deny that the other things you’ve mentioned matter. I agree that any one individual WR is probably not the most significant piece of an offense, with possible rare exceptions. But in my eye, one of the reasons why Vick was able to focus on the intermediate game so much was because of how defenses play DeSean and his big-play capabilities. We were torching teams at the beginning of last year with the big play. Once defenses started adjusting it is true that getting the ball to DeSean became harder and more of an afterthought. That said, Vick and DeSean both had down years. There were plays there to be made that weren’t.

            No one is arguing that he is worth of Johnson or Fitz status. He’s not. Then again, those guys are very rare to find. He does bring an dimension to the offense that isn’t quite as easy to find as you make it out to be, imo. It isn’t just about speed, otherwise you’d have track stars all over the NFL putting DeSean numbers. Meachem is able to produce because of the plethora of weapons NO possesses and Brees. Meachum is the afterthought in that offense. I don’t think he would be nearly as effective if he were to be THE guy the opposing teams would have to make adjustments to contain. I think DeSean is a cut above your run of the mill speedster that just runs go routes.

            That’s my peace anyway…

  • Septhinox

    We should be able to get Vincent Jackson for around 8-9 million a year. no way in hell I pay Desean 10.

    Tommy,

    What do you think about V. Jackson as a D. Jackson replacement?

    • http://igglesblitz.com Sam Lynch

      Vincent Jackson is 29. DeSean is 25. How much longer do you think Vincent Jackson will be a top tier WR?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1514128048 Kristopher Cebula

        probably longer than desean. i think that desean’s diminutive stature will lead to a shorter career than someone like vincent jackson. i could see VJ be effective for at least another 5 seasons and i don’t know if DJ can be

        • Anonymous

          With all due respect, but I think you’re wrong.

      • Septhinox

        The same can be said for Desean. “How much longer do you think Desean will have his top end speed?” If VJ loses some speed, he’s still big. If DJ loses speed, he’s…nothing.

    • Anonymous

      Very intriguing. Big guy, but also a downfield receiver. Best of both worlds. He is 29 and has DUI problems so there are issues to be factored in. Probably stays in San Diego, but if he hits the market, that’s someone I’m interested in. I liked him coming out of Norther Colorado in 2005.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MIZ4JYNOUKDWRGXHDRK2MSY5AU Zachary

        Count me out on VJACK. Much rather have sometimes on field issue – Stevie Johnson. Vick isn’t the most accurate QB int eh world, and Vincent doesn’t get the seperation like DeSean. Being 6’4 or 6’5 is great and all, but he’ll have defenders near the ball all the time….and I don’t trust Vick to fit the ball into a tight window on a consistent basis…give me the player who can out run the defense and then run under Vick’s pass.

  • Anonymous

    I’d pay him 8.5m a year. With encitves up to 10m if he scores more tham 10 TD’s a season. I still think Desean is more than worth than people realize. I love him to come down to earth to take what the Eagles are offering (if they did at all!). Let’s resing him and get a MLB in FA. Then we can have all the options in this year’s draft. Let’s bring it on!!!

  • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

    “If anything happens to that, he becomes more worthless than a Jerome McDougle autograph.”

    It’s probably worth more than my Montae Reagor autograph from a few years ago.

    • Anonymous

      Good reference. I’m jealous I didn’t think of that.

  • Anonymous

    Tommy,

    Waiting 4 Andy on Eagles Live. Noticed TB was defensive nickel package coach from ’01-’03 in Cleveland and was wondering if U think he will do that as well as being DB coach. It might help Juan if he doesn’t have that responsibility; kind of like the LB’s did better when they didn’t have to be starters and work in the nickel package this yr.

  • Anonymous

    It’s good to see he went to Temple & produced a few Pro Bowl S as a DB coach. Maybe there’s hope for these young S after all.

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad a respected voice like Sam’s is here dropping knowledge on you fools.

