When is a No. 1 receiver not a No. 1 receiver? When he’s DeSean Jackson and scheduled to make $10 million next year. There is no reason to pay Jackson that money, and if the Philadelphia Eagles are smart, they will cut ties and pick up his replacement in the draft.
Jackson has made his impression in Eagles’ history with his punt return abilities. He is the king of the deep ball, the ultimate home-run threat, and these things do not make him a top receiver. Check any film of Calvin Johnson and you will see the role filled to perfection. Jackson does not have the size or dimensions to his game to make it work. Chip Kelly has been creative in shaping roles for Jackson within the offense, getting him the ball in space and letting him work. Don’t think for a second that Kelly will settle for him as the top receiver on the team.
The unit, as a whole, needs help. Jeremy Maclin is also in the midst of a contract year, and coming off a serious injury, it remains to be seen if the team wants to give him his money. They should add through draft and free agency. Jason Avant is on the down side of his time here, and Riley Cooper, even with his resurgence at the arm of Nick Foles, is not good enough. Imagine Kelly’s offense with weapons? How about a dangerous receiver with size that can be a threat in the red zone? Speed can be replaced with fresh legs in the draft. Experience will come through free agency.
Both sides of the ball need help, but two new receivers will be top priority as Kelly looks towards 2014.