Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.comThe DeSean Jackson Friday bombshell could be seen coming a mile away, but nevertheless the news of his cutting had teams scrambling on Friday. Just days after the Eagles were unable to find a new team for Jackson at the NFL Annual meeting in Orlando, the Eagles dropped Jackson and now the race is on for one of the NFL’s best deep threats.
As of Friday, the Jets were among the potential suitors for the former Eagles receiver.
How serious are the Jets? Manish Mehta of The Daily News reported that there are those who would welcome adding Jackson to the Jets, but that the thoughts at the decision-maker level are an unknown part of the equation.
The Daily News has learned that people in the Jets organization are still interested in Jackson in the wake of news that he has alleged ties to gang members in Southern California. However, it’s unclear whether owner Woody Johnson or general manager John Idzik still wants the talented, but troubled wide receiver.
Meanwhile on the next page, Gary Myers warns Jets fans away from Jackson with a pretty underwhelming argument that essentially removes any doubt I have about the Jets pursuit of Jackson.
[Aaron] Hernandez is changing the way teams do business, which is why the Jets need to immediately ditch any plans they have to sign DeSean Jackson, who was cut by the Eagles on Friday, with stories about an alleged association with gang members swirling around him.
In short? Apparently DeSean Jackson and Aaron Hernandez will be shanking each other for control of D-Block soon enough and therefore corporate sponsors might get the vapors to be associated with such as these.
Aaron Hernandez’s name is mentioned 12 times in the article and is the tentpole for why the Jets need to steer clear of DeSean Jackson, this despite Myers conceding that Hernandez is an “extreme example” …
Unhindered, Myers bravely carries on bravely, flying straight into the face of reason.
After he was released, Jackson issued a statement defending himself and his character. And he denied any gang involvement. “I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang,” Jackson said. “I am not a gang member, and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible.”
Regardless, the Eagles abruptly cut Jackson on Friday, giving up any attempt to trade him …. [a]nd if the Eagles, who know Jackson better than any team interested in signing him, didn’t want him, why should the Jets?
Aside from taking a steamer on Jackson’s vehement statement with a well-placed ‘regardless’ in order to push his agenda, Myers then blows through yet another stop sign by not thinking through a major point of his article.
Who knows DeSean Jackson better than the Chip Kelly led Eagles?
Per Terez Paylor for the Kansas City Star:
According to the source, the Chiefs are among a number of teams pursuing Jackson.
Oh right, that Andy Reid fellow. Wasn’t he that guy who ran the Eagles and coached Jackson for five years prior?
“I have nothing but good things to say about the kid,” [Coach Andy] Reid said of the a veteran standout receiver. “I did draft him. I had a great relationship with him.”
Myers asks the question in his article, “why inherit somebody else’s problem?” But unfortunately for him he has the wrong object and subject for his sentence. It was Chip Kelly who was the one who inherited, as Myers puts it, someone else’s “problem” and now unable to squeeze a draft pick out of anyone because of their ham-handed tactics, they did the only thing that was left to them.
Rather than conjure up boogeymen, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer took a much more logical approach to why the Eagles cut DeSean Jackson and indirectly why it won’t be a problem as Jackson finds a new team.
DeSean Jackson didn’t change; the Eagles did when Chip Kelly became head coach.
The reasons the Eagles cut ties with Jackson after six seasons were many, but the overriding motive was a simple one: Kelly didn’t want him on the team anymore.
And then this zinger about the Eliot Shorr-Parks and AJ Perez NJ.com article in which a thrown out weed charge was conflated into Jackson being a gangster.
The NJ.com report provided the team with the perfect opportunity to soften criticism for cutting a superstar in the prime of his career while getting nothing in return.
So rather than release Jackson on Wednesday, when they initially were contacted by NJ.com, they waited two days and cut him less than an hour after the story was posted. It’s fair to wonder how much earlier the Eagles knew of the story and whether they were the impetus for its writing.
Let’s be clear about who runs the show in Philly. Howie Roseman is the nominal GM of the Eagles and has been since Reid’s era but he has never been in charge. Roseman is little more than a yes-man for Chip Kelly.
Chip Kelly, not general manager Howie Roseman, has the final say on the Eagles’ 53-man roster.
“We’re on the same page in everything,” Kelly said. “There has not been a decision that’s been made personnel-wise where I’ve felt one way and he’s felt the other way.”
Just like Roseman was for years with Andy Reid.
Roseman … explains that head coach Andy Reid has the final say in drafted players, but it is a team effort and usually everyone agrees on the selection.