    All kidding aside, Sam has a valid point: DeSean may very well be worth $10 mil. If other teams are willing to pay him that, then guess what, he’s worth that. That’s how the world works. I think Twilight is a sack of shit, but millions of people spent hundreds of millions of dollars to see it so that’s what it’s worth. Sad, but true.

    Count me as a member of Team DeSean. Everyone says we’re in a “Super Bowl or bust” mode, so why are we squabbling over a few million when we don’t have any assurance that we can replace DeSean? So far, the “best” options have been DRAFT A RECEIVER or SIGN GARCON.

    Drafting a WR might be a smart move regardless of whether we re-sign DeSean, but c’mon guys, Pierre Garcon? Really? You’d be willing to break up with Megan Fox (and her pudding supply) to get a shot at dating Kaley Cuoco?

    • Anonymous

      If I can date Kaley Cuocu and have Emma Smart and Kate Upton as my side pieces sure.

    • Anonymous

      “I think Twilight is a sack of shit, but millions of people spent hundreds of millions of dollars to see it so that’s what it’s worth. Sad, but true.”

      Simply AWESOME quote to describe the game being played by DJ and the FO.

  • Anonymous

    I dont disagree with Jackson stepping out of bounds so often. When it comes to the steve smith concept of laying down before the chains, then there is an issue. When it comes to a big play guy saving himself instead of allowing defenses to flush him into big contact, then this can be smart. The drive for a few extra yards with risk of injury is exactly what people criticize Vick for, and if Jackson has 10 million dollars of explosive plays in him ( hell , even 8) then I can accept not taking too many big hits ( given the correct circumstances ).

    • Anonymous

      It’s a good point that people criticize Vick for *not* protecting his body and criticize Jackson for doing it. I suppose you could say QBs, RBs (I loved how Westbrook did it) and WRs are different, but I think DeSean is smart about it. There’s a time and a place to be a hero, like on 3rd and 9 and you catch it two yards short of the sticks, and there’s a time and a place to get what you can, and protect your body if the chance of gaining more yardage is slim to none.

      As far as DeSean, I think we need to be aggressive with the other free agents to protect ourselves from potentially losing him. I think the offense would be okay with just McCoy and Maclin, et. al., but I’m not sure I want to be wrong and find out.

  • Anonymous

    Also, while I’m throwing myself out there for DeSean, can we stop with the character assassination? He’s nowhere near as “immature” or “goonish” as some people make him out to be. He might be emotional and a diva, but he’s a WIDE RECEIVER. Sometimes I think just because his tweets are incoherent and he has tattoos, he’s getting labeled something he’s not. We see more of what makes DeSean different from us because he’s been in the spot light. We don’t see or hear about the dumb shit that our other players do.

    • Anonymous

      100% with you! Right up until she shits the bed. :D

    • Anonymous

      He is immature, but seems to be a good guy aside from that. No legal issues or anything of the sort and he’s done well with his anti-bullying stuff.

      • Anonymous

        Immature, but on the spectrum of NFL immaturity, he’s closer to the middle than the extremes.

        I guess my point is; Jackson’s immaturity shouldn’t be used in the argument against paying him $10 mil a year. If we followed that logic for everyone, who would be playing in the NFL?

        • Anonymous

          He’s not a problem child. At the same time, he’s not just another player. There is a legit distinction to be made. TO was a bad teammate. You didn’t want him around when he went postal. DeSean is nothing like that, but he’s had serious locker room issues 2 years in a row and that can’t be ignored either.

          • Anonymous

            I’ll accept that. I wouldn’t want a Santonio Holmes on my team. That’s for sure.

    • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

      As Cris Carter says about receivers, all they want to talk about is “me and my money.”

  • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

    “The risk here is that if no trade partner emerges and DeSean has signed the tender, he’s on the roster for $9.5M in 2012. If he doesn’t sign the tender, you can just remove the tag and he’s a FA. This is a gamble.”

    And what is the cap space looking like for 2012? I’m guessing around 20 mil?

