WR DeSean Jackson was released by the Philadelphia Eagles a few days ago and speculation immediately began as to why this had happened. Rumors such as gang connections, missed meetings, bad work ethic, bad attitude and so much more began to leak through the cracks. As the dust settled, things became a little more clear. Things such as the fact that Jackson knows people who are in gangs, but that he isn’t directly involved in any gang activity. Other things such as the fact that he does a lot of charity work and he just isn’t that type of person that he was being described as.
With all that said, who is telling the truth? Unfortunately, the only person that fully knows is Jackson himself. However, based on the varying reports, we can gather that it’s most likely somewhere in the middle. Does that make it better, though? Does his talent help a team overlook his alleged issues and activity off the field? Should it? Let’s take a look.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Dolphins had an overall passing offense grade of +34.3. Believe it or not, that was the seventh best in the league. Whether you want to believe it or not, the Dolphins’ passing game was pretty good despite the fact that they had almost no run game. When you factor that in and realize they essentially were one-dimensional, it’s amazing that they were still in the playoff hunt and were as competitive as they were.
Can they improve, though? Absolutely. Jackson wouldn’t come in and be the No. 1 receiver. He probably won’t be the No. 2 receiver. However, he would fit extremely well in the slot and can be moved all over the field to create mismatches and headaches for the opposing defense. In addition, he is a big threat when returning punts and kickoffs.
Last season, he had an overall PFF grade of +20.2. He had 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. Simply put, he’s a nightmare for opposing defenses and would make the Dolphins’ passing offense even better.
The question, though, is whether head coach Joe Philbin and general manager Dennis Hickey would want to bring him on board. After last season’s nightmare, we have seen Philbin and Hickey create a roster that is full of hard-working, high-character guys. The rumors swirling around Jackson seem to negate these two qualities.
However, there’s one guy in the building that saw Jackson every day of the season last year and that’s new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. You have to wonder if Lazor is pounding the table for the Dolphins to bring in Jackson. On the flip side, you also have to wonder if Lazor is advising them to stay away as far as possible.
If he is in fact pounding the table, here’s another dynamic the Dolphins need to look at. Mike Wallace can be released after this season for a relatively cheap cap hit. Of course, this would only happen if the Dolphins feel like he isn’t living up to his contract. While the argument can be made that he opens up the field for the rest of the offense, the same can be said about Jackson. If the Dolphins have doubts about Wallace, Jackson would be the perfect receiver to slip into Wallace’s position.
Now, let’s say Wallace ends up working out and the Dolphins still have Jackson. Imagine Wallace and Jackson running past opposing defenses, which would in turn open up the field even more? Brian Hartline, Charles Clay, Knowshon Moreno and Lamar Miller would all benefit from that. Don’t forget about Ryan Tannehill too, who would take joy in all the weapons he is surrounded with.
While some may point to Tannehill’s deep-ball issues, Jackson is very good at running slants, comebacks and other intermediate routes, which Tannehill excels at. There is no doubt in my mind that Lazor would find a way to best implement Jackson in the Dolphins’ offense.
The ball is in Philbin and Hickey’s court. If Lazor is pounding the table for the Dolphins to get him, they should take his advice and get him down to Miami before it’s too late.