Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

28 Mar 2014

Redskins Sign DeSean Jackson

Well, he's no Blaine Gabbert.

(What the hell?)

EDIT: The Redskins have now signed Jackson to a three-year deal.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 28 Mar 2014

79 comments, Last at 07 Apr 2014, 12:18pm by Mr Shush

Comments

1
by Andrew Potter :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 1:01pm

Well they had to make space for Mark Sanchez somehow, right?

2
by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 1:01pm

There's gotta be another shoe around here somewhere...

3
by Tom Gower :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 1:06pm

There is. NJ.com dropped it earlier today.

4
by Mike B. In Va :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 1:10pm

That doesn't seem like enough. What do they know that we don't?

5
by jtr :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 1:46pm

On the plus side, we can be confident Riley Cooper doesn't have any gang connections

31
by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 7:45pm

Well, don't rule out the KKK.

57
by fb29 :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 6:36pm

+1

34
by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 7:54pm

Sorry, double posted.

11
by jimbohead :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:25pm

That article felt like way too much conjecture. The facts presented amount to: he flashed some gang-signs in a couple games, and in a few pictures on facebook, has a couple friends (no credible word on how close that association really is) who may be members of a gang, and he was once arrested by a cop who pulled him over for having tinted windows when a "probable cause" search showed possession of small amounts of marijuana. This does not amount to a compelling case that he's an active member of any gang.

Now, it's probable that the Eagles have a much much better sense of what's going on. But we sure don't. And that piece feels more like a slam job than an instance of thorough, responsible reporting.

19
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:50pm

Many young people who grew up in poor urban areas have friends who are in gangs. It doesn't mean that they're about to go out and Hernandez someone.

6
by mehllageman56 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 1:59pm

His trade value got hurt by this and his rather large contract. Just hoping he stays out of the AFC East (having Vick is possible trouble enough, and he'd be a Jet destroyer for anyone else). Don't need any of the young players hanging out with guys on Jackson's label.

8
by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:05pm

Perhaps I'm wrong, but I remember his contract being a good thing for the Eagles at the time. Didn't they extend him coming off his worst year and he was in debt to his agent?

9
by mehllageman56 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:10pm

In terms of cap value for this year, it was pretty good, but it was at least 10 million a year. The other issue is the Eagles cap situation next year. They were going to be over the projected cap. If they cut him next year, a lot of the money would have counted against the cap. Now, they don't have any dead money going forward. Still seems drastic.

17
by ElJefe :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:25pm

I seriously doubt the Eagles were over the projected cap next year.

http://www.eaglescap.com/next.html

Has always been spot-on and I have the sum of current contracts (+Sproles,Cooper,Peters,Jenkins,Kelce - Jackson) to be ~$120MM. With the carry-over from this season (currently ~$26MM) and the expected increase in the cap I would expect the Eagles to have an accounting goal (which is all the Salary Cap really is) of ~$165MM.

The fact that Jackson was released on the day the article appeared makes me believe the organization knows something (or at least thinks they know something) that really troubles them and they want no part of commenting on this story or defending Jackson.

Overeducated Layabout

7
by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:03pm

What was the rush? Why not wait until after the draft?

18
by jfsh :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:49pm

Good point. Releasing him now is like dropping the football before you get to the end zone.

23
by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 5:07pm

Nice.

30
by RickD :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 7:44pm

Why deliberately keep Jackson in limbo?

10
by johonny :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:24pm

He seems like a good fit for the Pats. They haven't had that type of receiver since Moss was booted out. I wonder if they can make the numbers work.

12
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:32pm

After Hernandez? Really, more gang problems?

13
by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 2:33pm

I have a hunch the Pats might shy away from receivers with muderous gang ties

14
by mehllageman56 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:10pm

They can always cut him after he gets caught two years after the murder...That way they get a Super Bowl out of the deal.

To be serious, he doesn't really replace Hernandez. Brady's deep accuracy is lacking, so that takes away what makes Jackson so dangerous. They need to draft Ebron or Amaro, so Brady can stretch teams horizontally.

20
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:52pm

The Eagles used Jackson as a deep threat, but he's also an explosive runner after the catch. He can do real damage if he has a QB with good short accuracy to hit him in stride on slants and smoke screens.

21
by Shylo :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 4:28pm

I just finally got why an immediate throw to the receiver is called "smoke".

35
by RickD :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 8:08pm

Agreed. Jackson is great for YAC. The Pats could certainly use his talents if they thought he could fit in with the team.

