DeSean Jackson

Extra Points: Jackson, Fans, Colts, Shaw

DeSean Jackson just signed a one-year deal with the Rams, and before that we hadn’t heard of much known interest in the speedster. That doesn’t mean that interest didn’t exist however. Speaking to the media after signing in Los Angeles, Jackson revealed he had other suitors. “There were other options out there,” Jackson said, via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com.

Jackson also explained his thought process in signing with the Rams, and it turns out their head coach was a big factor. “I could have went to other teams, other places. But my focus was really reuniting with Sean McVay. Talking to McVay once I was a free agent and really kind of having those open conversations, talking about the possibilities, it was something that was intriguing for me. So, I think that outweighs everything.” McVay coached Jackson during their time in Washington together, and it was reported at the time of signing that he played a role in recruiting Jackson to LA.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • We’ve only got a little over five months until the start of the 2021 regular season, and it sounds like the league is planning on having things back to normal by then. Commissioner Roger Goodell told the media on Tuesday that the NFL is planning on having all stadiums with full fan capacity for the 2021 season, via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). Obviously we’ve got a long way to go before the season actually starts and anything can happen, but it’s great to hear the league striking such an optimistic tone nonetheless. Here’s to hoping everything goes smoothly.
  • Frank Reich loves to feature tight ends heavily in his offense, so it might not surprise you to learn the Colts are covering all their bases at the position. Indy had free agent Jeremy Sprinkle in for a workout on Monday, Pelissero tweets. A fifth-round pick out of Arkansas in 2017, Sprinkle made a bit of noise with Washington in 2019 when he had 26 catches for 241 yards and a touchdown. This past season he appeared in all 16 games and played on over 20 percent of the snaps, but was mostly used as a blocker and only caught one pass.
  • The last time you heard about Josh Shaw, he was getting suspended for allegedly betting on Cardinals games while he was on the team’s injured reserve list in November of 2019. The defensive back was suspended for the entire 2020 season, but after serving his ban has now been reinstated by the NFL, the league office announced last week. Shaw started 12 games for the Bengals in 2016, but never made too big of an impact outside of that. He only just turned 29, but teams aren’t exactly going to be beating down his door to sign him now that he’s available.

Rams To Sign DeSean Jackson

Mar. 25: Financial details are in. Per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (via Twitter), Jackson’s one-year deal will include a $2.75MM base salary. D-Jax also has significant playing-time incentives, as he will earn $103K for each game that he is on the active gameday roster and an additional $1.25MM if he plays at least 50% of the Rams’ offensive snaps and the team “improves” (presumably, that means that LA wins more than the 10 games it won in 2020).

There are also $1MM in playoff incentives, so Jackson’s deal will max out at roughly $6.75MM. His cap number, though, checks in at $3.26MM.

Mar. 21: Sean McVay’s offense is adding another big name. The Rams are signing free agent receiver DeSean Jackson, a source told Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a one-year deal.

McVay personally reached out to help recruit Jackson, Garafolo notes in a follow-up tweet. Financial terms weren’t immediately available, and they’ll be interesting to see considering Jackson is now 34 and has only played eight total games over the last two years. As many were quick to point out, this fills a big need for Los Angeles as they had been lacking a speed receiver since trading away Brandin Cooks.

Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are both very quality options, but neither of them are deep threat field-stretchers. Jackson’s presence, assuming he’s able to stay healthy, should now open up a lot of things underneath for everybody else. Matthew Stafford is going to have a very solid group of receivers to throw to in his first year with the Rams.

Jackson started his career with the Eagles in 2008, then had stops in Washington and Tampa Bay before heading back to Philly for the past two years. The three-time Pro Bowler could be a big addition if he’s got anything left in the tank, and as recently as 2018 with the Bucs he still led the league in yards per reception at 18.9.

The Eagles released him in a cost-saving move last month, and we hadn’t heard of any known interest in Jackson since then. He had 14 catches for 236 yards and a touchdown in five games last year.

