The question that is on the back of every sports fan’s mind in the City of Brotherly Love this Friday morning–why on earth would the Philadelphia Eagles release wide receiver DeSean Jackson after a career season?
After weeks of rumors and speculation, Philadelphia pulled off the biggest surprise of the NFL offseason by officially releasing Jackson on Friday–not too long after reports came out about his possible gang connections. Obviously, this is the last thing any NFL organization wants to deal with considering everything the New England Patriots went through with the Aaron Hernandez case and if the rumors about the gang connections end up being true–the Eagles are better off parting ways with the wide receiver now instead of possibly putting themselves at risk later.
Does the decision hurt? Of course it does–especially since we don’t know how much of the reports about gang connections are actually true. Not to mention losing a player who caught 82 passes for 1,332 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in 2013 is never easy to replace.
Will the Eagles still be contenders in the NFC East? Of course they will–just look at all of the success from Chip Kelly’s first season as head coach and all of the weapons he has in store for 2014.
Keep in mind all of the success Chip Kelly‘s offense had when Nick Foles took over the starting job at quarterback back in Week 6 along with the fact that Jackson only recorded two games of 100+ receiving yards in that time span. It will take some time for Eagles fans to accept this tough decision by the organization, but at the end of the day–Jackson is a type of wide receiver who can easily be replaced.
If anything, the Eagles deserve a star wideout who isn’t going to make the organization worry about his off-the-field habits and they deserve a wide receiver who isn’t going to complain about his contract situation (despite signing a $48.5 million extension two years ago) just a few days after Philadelphia was eliminated from the playoffs.
Kelly’s offense is more successful with players who aren’t “me first” kind of guys and unfortunately–Jackson has always been the type of player who seemed to care more about himself than his actual teammates. There’s no question the Eagles will be looking to take advantage of the talented wide receivers from this year’s draft class and hopefully fans will realize why the release of Jackson was the right decision in the long run.