The Chiefs could also use him, and nobody knows him better than Andy Reid, yes?

15
by Sifter :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:15pm

As an Eagles fan I'm saddened from an on-field perspective. DeSean's a great player to watch and having him and Shady McCoy stretching the field horizontally and vertically was one of the strategic joys of watching the Eagles. Plus, I don't really rate Riley Cooper and Maclin is a big question mark at this stage. On the other hand I trust Chip Kelly, and his offensive credentials. You'd think the Eagles would be drafting a WR though, at least it's a good year to do so.

As for the off-field stuff...I don't think we'll ever truly know. The gang stuff could be misinformation that's been strategically released. Or it might be 100% true. Or it might be just simply that DeSean is a locker room cancer and Kelly didn't want him involved any more. This kind of backroom decision is always the toughest to analyze because there's a lot of untruths floating around the smallest sliver of truth.

16
by DavidL :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 3:22pm

Jason Kelce publicly backed the cut on Twitter, (linking to it triggers the spam filter) which makes me think Jackson must have been really unpopular in the locker room.

22
by Tom Gower :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 4:30pm

Kelce's tweet: "We just made an extremely unpopular decision, but I couldn't be more excited and happy with where this organization is going!! #FlyEaglesFly"

24
by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 5:21pm

Offensive linemen and wide receivers don't seem like the type of dudes that run in the same circles. It could very well be a teamwide indictment of Jackson. Or, ya know, maybe just Kelce doesn't really like him.

Look, WRs in general appear to be cocky, flamboyant, mercurial dudes. Jackson doesn't seem to be any worse than what we've seen in the past. And this gang ties thing seems like a whole lot of nothing suspiciously dropped the same day he is. Here's a scenario I thought up and, obviously, can't back up. Just something to chew on. Chip Kelly is 1 year into his deal with the Eagles. His offense has everyone excited. He's coming off a playoff berth after 2 years of the old regimes futility. Is it safe to assume he's at the height of his powers within the organization/public? He's also a guy who came from the college ranks where his word was the law. Maybe he just has thin skin and didn't want to put up with Jackson's normal antics? Maybe Chip Kelly is just a dick.

25
by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 5:33pm

Lots of coaches are dicks. Few of them are willing to throw away players who will substantially help them win games.

26
by bingo762 :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 6:01pm

Any theories on why they couldn`t find a trade partner for him?

27
by Will Allen :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 6:24pm

My guess is that it became known why the Eagles were disenchanted, which convinced any potential partners that the Eagles would release him, and that Jackson should only be signed with contract language which protects his employer.

28
by tbwhite :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 6:26pm

Supposedly, there were trade partners, but they felt they couldn't trade him because of whatever it is that caused them to cut him.

In other words, they make it sound like if they traded him they would have been duping someone and they didn't want the resulting loss of goodwill around the league.

When I say 'they' I don't actually mean the Eagles who have said nothing so far,I mean all the various unnamed sources and others who have been busy speculating all day.

36
by RickD :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 8:14pm

I'm not really buying that. I think nobody else wanted to pick up Jackson's contract.

32
by dryheat :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 7:50pm

I don't think anybody wanted him at his contract. I think the gang angle is a bit overrated. Between his large contract, and the fact that he seems to demand a new, larger contract every year, and that he has a reputation as a malcontent, seems to me enough to make him undesirable as a trade target.

29
by JoRo :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 6:48pm

So.... where do ya'll think he ends up? As a Bronco fan I pray he doesn't sign a prove it deal with Seattle as SI.com has speculated.

33
by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 03/28/2014 - 7:52pm

The Raiders are the obvious choice for a fast WR with sketchy pasts. Plus they have boatloads of cap room.

37
by Sixknots :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 12:53am

Yup, DJ wants big bucks. Raiders got, Seahawks not.

Also, Oakland is the perfect place to avoid gang affiliation.

38
by bingo762 :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 12:57am

How bout the Jets?

39
by DavidL :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 7:18am

Or the Sharks?

40
by dryheat :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 9:01am

Can he play the wing?

41
by dryheat :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 9:01am

Can he play the wing?

42
by nat :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 9:52am

Gee, Officer Krupke, we're very upset;
We never had the love that ev'ry child oughta get.
We ain't no delinquents,
We're misunderstood.
Deep down inside us there is good!

45
by Will Allen :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 5:26pm

Maybe he just wanted a better choreographer?

58
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 7:52pm

Krup you!