    • Septhinox

      Near $30 after they trade Asante.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3D5WY7AD3ICJARP2PHNFLY7ZJY Trevor Turner

    The Eagles’ problem this year wasn’t talent. It was attitude. Unless the Eagles can sign him for 5-6 million per, I say let him walk.

    • Anonymous

      I have to say this year definitely was something of an eye opener. If we bring back DeSean with 10M, that might rub others in the team the wrong way and after this year, I’m all about chemistry and hard working guys over “talent”…

  • Anonymous

    I was a Desean supporter, but I’ve since changed my opinion. Maclin and Shady have more upside and appear to be more “team” guys.

    The concussion thing scares me. I can’t blame the guy for thinking of his health with all this stuff now about the lingering effects of concussions.

    I’d favor a plan of drafting Adams and signing Wayne or Garcon. I wouldn’t sign a big time FA (Bowe or Jackson) because that just escalates Maclin’s asking price if he has a better season than the new guy.

    • Anonymous

      I am thinking the same, though maybe younger than Wayne to be the 2 behind Maclin.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MIZ4JYNOUKDWRGXHDRK2MSY5AU Zachary

      I love Shady and JMAC as much as the next Eagles fans, but I’m not sure what upside you are talking about…

      Maclin is about the same age a DeSean, but unlike DeSean, you don’t have to play a safety deep to cover him. Unlike DeSean he’s not a threat to score on any play. He’s more consistent, but I doubt teams are game planning to stop him.

      And Shady, count me out. Amazing athlete, fun as hell to watch….but he’s a RB. I don’t want him for years 5-10. I want him years 1-4, maybe years 1-5.

      I mean I hate to sound like I don’t care about the kid, but he plays the most visious position in football. He also plays the position that’s the easiest to replace. MoJo, Ray Rice, Arian Foster, LeSean McCoy, Frank Gore, Ahmad Bradshaw, Michael Turner, Fred Jackson – these are guys who are star RB”s or were, these are guys who went in rounds 2-7.

      I mean think about Brian Westbrook, he was a super star here, did you think the Eagles would find a replacement that quick? That’s the issue with the RB – you can replace them. I hope Howie and Red realize this and keep his contract extension short and sweet….if he gets one at all.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AHVR5EZERRCZSD77DMKWAEEPLA Steve H

    fuck it, lets go get Dwayne Bowe or Marques Colston. It’s not like if we lose Jackson there aren’t other good FA options to be had.

  • Daniel Suraci

    I like almost all of the free agent wide receivers more than DeSean. We don’t have a big target for the red zone fade and I think that’s a more important acquisition than keeping Jackson who may or may not drop another 5 TD passes.

  • Anonymous

    Do what is best for the Eagles.
    Personally I would let the guy walk if hes unreasonable in his contract demands.
    Hes not elite #1 WR. Hes got skills but hes not a #1
    Franchise him if you think you can trade him.
    The FA class is too good for Desean to have strong leverage over the Eagles.
    Sign one of the FA class: get a better well rounded WR that will be a #1 or #2.

  • Anonymous

    I think it’s all about the QB.

    If a team’s QB is elite, he’ll make the receivers look great. The converse is not true over the long term, though, when the QB is a Shaun Hill or even a Charlie Batch — though w/ a QB just below elite, maybe the WRs really matter.

    So if letting D-Jax walk allows the Eagles to put an IMPACT player at another key position (preferably via the draft), then so be it . . . .

    But only as long as the Eagles management is sure that Mike Vick is *elite* enough to make his receivers better players — the way Drew Brees or Tom Brayd or Peyton Manning make their guys look like producers.

    Brady made Deion Branch a multi-millionaire in Seattle. Then when Branch started playing with Matt Hasselbeck — a perfectly decent, but certainly not *elite* QB — Branch became what he always was . . . except when playing pitch-and-catch w/ Tom Brady.

