DeSean Jackson

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.

Latest On Eagles’ DeSean Jackson

On Tuesday, DeSean Jackson issued an apology via Instagram for his recent social media post that featured a quote attributed to Adolf Hitler. As detailed by ESPN.com, Jackson has also drawn criticism in the past for sharing controversial material.

Moments after Jackson’s apology, the Eagles released the following statement:

We have spoken with DeSean Jackson about his social media posts. Regardless of his intentions, the messages he shared were offensive, harmful, and absolutely appalling. They have no place in our society, and are not condoned or supported in any way by the organization. We are disappointed and we reiterated to DeSean the importance of not only apologizing, but also using his platform to take action to promote unity, equality, and respect.

We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances and will take appropriate action. We take these matters very seriously and are committed to continuing to have productive and meaningful conversations with DeSean, as well as all of our players and staff, in order to educate, learn and grow.”

The Eagles did not specify what sort of “action” they are considering. If the outcome impacts Jackson’s availability, the Eagles will be left with Alshon Jeffery and rookie Jalen Reagor as their top receivers.

Jackson spent his first six seasons with the Eagles before stops in Washington and Tampa Bay. Last year, the Eagles brought him back via trade and locked him up with a three-year, $27MM deal ($13MM guaranteed). During his first stint in Philly, Jackson made it to three Pro Bowls, including the 2013 season in which he scored nine touchdowns and a career-high 1,332 receiving yards.

So far, the homecoming has not gone according to plan. Jackson underwent core muscle surgery in November, ending his season after just three games. He finished with nine catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Eagles’ DeSean Jackson Could Return In Playoffs

DeSean Jackson is expecting to re-join the Eagles if they advance to the divisional round of the playoffs, a source tells ESPN.com’s Tim McManus (on Twitter). The wide receiver already says he’s feeling good and he’s been flashing his trademark speed in rehab workouts. 

Because the Eagles placed DJax on IR, he wouldn’t be eligible to return from injured reserve until the second round of the postseason. The Birds could certainly use him – Alshon Jeffery is done for the year and Nelson Agholor remains questionable for Week 17 after missing the past three weeks with a knee injury.

Jackson underwent core muscle surgery in November, capping his 2019 season after just three games played. He has just nine catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns on the year.

The Eagles sent the Buccaneers a sixth-round pick for Jackson, a 2008 second-rounder who rose to prominence in Philadelphia. After dominating in his first game back with Philly, Jackson could not shake his abdominal tear. Ultimately, doctors realized that rest wouldn’t cut it, so he had to go under the knife.

Realistically, Jackson is tied to the Eagles through at least 2020 thanks to his new three-year, $27MM deal with the team. He’s on their books through 2021, but the dead-money hit reduces to $5MM-plus after the ’20 season.

The Eagles can punch their ticket to the playoffs with a Week 17 win over the rival Giants. If they lose, they can still reach the playoffs if the Cowboys falter against the Redskins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC East Notes: Dak, D-Jax, Eagles, Giants

After a week of limited practices, two of which involving no throwing, Dak Prescott is no longer on the Cowboys‘ Week 16 injury report. Prescott will make his 63rd straight regular-season start Sunday. He participated in light throwing drills Friday, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com. While Prescott’s status never seemed to be in doubt, his practice routine this week was notable. The former offensive rookie of the year had never previously been designated as limited during his four-year career.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting first to the other team in Sunday’s marquee game.

  • Should the Eagles pull off the upset Sunday and then defeat the Giants in their regular-season finale, they would make the playoffs. If that happens, DeSean Jackson offered a glimmer of hope he could return from IR. Weeks after undergoing groin surgery, the 33-year-old wide receiver shared a workout video of him featuring sprints and agility drills (Instagram link). If Jackson does not experience any setbacks, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio tweets he is on target to play once eligible. However, Jackson not being eligible until the divisional round may make this a moot point for the 7-7 Eagles. Philadelphia has Jackson and Alshon Jeffery on IR, and Nelson Agholor may be on the wrong end of questionable after not practicing all week.
  • Said upset will be a bit more difficult without Lane Johnson, who will miss a second straight game because of the high ankle sprain he suffered in Week 14. The Eagles declared their All-Pro right tackle out against the Cowboys. Johnson has missed two games this season, the first due to a concussion. Halapoulivaati Vaitai will draw the start.
  • Golden Tate‘s 2020 salary was to be guaranteed, but because of the PED suspension the Giants wideout received, he now could be a cut candidate. The 31-year-old receiver, whose $7.98MM base salary next year is no longer guaranteed, addressed this prospect this week. “There’s not 100% certainty in really anything,” Tate said, via the New York Post’s Ryan Dunleavy. “I definitely hope and plan to be here. I think I’ve proven to be a solid leader for our locker room. I feel like I’ve been productive, and I haven’t shown a decline. But I don’t know what people upstairs think.” Rookie fifth-rounder Darius Slayton‘s emergence will likely play a role in the team’s decision. Slayton, Sterling Shepard and Tate are all signed through at least the 2022 season.