43
by Lebo :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 2:40pm

Has any team simply cut their leading receiver before? Surely they could have traded him for at least a seventh rounder, no?

44
by dmb :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 3:56pm

Has any team simply cut their leading receiver before?

Sure, the Panthers did just a few weeks ago.

49
by Lebo :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 7:46am

Ha ha, very true!
Perhaps I should have added the qualifier, "while he was in his mid-20s"?

51
by dmb :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 9:44am

I took a very non-comprehensive look through 2002 and couldn't find any examples. Then again, it's pretty unusual for a team to cut a productive player in his mid-20s at any position, save perhaps kicker and punter.

46
by Jerry :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 6:53pm

Surely they could have traded him for at least a seventh rounder, no?

Obviously, they couldn't. Whether NFL Security let teams know something, or (more likely) nobody wanted to give up a choice to take on his contract, there was no trade available.

50
by Lebo :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 7:48am

Yeah, I guess it is obvious. But seventh rounders are worth so little I'm surprised that nobody took the gamble. But maybe I'm just still imagining an NFL world with Al Davis. The Eagles must be disappointed he isn't still running the Raiders. Easiest three first round draft picks they ever would have made.

47
by Pen :: Sat, 03/29/2014 - 11:23pm

They got rid of him because he's a locker room cancer. Same reason Carroll dumped Houshmanzedah. It's more important for the team to all buy in than it is to hang onto any one player, even one that can help you win, because in the long run, he'll cause problems that will bring the team down further than whatever positives he brings.

48
by MC2 :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 1:32am

Yeah, how did that work out for the Vikings, when they traded the supposed "locker room cancer" Randy Moss for peanuts?

52
by tbwhite :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 2:42pm

I think it says a lot that 3 teams(Carolina, Jets, Chiefs) who desperately need WR's have no interest in DJax. What's more no one probably knows DeSean better than Andy Reid and he's apparently not interested. Meanwhile two of the dumbest franchises(Oakland and Washington) seem to be the front-runners for his services, and not one serious Super Bowl contender seems interested. This is a guy whose yardage declined for 3 straight years before Chip Kelly showed up. Hell, even RaiderJoe hasn't chimed in to tell us that the Raiders would sign him and then go 19-0.

By the way, it's not like the teams Randy Moss went to after Minnesota suddenly became champions. He was still a good to great player, but no team employing Randy Moss ever won a Super Bowl, so did the Vikings really hurt themselves when they dumped him ? They still won 2 division championships and a playoff game while he was still a useful player on other teams.

53
by bingo762 :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 6:01pm

And didn`t Moss wear out his welcome in NE and fade into Bolivia?

54
by Will Allen :: Sun, 03/30/2014 - 8:35pm

I largely agree, but no team with Merlin Olson, Alan Page, John Hannah, Anthony Munoz, Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, etc., etc., ever won a Super Bowl, either.

55
by MC2 :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 3:01am

I think it says a lot that 3 teams(Carolina, Jets, Chiefs) who desperately need WR's have no interest in DJax. What's more no one probably knows DeSean better than Andy Reid and he's apparently not interested. Meanwhile two of the dumbest franchises(Oakland and Washington) seem to be the front-runners for his services, and not one serious Super Bowl contender seems interested. This is a guy whose yardage declined for 3 straight years before Chip Kelly showed up. Hell, even RaiderJoe hasn't chimed in to tell us that the Raiders would sign him and then go 19-0.

Well, my aim was not to defend Jackson. I have always felt that he is a bit overrated, and probably lacks the type of transcendent talent that would justify putting up with his baggage, particularly if he's going to insist on being paid like an elite WR. Rather, I was simply responding to the idea that teams are better off getting rid of "locker room cancers", regardless of their level of talent.

By the way, it's not like the teams Randy Moss went to after Minnesota suddenly became champions. He was still a good to great player, but no team employing Randy Moss ever won a Super Bowl, so did the Vikings really hurt themselves when they dumped him ? They still won 2 division championships and a playoff game while he was still a useful player on other teams.

Surely, we here at FO know better than to judge a player's value simply by whether he ever happened to play on a championship team, don't we? If you look at the 5 years immediately following the Moss trade (which effectively constitutes the rest of his career, at least as a productive player), we see that Moss had more than 1,000 yards in 4 of those 5 seasons. Meanwhile, the Vikings' leading receiver had less than 1,000 yards in 4 of those 5 seasons. Taking it a step further, during those 5 seasons, Moss averaged 1,064.6 yards, while the Vikings leading receiver averaged just 835.6 yards. And while it's true that in his two best seasons during that stretch ('07 and '09), he was catching passes from Tom Brady in his prime, it's also important to note that the lone 1,000 yard receiver the Vikings had during that time (Sidney Rice in '09) was catching passes from Brett Favre, during arguably the best season of his career.