    And Brees has made 7th Rd pick (and injury prone) Marques Colston look like a poor man’s Calvin Johnson. And Robert Meecham and Devry Henderson play like bigger, slightly slower versions of D-Jax w/ Brees.

    And Manning’s made guys like Pierre Garcon and Jacob Tamme look like really good players. They’re not. SEE DEION BRANCH.

    Anyway, whether D-Jax is here or not next year, the season depends on Michael Vick. And Marty calling some better plays in the 4th Q.

    • Anonymous

      And in the Red Zone.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t want to draft him in the 1st place because of the “rumors” about his “attitude”. Certainly not interested in paying him $10M/year now that he’s proven the “rumors” true. Give that $ to mccoy, maclin, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/KeeepSwinging Anthony Hart

    I don’t think DeSean is as much of an asset for us as he used to be. He’s disappeared on punt returns and his receiver play has also gone way down hill. Pro Football Focus graded him negatively in as many games as positively. He’s scored 10 touchdowns in the past 2 years, Maclin had that many last year alone. Not good for an “elite” WR. His decoy abilities are nice but is it worth 8+ million dollars a year? I’d really like to see us upgrade.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MIZ4JYNOUKDWRGXHDRK2MSY5AU Zachary

    As a fan I don’t care if my team has to spend $100, $10, or $1 million to get a guy. At the end of the day, the Eagles and the Skins have taken very different methods to cap management, and both teams have found ways to keep guys rich…

    So if we’re talking $10 million is all it takes to ensure we have a threat at WR, I’d say pay it.

    The only way I’ll come out of teh situation of losing DeSean happy is if the Eagles draft 2 WR’s. Right now we have zero in the way of threats to a defense without DeSean.

    Maclin? A solid all around WR, but he doesn’t have elite speed from the games I’ve seen. In college, sure, but as a pro his speed is good, not great.

    Avant? He can’t seperate from a semi fast LB, let alone a CB. He doesn’t have Welker’s quicks.

    Cooper? He could be a match-up problem if he had hands. But the Jets had the ultimate match-up problem like Cooper in Plaxico- aka a big WR – who can’t really seperate, and I don’t think this scares defenses.

    We need Jackson, or we need major additons at WR….

    We end up with

    Jeremy Maclin
    Stevie Johnson
    Joe Adams

    DeSean can go fly a kite somewhere, and I’ll be happy

    We end up with
    Jeremy Maclin
    M. Floyd
    J. Adams

    Same…

    We end up with:

    Jeremy Maclin
    Riley Cooper
    Jason Avant….I’m going to wish sooo much harm on Red and Howie….

    DeSean’s situation isn’t complex in my mind….you either pay him or replace him…

    • Anonymous

      I agree with this. I think DeSean is a safer bet than all of those scenarios because we know who he is. There’s no guarantee a rookie will pan out. There’s no guarantee DeSean won’t suffer another major head injury or be a locker room distraction again, BUT the odds are probably in DeSean’s favor.

      With that said, if we’re going to lose him, Reid better not sell us on the idea that Riley Cooper is a replacement.

    • Anonymous

      We definitely can’t claim to be an elite offense if DeSean walks and we stay status quo.

      The free agent market seems to have its fair share of WRs in their 20s, and ones who would be threats alongside Maclin even if they don’t cost DeSean money (and a couple who do).

      I’m all for the draft, but if we hadn’t learned before not to count on immediate production from high picks, the past two Eagles drafts should do it.

      As Sam said, a team that thinks it can win the Super Bowl in 2012 has to approach this differently than one planning to be good in a few years. I don’t think we have to ruin the future to give ourselves a chance in 2012, but just be careful not to be too cheap in 2012 and then never have a team that’s quite good enough. Once Vick retires, we’ll have a whole nother set of issues.

  • Anonymous

    I love DJ but he is not worth that kind of $$. I also think he is very angry at the organization. I feel if we offer 8mill and another team where he feels he could be successful offers 8mill, he will walk.

