DeSean Jackson has been one of the premier big play threats in the NFL throughout his career, and he was outstanding last season for the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson was a focal point of Chip Kelly’s high octane offense, catching 82 passes for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns, all career highs. Despite the strong performance, the Eagles are reportedly listening to trade offers for their star receiver.
If the Eagles are in fact willing to trade Jackson, the New York Jets should be at the front of the line. The team still has a huge need at wide receiver even after signing Eric Decker, and the free agent market has dried up at the position. As things currently stand, the Jets are likely to use their first round pick on a receiver. However, trading for a proven veteran has its positives, and it would allow the Jets to target other needs in the draft.
There are several reasons the Jets should go after Jackson. First of all, his speed and explosiveness would give the Jets a weapon unlike any they’ve had in recent memory. Jackson averages 17.2 YPC for his career, and he is capable of big plays in the return game and on trick plays as well. Jackson’s speed is a nice complement to Decker’s size, and it would balance the Jets’ offense out while giving Geno Smith another proven target. Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg is very familiar with Jackson, and he will know how to maximize his talents.
Trading for Jackson would be a bit of a surprise from John Idzik, as he places a very high value on building through the draft. There are also concerns about Jackson’s attitude, especially since the Jets just released Santonio Holmes for that very reason. However, a fresh start on team willing to make him a huge part of the offense would likely keep Jackson happy. The final worry is his contract, as he will be a cap hit of over $10 million each of the next three seasons. If any trade was to happen it would almost certainly include a restructured contract.
In the end, it is probably unlikely that the Jets would trade for Jackson. However, the move makes a ton of sense from a purely football perspective, and the Jets need all the offensive help they can get. This would be the kind of big move that gets the fans excited and shows the Jets are serious about building a contender. Jackson is exactly the kind of weapon the Jets need, and if the price is right, they should go after him.