So, given all that, are you really going to argue that the Vikings' passing game was better without Moss than it would have been with him?

56
by tbwhite :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:51am

I never said the Vikings passing game was better without Moss, those are your words. You say your point was about whether teams were better off without locker room cancers and then you cite Moss' individual stats vs the individual stats of the guys who replaced him. What does that have to do with the team ? I'm not saying the Vikings had a better passing game without Moss, just that if the locker room cancer idea is true then losing a star player who is a cancer should have less of an impact than expected and likewise adding one should as well.

The Vikings improved from 8-8 to 9-7 without Moss. Granted, that's probably just noise, but losing the best WR in the game didn't seem to have an impact on the team. It should be noted that with Moss the Vikes weren't tearing it up they went 5-11, 6-10, 9-7 and 8-8 in his last 4 years in Minnesota.

Moss went from Minnesota to Oakland, the Raiders were 5-11 in Moss' last year with the Vikings, and with his arrival they soared to a 4-12 mark in 2005, and a remarkable 2-14 in 2006.

Off to NE where he joined a perennial Super Bowl contender, after 16-0 in 2007, the Pats fell to 11-5 and 10-6. Maybe there was nowhere to go but down for the Pats at that point, but it should be noted that the Moss-less Vikings went 10-6 and 12-4 in Moss' final 2 years in NE.

60
by MC2 :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:22pm

Individual stats are a much better reflection of a player's contribution to the team, compared to simply citing the team's won-loss record, and attributing it solely to the star players on the team, as so many talking heads on TV often do.

59
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 7:59pm

Trading Moss didn't force them to draft Troy Williamson. If they'd drafted Roddy White instead (or top players at other positions, like Ware or Rodgers), the move would look an awful lot better.

61
by MC2 :: Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:28pm

Sure, but that's a case of 20/20 hindsight. Whenever you choose to jettison a known commodity, especially a star like Moss, and try to replace him with a draft pick, it's always going to be a bit of a crapshoot. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but there's no way to know in advance whether it will work or not, which is why the unpredictability of drafting is one of the best arguments against dumping a guy that you know can produce at the NFL level.

65
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 3:49am

Ok, but what I'm really getting at is that the fact they happened to blow a top ten pick does not make a top ten pick "peanuts". Moss was traded for Napoleon Harris (who they obviously wrongly thought was good) the #7 overall pick (which they blew) and a 7th rounder. They obviously thought they were selling high, not just giving up, and the evidence of the following seasons in Oakland suggested they had a point. Who knows if Moss would ever have turned it on again if he hadn't landed in New England? The problem for the Vikings wasn't trading Moss, it was crappy talent evaluation that led to them ending up with nothing out of the trade.

66
by MC2 :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 7:03am

Well, first of all, the reason that I referred to it as "peanuts" is that Moss is a rare, once-in-a-generation sort of talent, who was still in his prime when he was traded. No matter how good your talent evaluation might be, your chances of getting a player that good with the 7th overall pick are very slim. In fact, most guys who are taken with the 1st overall pick don't end up being as valuable as Moss was then.

Also, you talk about how bad Moss was in Oakland (and by his normal standards he was), but during those two years he still had 1,558 yards. Meanwhile, the legendary Travis Taylor, who led the Vikings in receiving in each of those years, had a total of just 1,255 yards. So, if you're going to trade a Hall of Fame caliber player (in his prime) for an opportunity to roll the dice (which is really what a draft pick usually amounts to), then you should at least make sure that if your gamble doesn't work out, you have an adequate Plan B, which the Vikings obviously did not have.

67
by tuluse :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 12:13pm

The point isn't getting a player as good as an in-his-prime-and-motivated Randy Moss. The point is to get something good when a player has clearly mentally checked out and given up on the team.

70
by MC2 :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 6:43pm

And my point was that even a "mentally checked out" Moss was still good enough that rolling the dice with the 7th overall pick is very unlikely to provide a significant upgrade, and might well result in a significant downgrade, which it obviously did.