    I am ok with him heading for the sidelines because he knows that when he gets tackled he is so susceptible to injury but im not ok with him alligator arming passes. One or two alligator arm in a season is understandable but one every few games is just too much.

    I have always liked DJ but he is a one trick pony. Now that teams know how to play him he is not as dangerous. He opens so much up for us that I would love to keep him but not over pay him. Instead of overpaying DJ I would rather try to find an Antonio Brown type speedster, doesn’t have the sick acceleration of DJ but is super fast, can make plays and take hits.

    But if we lose DJ, WR is without a doubt 1B to LB as biggest need. If you are gonna pass a lot and don’t have rodgers, breese, etc, then you need top quality WR’s.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPZBMFBVAVUM65GQ3VDXOQDYZQ Morton

    Why is everyone so adamant that the Eagles would need to replace DeSean with an elite WR if they let him go?

    What’s wrong with the WR corps sans Jackson, anyway? Maclin is a first round pick capable of being a #1 WR (or why would you take him that high anyway), and they have complimentary pieces around him in #2 and #3 WRs and two very good TEs. They also have a top-3 RB. Does an offense really need much more than that?

    How many offenses in the NFL start two or more “elite” WRs who were picked with very high draft picks? The top offenses this year were the Patriots, the Packers, and the Saints. None of those teams starts even a single first round pick at WR except for the Saints, who start Devery Henderson, who isn’t even their best WR. The Patriots don’t even have an above-average WR. The Packers rely on 2nd, 3rd , and lower round guys in vast numbers.

    Am I the only one who would be perfectly happy to see them let DeSean walk, then simply leave the WR corps as-is? What’s wrong with that, exactly? I would like to think that having a top-3 RB (McCoy), a #1 WR (Maclin), decent complimentary WRs (Avant, Cooper, late round pick), and two very good TEs (Celek and Harbor) would be more than enough to have a top-5 offense.

    • http://twitter.com/waavvycrockett Brendan Gephart

      Mike Vick is my reason. He needs all of the help he can get next year and a physical receiver would be a nice addition. The Pats have Brady, Packers have Rodgers and the Saints have Brees. We’ve got Vick.

    • Anonymous

      It’s all about the QB . . .

      Look at SB teams: Manning and Brady — both elite (sorry, but Eli’s there).

      Green Bay and New Orleans: Brees and Rodgers — both elite

      Those guys would win with Thrash and Pinkston.

    • Anonymous

      Some will argue that the presence of DeSean has made everyone else better and defences have to keep safties 20+yrds off the LOS. That being said, I agree with Morton, as long as we figure ways to score better in the RZ (which the reduction of DeSean might just do). And get the overall work rate up in the process…

      I’m sure we can replace him with a cheaper #2 WR (Isn’t Maclin pretty good on long bombs as well?) and spend on filling other holes or investing in future replacements…

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_52YQ4XNKFG7YSKAVMYVPD6FVVA Ken Jomo

      I have the exact opposite view of how WR should be handled and it is for 2 reasons: Green bay and New Orleans. Despite what the Giants have done this postseason those teams are still among the most likely to win a super bowl next year. In order to really be on their level we need Vick to improve (hopefully an offseason will help greatly) and we need to give Vick more weapons

      If DeSean is allowed to leave I think we need to replace him with a top flight WR. My first choice would be Marques Colston. He would give us a big physical WR that we lack. I would then still want to spend a top 100 pick on a speedy WR (Kendall Wright, Joe Adams, TY Hilton) , so that we could still do some of the same things we love to do now. If we keep DeSean I’d draft someone like Mohamed Sanu who would give us that physical presence.

      Either way, I go into this offseason saying we need to add to our arsenal of weapons, not cut back on them.

    • Anonymous

      “No. 1″ and “No. 2″ wide receiver is a vague, made-up term in today’s NFL anyway. You’re right that teams can have high-powered offenses without them, but it’s not weird that fans want as much talent as possible. I would love to replace DeSean with Bowe or someone of that magnitude.