The Cal product is certainly nearing the end of his career, but hopefully he can still make a few of his patented splash plays in 2021. With the moves he’s made this offseason, McVay’s offense is trending toward looking more like the exciting and electrifying units we saw in his first couple of years as coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Release DeSean Jackson

It appears DeSean Jackson‘s second stint with the Eagles will end after two years. Following two injury-plagued seasons, the Eagles intend to release the veteran deep threat, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets. The Eagles have since announced the move.

Jackson still plans to play next season, but the 13-year veteran will attempt to do so after suiting up for only eight games over the past two years. The 34-year-old wide receiver was due to count $10.7MM against Philadelphia’s cap in 2021. Unless this cut will be designated as a post-June 1 transaction, the Eagles will save nearly $5MM by making this move.

Philly’s 2019 trade for Jackson turned into a sunk cost quickly. He suffered a core muscle injury early in his first season back with the Eagles and aggravated the malady upon return. Jackson played in just two games in 2019. This past season, hamstring and ankle ailments limited Jackson to five games. He ended up catching just 23 passes for 395 yards in his second Eagles tour.

Neither of Jackson’s past two teams have gotten what they hoped to out of the elite long-range weapon. Jackson’s last 1,000-yard season came in 2016 with Washington. He did not mesh too well with Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay, with his 774-yard 2018 slate doubling as his top output in the past four seasons. The Buccaneers traded him to the Eagles after that ’18 season.

While Jackson’s second Eagles stay did not go well, with an ugly anti-Semitic remark producing a fine last year, he still rates as one of the best receivers in franchise history. With 6,512 receiving yards as an Eagle, Jackson ranks behind only Harold Carmichael and Pete Rezlaff in franchise history. Jackson accumulated most of that total in his initial six-season Philly run, during which he made three Pro Bowls.

The Eagles’ decisions to extend Jackson and Alshon Jeffery produced little in the way of production, with both contracts quickly becoming albatrosses. A Jeffery cut, which is expected, would still cost Philly money in 2021. The Eagles are set to take on a record $33MM dead-money sum by trading Carson Wentz. Even with the Jackson move, they remain more than $40MM over the projected 2021 cap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Activate WR DeSean Jackson

DeSean Jackson is back. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Eagles are activating the wideout from IR. The veteran is expected to play against the Cowboys tomorrow.

After being limited to only three games in 2019, Jackson has once again been hampered by injuries in 2020. After appearing in Philly’s first three games, he was sidelined for three weeks by a hamstring injury. He suffered an ankle sprain during his Week 7 return, landing him on injured reserve.

It’s been four years since Jackson’s had a 1,000-yard season, but he was productive during his two-year stint with the Buccaneers, finishing with 1,442 receiving yards. The 34-year-old has been limited to only seven total games since returning to the Eagles via trade in 2019. During his second stint with the Eagles, Jackson has hauled in 22 receptions for 314 yards and two scores.

The Eagles wide receiver corps have struggled to stay on the field this season, with the team starting six different wideouts (Jackson, Greg Ward, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, John Hightower, and Alshon Jeffery). For one of the few times this season, the Eagles should have a fully stocked depth chart for quarterback Jalen Hurts in his third career start.

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NFC East Notes: McCarthy, Eagles, Barkley

The Cowboys have spent this week clearing out some 2020 acquisitions, trading Everson Griffen and cutting Dontari Poe and Daryl Worley. Mike McCarthy does not currently have to worry about being a one-and-done coach. Jerry Jones expressed support for his 2020 HC hire, despite the team’s disappointing start.

One of the, without a question, reasons Mike McCarthy is the coach is because he’s been through it,” Jones said during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan (via the Dallas Morning News). “… Certainly, we couldn’t have anticipated being at this stage with our team this year. But if I were going to hire for a head coach, that we’re going to be at this stage this year and work through this for the betterment of what’s in store for us for the rest of the year and for what’s for us in the future, I got my man.”

