The Eagles re-signed Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper this week. That led to a lot of positive vibes. Except in the case of Jimmy Bama. He decided to look behind the moves and try to connect some dots.
Bama then came up with this theory: the Eagles could be preparing to trade DeSean Jackson.
Say what? Didn’t DeSean just have the best year of his career? What is Mr Bama thinking?
Before you rip Jimmy’s theory, at least hear him out. There is logic to his thinking. The Eagles have allocated more money to the WR position than all but one team in the league. That is interesting for a team that led the league in rushing and wants to focus on running the ball. DeSean is due major money this season, and in the future.
The news that the Eagles offered Jeremy Maclin a 5-year deal caught many of us off guard. We don’t know the exact money they offered, but it had to be somewhere in the $5M a year range. Would you pay him, Cooper and DeSean good money long term?
One of the other factors in consideration is that Jimmy wonders if the Eagles are getting tired of dealing with DeSean. Jimmy gave the example that DeSean and WR coach Bob Bicknell battled during games. Jason Avant played the peacemaker, but he’s likely to be cut. Who will step in between Bicknell and DeSean this season?
There is also the question of DeSean’s focus on football. He is a bit of a Hollywood guy. Is that okay with Chip Kelly? DeSean wants to be a rapper or to run a rap label or some variation of the two. That’s fine with some coaches. Kelly might not have any issue with it, but we don’t know. He is looking for more of a full commitment than many coaches. There is the 10 hours of sleep request. There is the whole sports science angle. Does that mesh well with DeSean and his outside interests?
Some people will bring up the contract comments by DeSean at the end of the season. I’m not sure what to make of that. I think he gets over-criticized since he didn’t bring up the issue, but rather just answered a question. That said, we don’t know if he’s brought up the contract behind closed doors. I think DeSean is okay with his salary, but he would like some of the money to be guaranteed. The Eagles prefer the flexibility the current situation gives them.
If the Eagles have gotten a bit tired of DeSean, this is the perfect time to deal him. He still has elite speed. He put up big numbers last year and stayed completely healthy. DeSean played all 16 games for the first time since his rookie year.
What kind of compensation could the Eagles get for him? Tough question. The draft is loaded at WR so that could impact his value. DeSean’s big contract could also affect his value and the amount of teams that would have interest. Still, you never know when a team would be willing to pony up for an elite speedster. I’d love to say the Eagles could count on a 1st rounder, but you can’t do that. NFL trades are funny. Sometimes you get fair compensation, other times you settle for less.
So what is my take on all of this? My initial reaction was that Jimmy connected some dots, but I didn’t fully buy the conclusion. The more I think about the offer to Maclin though, the more it does make me wonder. Jimmy and Howard Eskin had an interesting exchange on Twitter.
@JimmyKempski possibly trading DeSean Jackson is not connected 2 signings of Cooper and Maclin. Hear tm may b at that pt bcause of his drama
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) March 1, 2014
@howardeskin Agree. Urgently signing Coop/Mac is the effect of going that route, not the cause.
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) March 1, 2014
Are the Eagles tired of DeSean? Could they want to move on? I hadn’t gotten that vibe this offseason, but the recent events have made me realize that this is at least a possibility. Time will tell if Jimmy Bama broke the Da Vinci Code or if he just came up with a wild theory.
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One thing to keep in mind…if the Eagles do trade DeSean, they would likely take a WR early in the draft. That could be the 1st, 2nd or 3rd round. This is a really deep class so there should be quality targets in each round.
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We talked about Dion Jordan yesterday. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves on this. I still have my doubts on whether Jordan does get seriously shopped. The guy is talented enough to play in any scheme. His career is off to a disappointing start, but I’m not sure the Dolphins are truly ready to pull the plug at this point.
Speculate away and have fun with the rumor, but don’t start thinking of this as a likely scenario. Remains a longshot in my mind.