Fascinating how Roseman seems to be in such perfect harmony when it comes to personnel decisions with two different coaches.
Anyway, so five years experience or one year with a new coach establishing himself as the alpha with a very different culture than his predecessor?
Back to Reid, who went through some hard times with Jackson.
Reid acknowledged Tuesday that Jackson, who lost his father in 2009 to pancreatic cancer, has been through a lot.
“When his father passed away, that was a hard thing for him to go through at a young age,” Reid said. “They were best friends.”
A hard thing like maybe getting caught at LAX for tinted windows (which Cam from Modern Family has also been nabbed for), weed (in the NFL?! Land sakes!!) and a disorderly conduct just months after his dad died to one of the most aggressive forms of cancer?
So back to the Jets.
While the Jets were among the early entrants, how serious will their play for Jackson be? No one seems to have the full list of teams making inquiries on Jackson, but multiple reports have said that at least six teams have expressed interest. According to PFT, one team in particular (cough Niners cough) thinks that Jackson could be the singular player that puts their squad over the top.
It’s also not known whether Jackson will get a short-term deal that puts him on the market next March, or whether he’ll sign a multi-year deal. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, it’s very possible that one team that views Jackson as the last piece of the puzzle will make a significant offer that covers more than one season — and that possibly pays Jackson (between bonus and salary) as much or more than he was due to earn in Philly for 2014.
Getting more than he was already making seems dubious. Darrelle Revis is regarded as one of the very best players in the game and he just took a $4 million haircut once he was cut by the Bucs. DeSean Jackson was earning about $10m per year and wanted a little more. The simple fact the Eagles were unable to trade him suggests interested teams were hoping to pay less than what he was already making and it has less to do with giving up a mid-round draft pick. It is feasible that Jackson could earn just slightly less on an annual basis than he was making in Philly. On the low end, it seems unlikely that his contract will dip below what Jets WR Eric Decker just received at five years for $36 million, but it will be the guaranteed money that likely sways Jackson. If Jackson and
Rosenhaus his agent can get a mid-term deal, expect Jackson to want $15 million in guarantees on a three year $24 million deal.
If the Niners do come calling and they have their pencil sharpened, they might be a tough team to beat. Right now the Niners only have $4.7 million in cap space and have been rumored to be working on a new contract for QB Colin Kaepernick which might eclipse $20 million annually. So from where does D-Jax’s money come if he becomes a Niner? There’s no quick salary hacks for San Francisco.
Kristian Dyer writes for Metro that while the Jets might be interested, Jackson ending up in New York seems highly unlikely.
… one team source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Metro New York that Jackson “is a long shot to land here.”
While the three-time Pro Bowler would add an instant playmaker to their wide receiver corps, Jackson may not be seen as a good fit with the team.
“He isn’t a ‘John Idzik guy’ – not what fits here right now” the source said, referring to the Jets’ general manager who has been restrained this offseason.
“The team has shown great discipline this offseason, despite having plenty of cap space,” the source said. “This is done with some big contracts due down the road — players such as [Muhammad] Wilkerson and Jeremy Kerley, among others. If he is signed, then DeSean can cut into that flexibility. But more than that, he isn’t a good fit with what the Jets are trying to do right now. It isn’t to say that there are red flags about his character, but the team is proceeding cautiously and has done due diligence. There are no indications that, right now, the Jets will be a major player for his services. If there is interest, it would be an incentive-laden deal.”
I like Jeremy Kerley as much as the next guy, but if the Jets are clearing the salary cap deck to make way for Kerley’s next contract, then we all better back away from this team without any sudden moves.
As far as Jackson not being a John Idzik guy? That I can understand but I think watching this play out will help us all to determine just what a John Idzik guy is or isn’t.
If the Jets were to offer up an incentive-laden contract over one with actual guarantees? Then the Jets might as well not even make a contract offer to Jackson. Before they get in the bidding, they have to know what it’s going to take, so inserting themselves in some vain effort to get him for a one-year $5 million contract with the same in incentives is not about to happen.
There’s no denying that DeSean Jackson is a talented player, but it is the off the field concerns that allow for some warranted concern. Even so, the likelihood that DeSean Jackson will be donning a prison orange jersey as part of his next team assignment seems ludicrous. With $28 million in cap room and the ability to get out from the player in two years after $15 million guaranteed? That seems like an educated investment in one of the league’s best and most productive deep threats, even if he is reenacting The Longest Yard as Gary Myers fears come 2015.