Let’s be real for a moment: The only reason Jackson left the Philadelphia Eagles was because of their former Coach Chip Kelly. He is now also the former coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Up to that point, who thought he would ever done burgundy and gold colors? So what if he finished the season with 1005 yards receiving and four touchdowns. That my friends, means nothing.
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If I were DeSean Jackson, I’d walk. Here’s why:
Can’t forget about the Chip Kelly element. Jackson found incentive to come to the Redskins because of our former colleague Robert Griffin III. Watching Griffin get benched was difficult for him because of his situation in Philly. Several reports indicated the Eagles weren’t comfortable with Jackson’s off-field activities. That era is over. Don’t forget his first home was Philadelphia. The Eagles drafted him in 2008. We’re only the second stop in his NFL career.
Philly has forgiven him, but he has options. Unlike previous games, Eagles fans cheered for Jackson, a subtle hint that all was forgiven if he decided to come return. The fans have spoken. However, this is his first time on the market as an Unrestricted Free Agent. He’ll get some nice looks.
Jackson wanted more on the field. Washington Redskins Quarterback Kirk Cousins went deep for Jackson five times in the entire season. Jackson’s longest reception this season was for 80 yards. He was targeted deep the previous season four times. His debut season? Six times. Now this is pretty consistent with Cousins’ style of play. He spreads the ball out, so he was never going to have the lead role. In Philly, he was targeted 100+ times in four of those six seasons. This was the first season as a Redskin he was targeted 100 times.
DeSean Jackson isn’t the bluff card played against the hardest opponents. He’s not a distraction. He’s a contributor, a major player, not a roleplayer. If he stays with the Redskins that is what he’ll be. I don’t know if he wants to share the touches. The Redskins have several weapons on the receiving end of the ball. For him to leave would be unfortunate, but not missed. There’s a part he wants to play, and I don’t think this team has a plan for him. There’s no certain tone that says he’s all in. It would take big money to hear him say, “I want to stay a Redskin”, but who wants that as a reason?
If there’s ever a time to walk, the time is now. I think he will.