The Philadelphia Eagles made headlines on Friday when the team announced the release of Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The release came on the heels of an NJ.com report stating that Jackson had ties to a California gang. Before this, the Eagles put Jackson on the market for a trade.
Jackson’s release from the Eagles has a lot of fantasy football effect on his teammates. It helps some, but also hurts others. Here are the winners and losers from the release of Jackson.
Eagles Receiving Corps: Winners
Jackson had 356 receptions in six years. Last year, Jackson caught a career-high 82 receptions. These passes will now be spread around to the rest of the team. Jeremy Maclin, Riley Cooper, Brent Celek and Zach Ertz will need to fill in for the Eagles. Cooper had his best year with the absence of Maclin, recording 47 receptions for 835 yards and eight touchdowns. Celek and Ertz are an underrated duo at the tight end position. Newly-acquired Darren Sproles will also benefit from Jackson’s release. He’s been a threat in the passing game with the New Orleans Saints and will be an important part of the Eagles 2014 success.
Nick Foles: Loser
As I mentioned, Jackson had his best statistical year with Foles under center. The Eagles are relying heavily on a healthy Maclin to make his return in time. Maclin suffered a torn ACL during training camp and missed all of the 2013 season. He signed a one-year deal at the end of February. Foles was a top-five quarterback in the minds of many experts, but with the loss of Jackson, he falls to No. 10.
Teams looking for a wide receiver: Winners
Moments after Jackson’s released, teams were lining up to sign the 27-year-old receiver. The New York Jets were thought to be at the top of that list with the recent addition of Michael Vick, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. However, there are two teams that come to mind that could use Jackson’s services. The Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs.
Cam Newton does not have a No. 1 receiver to throw to. The team signed Jerricho Cotchery, but he is not to be relied on. Jackson pairing up with Newton would have fantasy owners up in arms because of what they could accomplish together. As far as the Chiefs are concerned, Dwayne Bowe is clearly on the decline in his career. Despite playing in 15 games, he just 57 receptions for 673 yards, his lowest since 2009. Alex Smith could definitely use the speed and ability of Jackson and would immediately pass Foles on the quarterback rankings.
Wherever Jackson signs, it will make heads turn. He is still an explosive wide receiver that gives defenses a lot of trouble; just ask his NFC East opponents. He will still be a top-20 wide receiver leading up to the 2014 season and, with the right team, could finish in the top 10.