McCarthy has kept Kellen Moore as his play-caller and hired Mike Nolan as defensive coordinator. While the Cowboys’ offense was surging with Dak Prescott, it has cratered without him. Dallas’ defense ranks 30th in DVOA. Jones retained Jason Garrett for nearly 10 full seasons and has given all but one coach (Chan Gailey) at least three full seasons. Considering McCarthy’s Super Bowl-winning pedigree, it would be shocking if Jones ousts him after one season.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles are currently down four offensive linemen, each of their three top receivers, their top two tight ends and Miles Sanders. But they are, despite being 2-4-1, in first place in the NFC East. A Jay Glazer report prior to the Eagles’ Week 7 win indicated they told teams they would listen to offers for their best players, but ex-Eagles president Joe Banner said (via the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Paul Domowitch) Philly is interested in acquiring offensive line and linebacker help. The Eagles have been buyers in trades for years, and Ertz’s ankle injury halted trade talks. Despite the Eagles projected to be nearly $70MM over the 2021 cap, they may again be ready to acquire veterans.
  • On the subject of Eagles veterans, the news is not good for DeSean Jackson. Calling it a similar injury to Dallas Goedert‘s, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo said Jackson suffered a non-displaced ankle fracture and is expected to miss between six and eight weeks (video link). The 33-year-old deep threat has missed 16 games since returning to Philadelphia and looms as a near-certain 2021 cap cut, but Garafolo adds D-Jax does not intend to retire after this season.
  • Saquon Barkley‘s ACL reconstructive surgery is set for Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Interestingly, the World Series delayed the Giants running back’s procedure. Dr. Neal ElAttrache will perform the operation, but since he is also the Dodgers’ team doctor, he was in the final MLB bubble and off-limits until the Series’ conclusion, per Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post. No word has emerged regarding if Barkley’s surgery will need to be further tabled because of Justin Turner’s positive COVID-19 test. Barkley suffered the injury Sept. 20. Despite this delay, doctors are hopeful he will be ready for training camp, NFL.com’s Andrea Kremer tweets.
  • Washington first-year HC Ron Rivera finished up his chemotherapy and proton therapy treatments Monday. While he still has follow-up appointments on tap, per ESPN.com’s John Keim, this marks a major development in the veteran coach’s recovery from lymph node cancer.

Eagles To Place DeSean Jackson On IR

DeSean Jackson‘s Friday morning MRI confirmed the Eagles’ fears. The wide receiver’s ankle injury will rule him out indefinitely, leaving the Eagles no choice but to put him on injured reserve (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

The league’s modified rules for injured reserve allow players to return in as little as three weeks. Jackson is expected to miss more time than that, though he still has a chance to return before the season is through.

The Eagles were already keeping a watchful eye on Jackson’s condition as he was returning from a hamstring injury. Unfortunately, his leg twisted on an ill-fated punt return late in last night’s win over the Giants. It’s just the latest blow to an Eagles team that has had awful injury luck throughout the year – top targets Dallas Goedert, Zach Ertz, and Alshon Jeffery are also among those sidelined.

On the plus side, the Eagles got some good news on offensive tackle Lane Johnson. The veteran has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 MCL sprain, meaning that he’ll be able to return sooner rather than later. The time off will also allow him to recover from his previous ankle injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ DeSean Jackson To Miss Time?

The Eagles fear that wide receiver DeSean Jackson suffered a high ankle sprain in Thursday night’s win over the Giants, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Jackson and the Birds will know more this afternoon, once his MRI results come in. Depending on the outcome, Jackson may be scheduled surgery.

[RELATED: Eagles Were Willing To Trade Zach Ertz?]

Jackson hauled in three catches for 34 yards before he injured his leg on a punt return late in the game. Madre Harper knocked him down and Corey Ballentine‘s followup hit awkwardly pinned his leg. Jackson then had to be helped off of the field and carted to the locker room.

Jackson, who was just coming off of a hamstring injury, has 13 catches for 155 yards through four games. Hopefully, his ankle injury won’t cap his season in October. Last year, Jackson underwent core muscle surgery in November, capping his 2019 season after just three games played.

DJax, 34 in November, notched 41 catches for 774 yards and four touchdowns in 2018, his last healthy season. Though that was far from his usual stat line, the legendary deep threat still averaged 18.9 yards per grab that year to lead the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Giants, Board, Thomas, Eagles, Jackson

There was a scary injury in the Giants game Sunday, as New York receiver C.J. Board went down with a neck injury that required him to be immobilized and carted off the field. Fortunately, it looks like the worst case scenario was avoided. The team announced that Board had been diagnosed with a neck sprain and concussion after being taken to a local hospital. Giants coach Joe Judge said after the game that the initial feedback he had gotten from doctors was “pretty positive.”

