Star receiver DeSean Jackson believes his tenure with the Eagles is over, reports Tim McManus of PhillyMag.com. McManus has spoken with two sources close to Jackson, who attested to the wideout’s belief that he will be traded this offseason.
Jackson has been on the trade block since the beginning of March, due in large part to the big salary commitment he holds on the cap. The receiver will have a cap hold of at least $12MM in each of the next three seasons, which places him among the highest paid pass catchers in the NFL. While he may seem to be overpaid, after setting career highs in receptions and yards and tying his career high in touchdowns in 2013, there is not much more he could have done to justify his paycheck. His speed and playmaking ability would make him dangerous in any offense, and coach Chip Kelly has gotten the most out of him in their first year together.
While no official trade talks have begun, the Jets, Patriots, Raiders, Panthers, and 49ers have been speculated to have interest in acquiring Jackson. The Eagles are reportedly looking for a third-round pick in return for their top receiver. The team acquiring him would not only have to give up the draft pick, but would have to be able to fit an expensive player under their cap going forward.
It is tough to imagine the Eagles explosive offense looking the same in 2014 without one of their biggest contributors. The team did re-sign Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin, the latter of which is almost like an addition after missing all of last season with a torn ACL. They still have one of the best running backs in the league in LeSean McCoy, and added Darren Sproles as another dangerous player who can produce at a number of different spots along the formation. The team could still look to add to its offense in the draft, but if Nick Foles matches his performance from last year, the Eagles should be able to put an above average offense on the field even without replacing Jackson.