71
by Mr Shush :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 8:52pm

Mentally checked-out Moss was worth far less than whatever he cost against the cap at that time. Many draft picks in the back half of the top ten, even under the old system, were worth more than their cap hit. There is every reason to think the long term value of the #7 pick could be more than a guy on an eyewatering salary putting up 800 yards a season.

Maybe the right conclusion would have been that if your coach can't get the most (or something like it) out of Moss, you've got the wrong coach, but that's a different matter.

73
by MC2 :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 9:29pm

That's a fair point about the cap hit, although I still think if you're going to take that kind of gamble, you need a much better fallback option than Travis Taylor.

Also, it should be remembered that Moss actually had over 1,000 yards in his first season in Oakland, with Kerry Collins at QB. It wasn't until that second year, with the dynamic duo of Andrew Walter and a washed-up Aaron Brooks that he really started to phone it in.

72
by tbwhite :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 9:28pm

My point is that I think your expectations are whacked. You describe Moss as a once in a generation talent, still in his prime, and then fault the Vikings for failing to replace him with someone as good. Yet by your definition of Moss as a generational talent that's an impossible task.

I also don't see why there is such a focus on the stats of the guy who replaced Moss. The goal of the team is to win, not have the leading receiver. Had the Vikings dumped Moss, and then won the Super Bowl then it would have been a good move right ?

Is your point simply that the Vikes didn't get enough in return, and that no one does when they move a Moss or a DeSean Jackson ? I would agree with that statement. I don't think that necessarily means the team is worse off though. The shape of the team is different, maybe there isn't as much raw talent, but maybe it's better distributed, and maybe the team is more cohesive and the end result is better. Anyway, the Vikings got better and the Raiders worse when Moss switched teams, so while maybe the Vikings could have been even better if they got more in return, or drafted better with what they did in return, my point is they weren't a worse team by subtracting a generational talent.

By the way, once Foles took over as QB, DeSean averaged ~50 yards per game in receiving. I'm excluding 2 games, the ridiculous game against Oakland and the game against Minnesota. Sure that's cherry picking, but what's more likely to be representative of the competition he faces next year ? The Redskins aren't going to play all of their games against bad teams having historically bad days, and they're unlikely to fall behind by 20 points early in every game and attempt 6 passes for every rush.

Bottom line, the Eagles have to replace a guy who didn't do very much over the last 1/2 of the season, 3.5 catches for 50 yards in games that were up for grabs. I think Maclin is up to that task.

74
by MC2 :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 9:46pm

I also don't see why there is such a focus on the stats of the guy who replaced Moss. The goal of the team is to win, not have the leading receiver. Had the Vikings dumped Moss, and then won the Super Bowl then it would have been a good move right ?

The reason I keep focusing on individual stats is because that's the best way to measure an individual player's contribution to the team. For example, the one year that Moss was in San Francisco was also the one year they happened to get to the Super Bowl. Does that mean that the credit for that should go to Moss? Of course not. He contributed very little to that team, as you can see from his individual stats.

Is your point simply that the Vikes didn't get enough in return, and that no one does when they move a Moss or a DeSean Jackson ? I would agree with that statement. I don't think that necessarily means the team is worse off though. The shape of the team is different, maybe there isn't as much raw talent, but maybe it's better distributed, and maybe the team is more cohesive and the end result is better. Anyway, the Vikings got better and the Raiders worse when Moss switched teams, so while maybe the Vikings could have been even better if they got more in return, or drafted better with what they did in return, my point is they weren't a worse team by subtracting a generational talent.

My point is that the Vikings would have been better off if they had kept Moss. Yes, the Vikings without Moss were still better than the Raiders were with him, but if they had not made that move, the gap between those teams would have probably been greater. My bigger point, though, is that teams don't usually get better by getting rid of their best player, unless they get a king's ransom in return, like the Cowboys did with Herschel Walker.

Bottom line, the Eagles have to replace a guy who didn't do very much over the last 1/2 of the season, 3.5 catches for 50 yards in games that were up for grabs. I think Maclin is up to that task.

As I said earlier, I agree with you about Jackson. He is not nearly the kind of transcendent talent that Moss was. Now, if the Eagles decided to dump Shady McCoy, that would be a different matter.

75
by Jerry :: Thu, 04/03/2014 - 3:53am

Don't forget some of Moss' off-field problems in Minnesota. A franchise that's trying to sell tickets and, even more importantly, get a stadium built for them is poorly served by a high-profile player who gets into confrontations with meter maids.

