Michael Vick was apparently never in the doghouse in Philly like his buddy and former teammate DeSean Jackson.
What began as seemingly baseless speculation has ignited into what many Eagles and NFL insiders (and DeSean himself) reportedly believe to be the end of his time in Philly.
When last we left this saga, three teams (the Patriots, 49ers and Jets) had supposedly checked with the Eagles on the trade status of the mercurial wideout, with one website writer even reporting Thursday that there was a trade in place with an unnamed team.
On a quiet NFL Saturday comes plenty of more reports that indicate Eagles coach Chip Kelly could be drawing up divorce papers. The highlights:
• Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, after previously describing early DeSean trade speculation as "madness," cites three separate independent sources as saying the team is now "actively shopping" the three-time Pro Bowl wideout. McLane also reports one source close to Jackson believes "He’s as good as gone."
• Showing plenty of evidence to further legitimize the rumor, NFL.com reported Saturday that the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks have also expressed "interest" in Jackson. It could be the latest offseason Cold War-style battle between NFC West rivals Seattle and San Francisco.
• Are the Eagles so desperate to say good riddance to the skilled WR that they would consider cutting him? One New York Daily News report says they might, quoting an anonymous source who says the team is "trading him or cutting [Jackson]. That’s a fact. They don’t want him."
“@ezdayz: @JedYork have Baalke trade your PO'd wife for Desean Jackson!” Can I RT this w/out getting divorced?
How does DeSean feel about all of this? Well, judging from his Instagram account, he’s doing some NFL web-window shopping as well — trying to find the right team or QB. Cam Newton? Sure. Vick with the Jets? Why not?
So why would the Eagles want to ship off a 27-year-old, game-breaking talent that stretches the field in the NFL’s fourth-highest scoring offense — especially after a career year (82 catches, 1,332 yards, nine TDs)?
First of all, the team could be eyeballing what is generally considered the deepest NFL Draft in memory, especially at wide receiver. And the Eagles currently have just six draft picks and may consider Jackson their best trade piece (even though their reported third-round trade demand could be viewed as too steep).
Plus, DeSean’s history off the field . . . well, there’s some baggage. He pouted through most of 2011 and 2012 after not getting Larry Fitzgerald money in an extension. McLane also reports Jackson rubbed many in the organization and locker room the wrong way by insinuating he deserved a new contract just two days after the team’s playoff loss to the Saints. McLane also says Jackson’s lifestyle concerns Eagles brass, with GM Howie Roseman allegedly asking teammates to convince DJax to tone down his Instagram posts.
So far Kelly has not addressed the issue publicly other than avoiding the question at an awards junket last week. But McLane also reports Kelly has not spoken with Jackson this offseason, citing a source close to the WR.