      I could probably talk myself into liking Maclin, Garcon and Avant, or Maclin, Stevie JOhnson and Avant.

      Where the Packers drafted their guys is largely irrelevant because they are outproducing their draft positions. They also have a quarterback that makes them look as good as they possibly can.

      IF — and this is a big IF — DeSean walks and nobody of significance comes in, I believe we have offensive minds creative enough to move the ball, but we can no longer expect the offense to carry the defense. We’d have to be a complete team and more of a ball-control offense, which might work … until Shady gets injured.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve been saying this for month, one of the few things we agree upon.

      The myth of the WR should be put to bed, outside of Megatron or Randy Moss, how many WRs truly dominate? Fitz is a great position receiver, but is he more valuable than Gates or Gonzo in their primes?

      The “deep threat” is highly overrated in today’s NFL, teams spread the ball horizontally as much as vertically, they use slot WRs, TEs and RBs to set up mismatches, many teams are happy to send their outside WRs deep just to make it a 8 on 8 game with the FS having to provide a last resort defender.

      Good defenses routinely cancel out DeSean.

      The Eagles play their best offense when they’re balanced, using screens, dumpoffs, TE screens, TEs down the seam, Avant over the middle, as much as the WRs. Take DeSean away and if safeties start to cheat, just have Maclin or Cooper pull a double move and chuck it deep – worked fine in 2006, worked with Baskett and Reggie Brown.

      • Anonymous

        Definitely true that good defenses routinely cancel out DeSean.

        And it’s true the Eagles have made a go of it with lesser WRs … but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t want some of the available WR talent. Talent isn’t completely meaningless.

    • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

      Wow, I’m shocked you’re ok with everything on the current offensive roster, sans Jackson.

  • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

    One point about Maclin everyone seems to forget – he was a 1st round pick in 2009 and signed a 5 year contract, not 4 year. Maclin is under contract through 2013. There is no reason I can think of to extend him now when he has 2 years left on his, not terrible, rookie contract.

    Jeremy will earn a $1M base this year, and a $1.6M base net year, along with $100K workout bonuses. He got a $5M roster bonus 2 years ago. He’s not in the same situation as Shady, who you really want to extend this year if possible.

    • Anonymous

      Even then we still have to leave room to re up DRC mid year.

      • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

        Good point. We’ll need some $ for DRC this year.

    • Anonymous

      I did forget that, the 5-year deal. Great point.

  • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

    I don’t believe DeSean is worth $10M/year. Whatever number Howie has placed on him is probably more than I think he’s worth right now.

    Is there a team out there willing to pay him $10M? There are certainly teams with cap space (cough – Cinci – cough – Tampa). Hell, imagine Dalton having AJ and Djax as targets. Who do you double? In the end, I have no idea what people are willing to pay him.

    I’m not even sure you can feel that out enough to risk tagging him – unless it’s the non-exclusive tag (used to be called “transition”?). Basically, it’s a right of first refusal to match another offer. I see this as more likely than the “tag and trade” route for the Eagles front office.

  • Anonymous

    For the millionth time, let Desean walk and hope McNutt falls to the third round. Problem Solved.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DPZBMFBVAVUM65GQ3VDXOQDYZQ Morton

      I second this.

      There will be plenty of decent WR prospects in the 2nd-3rd round area this year. This is a strong draft class for WRs.

      • http://twitter.com/EWeaver34 Eric Weaver

        You of all people should be distrusting of this front office’s ability to find a quality receiver in the 2nd or 3 rounds.

    • Anonymous

      Any plan that involves “hope” on draft day should not be Plan A, B or C.