He also said Board was responsive and has movement in his extremities. A 2017 UDFA, Board is in his first season with the Giants. The Chattanooga product has seven catches for 66 yards on the year. Here’s to hoping he makes a swift and full recovery.

Now for more from the struggling NFC East:

  • The Giants didn’t start first-round rookie Andrew Thomas at left tackle on Sunday, but it wasn’t because of his performance even though he hasn’t been playing as well as the other first-round tackles. Thomas was benched for disciplinary reasons after breaking a team rule, Judge said after the game. Judge wouldn’t go into too many details, but he didn’t make it sound too serious. Thomas entered the game in the second quarter and while this doesn’t seem like a huge deal, it’s also not a great sign for the fourth overall pick’s development.
  • The Giants will play the Eagles on Thursday Night Football this week, and Philly is finally starting to get healthier. DeSean Jackson is expected to make his return from his hamstring injury for this Week 7 game, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Jackson has missed the last three games as the Eagles’ offense has been besieged by injuries. Philly’s group of pass-catchers in particular have been banged up, and Jackson will return a much-needed vertical threat to the passing attack. Through two and a half games he had ten catches for 121 yards before going down.

Eagles Fine DeSean Jackson

The Eagles announced discipline for DeSean Jackson on Friday. The team will fine the veteran wide receiver for his recent anti-Semitic comments.

Days after a report surfaced the Eagles were considering releasing Jackson, he remains on Philadelphia’s roster. The team will move forward with its 33-year-old wideout, who would be an expensive cut.

It would cost the Eagles $12MM-plus in dead money to release Jackson, and no cap savings would emerge from such a move. Jackson has apologized for the comments and engaged in extensive discussions with Eagles brass. This will be the deep threat’s second season back with the team. The Eagles reacquired him from the Buccaneers last March.

Jackson has also drawn criticism in the past for sharing controversial material. The Eagles have now released two statements regarding the receiver’s conduct this week. This one indicated Jackson would have to “commit to supporting his words with actions” in order to remain on the team. So, Jackson’s image-repair effort will continue.

Jackson missed most of last season, suffering an injury in September and undergoing surgery after a late-season aggravation.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles Looking Into Cutting DeSean Jackson?

Yesterday, in response to DeSean Jackson‘s anti-Semitic social media post — for which Jackson subsequently apologized — the Eagles issued a statement that said the team “will take appropriate action.” It remains to be seen whether that action includes cutting ties with the veteran wideout, but that certainly seems to be in the cards.

The ESPN.com report we cited in yesterday’s story noted that Jackson had met with team owner Jeffrey Lurie and GM Howie Roseman — both Jewish — and that while Lurie expressed deep disappointment in Jackson’s post, no suspension or termination had been discussed. Indeed, Jackson reportedly expressed to Lurie his desire to educate himself and work in the Jewish community.

However, NFL insider Adam Caplan says that team brass has met with Jackson and his agent several times, and that the situation is not going away (Twitter link). Per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter), Philadelphia’s decision as to Jackson’s future with the team could hinge on whether his social media post constitutes a default of his contract. The Eagles have already paid a $2MM option bonus, and $4.8MM of Jackson’s 2020 salary is guaranteed. Schefter says the team could try to void that guarantee.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk obtained a copy of the contract, and he believes it would be difficult for the Eagles to get out of paying Jackson his guaranteed money. They could void the guarantee if Jackson were suspended by the league, but the league has made it clear that this matter will be handled by the team. And if Philadelphia tries to suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, it would be facing an uphill battle since it did not suspend former receiver Riley Cooper when he was caught on camera using a racial slur in 2013. But Florio also believes a team source has told Schefter that, if the Eagles can release Jackson and absolve themselves of their $4.8MM obligation, they will.

As he awaits word of his fate and tries to repair his image, Jackson took to Twitter to post another apology.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.