76
by MC2 :: Thu, 04/03/2014 - 5:55am

That's true, but it's also much easier to sell tickets when you're winning games.

79
by Mr Shush :: Mon, 04/07/2014 - 12:18pm

I guess the question is whether Moss was or would have continued to be the Vikings' best player. Most talented is pretty unarguable, but that's not the same thing.

62
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 04/01/2014 - 3:53pm

That was fast.

From Zero to Hubris in one fairly obviously flukey season that resulted in a playoff loss to a wildcard team. I'm impressed at Chip Kelly's powers of self-aggrandisement both within the organization and within his own mind.

#1 receivers on the outside don't grow on trees. I don't care what hand gestures DeSean Jackson makes, he is not a replaceable commodity. He is a top 10-15 receiver in the league, and one of a very few genuine deep threats that require safety help on every play.

Players that get 1000 yards on 16+ per catch in a season are rare birds, especially these days. Players who do so catching passes from the likes of Nick Foles and Michael Vick (and Matt Barkley!) are even rarer.

63
by tbwhite :: Tue, 04/01/2014 - 4:38pm

DeSean Jackson played 5 season before Chip Kelly arrived and basically caught 60 passes per year for 1,000 yards and 6 TD's. In one season under Kelly, DJax increased his numbers by 30%. Do you think that improvement came from DeSean maturing as a player ? Or maybe it was because he was playing in a much better offensive scheme.

Now which version of DJax will some other team be getting, the 60 catches for 1,000 yds, or the 80 for 1,300 ? Unless Chipper is going with DJax, it's going to be the former. Now consider that DJax won't block, won't play defense if a pass is poorly thrown and likely to be intercepted, is good for a handful of stupid, showboating mistakes per year, and hasn't been a punt returning threat in a few years. How will the Eagles ever replace him ? Chip Kelly made DeSean 'irreplaceable', which means he's not.

Look the Eagles won't be the same with DJax, they will be different, but they probably won't be much worse as long as Foles and McCoy stay healthy.

64
by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 04/01/2014 - 5:52pm

Even if you assume that the improvement in Jackson's statistics had more to do with Chip Kelly than the stellar play of Nick Foles, and I tend to credit the latter even if I do not expect him to replicate the feat this year, even 60-catch 1000 yard receivers aren't exactly a common commodity. And for last year, Chase Stuart lists him as the 8th most valuable receiver to his team in the league in 2013.

http://www.footballperspective.com/antonio-brown-led-the-nfl-in-true-rec...

Whether Jackson gets 80 catches mostly depends on where he lands (since he appears to be a Redskin, this is a bit dicey; I am not an RGIII believer). A lot of teams will be happy with the 60-1000 and not try to run as many plays as the Eagles.

The point is, the Eagles just let go the one actually special receiver they had; Jeremy Maclin is a nice player, but there is a Jeremy Maclin clone (or better) on every other team (except maybe the Panthers).

68
by mehllageman56 :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 2:43pm

I wouldn't characterize the Eagles' playoff season as flukey, and their offensive dominance is definitely tied to Chip Kelly. I agree with you that letting Jackson go is a hubristic mistake which may backfire both on and off the field. Relying on Maclin to come back from his injury and Cooper and possibly a rookie to stretch the field is asking too much. I just wonder how the rest of the team is going to handle giving the n-word dropping Cooper a contract and letting Jackson go over a lot of hot air.

I think Jackson will do well with Griffin. RGIII was ranked in the top ten in deep ball accuracy his rookie year, and then it fell off. I bet that the fall-off was due to the injury, the effects of which should fade this year.

As a Jets fan, I'm disappointed they didn't reel Jackson in, but I have a feeling he wanted to go somewhere he could torment Chip Kelly, with a up and coming qb.

69
by tbwhite :: Wed, 04/02/2014 - 3:40pm

The Redskins will never torment anyone other than their own fans as long as Dan Snyder owns the team.

Let's see a new coach who needs to establish himself now has to deal with a star QB who thinks he runs the team, and a new #1 receiver who thinks team meetings are optional. What could possibly go wrong ? What's the over/under on Gruden's stay in Washington now 28 games ?

77
by DavidL :: Thu, 04/03/2014 - 12:20pm

I choose to believe that if you cut someone and Dan Snyder immediately signs him, that justifies the firing regardless of how bad it looked at the time.

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by commissionerleaf :: Fri, 04/04/2014 - 3:09pm

That's not totally fair. Snyder doesn't only sign bad players. He just signs every player he signs for way too much money.