Lately there has been a lot of talk about DeSean Jackson in the news. Whether it’s his rap career, potentially signing with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports Agency or how badly he wants Michael Vick to start at quarterback, he creates a lot of attention for himself, but he has been playing at an average level the past two seasons. Jackson signed a five-year, $47 million contract prior to the 2012 season, and he ended the 2012 season with 45 catches for 700 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson played in only 11 games, and if he played in all 16 games, he would have been on place for just 1,008 yards.
Jackson is getting paid a lot of money — $6.75 million base salary in 2013 — to put up mediocre numbers. In his contract, the Philadelphia Eagles only committed to Jackson for the first two years of his new deal. If he doesn’t put up big numbers in 2013, be prepared for GM Howie Roseman to ask Jackson for a pay cut.
However, there is another wide receiver that doesn’t get much credit: Jeremy Maclin. Maclin hasn’t put up Pro Bowl numbers either, but he has been consistent every year he’s played. Maclin is an overall better receiver than Jackson and is a lot cheaper, as he is still on his rookie deal. He is in his contract year and is well aware that he needs to have a big season to get the contract that he wants. Roseman knows how valuable Maclin is, and he expects Maclin to have a breakout season so that he can lock him up for the next five years.
I’m predicting that Maclin will outperform Jackson from here on out, mainly based on the fact that Maclin is simply a better receiver.
Maclin runs crisp routes and uses great technique to get to the ball. He’s a legitimate deep threat and can take it to the house on any given play. Jackson, on the other hand, is a good receiver, but from a talent perspective, he is not on the level Maclin is. However, I believe these two complement each other very well. Jackson has the deep threat that occupies two defensive backs, which opens up the middle for Maclin. These two are a solid combo, but if Jackson’s performance doesn’t reflect his contract, than I can’t imagine Roseman not asking for a pay cut.
At the end of the day, these are two talented receivers, however, Maclin is the star of this receiving corps, not Jackson.