  • Benjamin Brooks

    Tommy-
    From my point of view, the Eagles greatest offensive weaknesses is the lack of a potent receiving weapon in the Red Zone. I think the most eye opening stat from your post was the fact that DeSean has 3 RZ TD’s in the past 3 years! IMHO, Vick’s RZ turnovers were more detrimental to our success than the ineptitude of our defense. Given Vick’s height, I think he struggles once the field becomes compressed and the passing lanes are no longer wide open. Shady is obviously blossoming into one of the best RZ RB’s in the NFL, yet we have no one that is a physical presence that Vick has comfort “throwing open”. If you look at Vick’s time in ATL, his

    • http://twitter.com/makarov__ Jim Reynolds

      I agree completely. The passing game in general is moving towards TEs and slot receivers on intermediate crossing and seam routes becoming big play makers. There are still some receivers who do well on the outside. More and more these are people who are big (Megatron, AJ Green), or at least can go up and get the ball (Nicks, Wallace).

      Djax, sadly, doesn’t fit into any of these molds.

      We’re better off rolling the dice on a guy like Joe Adams or even Patrick Edwards than throwing $9-10M / year to Jackson. Hell, draft em both.

      • Anonymous

        I agree 100%. The other problems with DJax is he hasn’t produced as well since his last concussion and might not be the same player he was. He keeps the offense off the field because they gamble on his possibly making a connection with Vick rather than have the offense steadily gain yards and confidence. The Eagles beimg one of the teams with the most dropped passes(which sometimes lead to turnovers) doesn’t help ither. If they draft WR(s) that can catch the ball & get TD’s they will def win more games and have a chance to compete in the SB.

  • Anonymous

    Was it also “a business decision” to post this today when you knew your traffic would be through the roof? Because I bet about the middle of next week we’ll be dying for a post as meaty as this. I guess we should be thanking you for not running out of bounds, er, holding back.

  • Jay Ernst

    I would never pay DeSean $10mil/year. Even 8 sounds a bit much for a one trick pony, who drops a substantial amount of balls, and disappears in the red zone. Furthermore, it seems that teams with “Clutch” WRs always seem to do better than the hot and cold playmakers. I know clutch is a vague term and I’m being lazy and not backing this up with any stats, but I see a lot more Hines Wards with Super Bowl Rings than boom/bust players in the mold of DeSean. Maybe I’m missing someone, but I literally can’t think of a single player in the league that I would describe as one of the most electrifying and at the same most frustrating players in the league that has ever turned it around and lead their team to victory.

  • Anonymous

    Jenkins, Patterson, Dixon, Jason Jones, Landri, Cole, Babin, Graham, Vinny Curry, Hunt. Would make me happy.

  • Anonymous

    Here is the solution to all the problems. I figured it out! (lol)

    Semi-serious.

    1) sign Desean. Front loaded deal. The money will sell itself.

    2) Trade 1st, 2013 2nd and Maclin to St Louis or Cleveland for Top 5pick and draft Blackmon.

    3) Draft Vunny Curry and Orson Charles

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1116101444 Erik L. Richardson

    Why would the Eagles just let him walk? And get nothing in return? If they do that, you know he will go elsewhere be a model citizen and come back haunt us. Then watch the bitching and moaning about “We should have re-signed him, we should have not been cheap, he still outplayed his contract, he was so dynamic and important to this offense, blah, blah, blah”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jesse-Mendoza/593627671 Jesse Mendoza

    I love DeSean, but I would much rather have Colston on the team. DeSean deserves his money, but not as much as Shady and other players that actually show up every game.

  • Anonymous

    Well, I’m late to this thread but here are my thoughts.

    As usual, great analysis.

    I didn’t want them to take Desean (or Trevor Laws). Ray Rice was there and was my pick. I also was a big Colston fan when he was in the draft.

    $8MM / year fair if it is guaranteed. Rosenhaus has to find someone to pay $10MM guaranteed which isn’t going to happen with the competition in the market and the new labor rules.

    Steve Johnson impressed me when he outplayed Revis Island this year. Still, he seems to be a headache waiting to bite.

    Dwayne Bowe would be a good bet to jump teams. The other guys not so much. I always have preferred big WRs to small and I think the rule changes also make big guys more valuable.