Eagles Notes: Johnson, Ajayi, Mills

Let’s take a quick look at a few items from the City of Brotherly Love:

  • Eagles starting RT Lane Johnson is in the concussion protocol, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson suffered a head injury during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots, and while he tried to play through it, the injury worsened and he was ultimately forced to exit (Twitter link via McLane).
  • The Eagles can ill afford to lose Johnson, arguably the best right tackle in football, as they fight for the NFC East title. But if they are without Johnson for any period of time, they could turn to rookie Andre Dillard rather than veteran Halapoulivaati Vaitai, as McLane tweets.
  • Jay Ajayi finally found an NFL home for 2019 when he signed with the Eagles on Friday. Interestingly, the deal includes a right of first refusal for 2020, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. So if it wants, Philadelphia can match any offer Ajayi receives on the open market, which could be significant if the team lets Jordan Howard walk in free agency.
  • Cornerback Jalen Mills is eligible for free agency this offseason, and while he is not perfect, he has been very good since returning from injury in Week 7, and McLane says Mills may be playing his way into a second contract with the Eagles (Twitter link).
  • Eliot Shorr-Parks of 94WIP.com believes the Eagles need to completely overhaul their WR corps this offseason, and he offers a few names the club could target in free agency and the draft. He also says the Eagles could find a trade partner for Alshon Jeffery and/or DeSean Jackson, though obviously the returns on either player would be minimal.

NFC East Rumors: DJax, Cowboys, Peters

Here’s a look at the NFC East:

  • The Eagles have yet another medical controversy on their hands with the DeSean Jackson situation, as Les Bowen of the Inquirer writes. The Eagles allowed Jackson to try to heal his core muscle tear through rest and rehab, but medical sources say it’s rare for an explosive athlete like Jackson to be able to function effectively without surgery.
  • On Wednesday, Cowboys defensive lineman Daniel Ross was arrested on Possession of Marijuana and Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon charges, according to Calvin Watkins of the Dallas News (on Twitter). Ross, 26, appeared in 13 games for the Cowboys last year but has been on IR this season due to a shoulder injury.
  • Jason Peters will regain his left tackle job once he’s healthy and back in the regular lineup, head coach Doug Pederson says (via E.J. Smith of The Inquirer). The 37-year-old has missed three straight games with a knee injury, but ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 9 tackle this year.

DeSean Jackson To Undergo Surgery

UPDATE, 3:39pm, 11/5/19: The Eagles ended up placing Jackson on injured reserve, the team announced on Twitter. The receiver could potentially return for a playoff run, although it seems more likely that his season is over. He’ll likely end the 2019 campaign having appeared in just one full game plus a couple of snaps last week.

2:40pm, 11/4/19: Following a two-touchdown Week 1, DeSean Jackson has seen an injury define his 2019 season. The premier deep threat’s rebound opportunity will have to wait, and such a chance may not happen at all this year.

Jackson will undergo core muscle surgery Tuesday in Philadelphia, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Jackson returned to action after six missed games Sunday but aggravated the abdominal injury that has plagued him for weeks.

While it’s certainly not a lock Jackson will play again this season, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) this surgery is expected to sideline him for at least six weeks. That would put a possible late-regular-season return, or a playoff cameo should the Eagles get that far, in play. Still, this is a blow for an Eagles passing game that peaked in Week 1 with Jackson healthy.

The Eagles sent the Buccaneers a sixth-round pick for Jackson, a 2008 second-rounder who rose to prominence in Philadelphia. After dominating in his first game back with Philly, Jackson could not shake this injury he suffered in Atlanta. While the team initially decided to treat this injury with rehab, the parties opted for surgery after the aggravation.

Jackson had one season remaining on his Bucs contract at the time of the trade, but he and the Eagles agreed on a three-year, $27MM deal shortly after. Realistically, Jackson is tied to the Eagles through at least 2020. He’s on their books through 2021, but the dead-money hit reduces to $5MM-plus after the ’20 season.

Philadelphia has struggled to generate consistent play from its receivers. Jackson replacement Mack Hollins and Nelson Agholor have contributed little to the cause in weeks, with Alshon Jeffery averaging just 10.8 yards per reception.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

East Notes: Eagles, Haskins, Jets, Giants

With the Giants both buying and hoping to sell at this year’s deadline, after making their first trade with the Jets, here’s the latest from the NFC East with barely 24 hours remaining for 2019 trade talks:

  • Now that the Eagles are back at .500, they are considering being buyers before Tuesday afternoon’s trade deadline. After their double-digit win in Buffalo, the Eagles could be in play for “something fun” before this year’s deadline, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. The Eagles have been linked to cornerbacks, being the Jalen Ramsey silver medalists, and may be in need at wide receiver. Although, Doug Pederson said DeSean Jackson is expected to practice this week.
  • Adrian Peterson may or may not have directly addressed Dwayne Haskins‘ performance issues with the rookie quarterback, with Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reporting the veteran Redskins running back told Haskins after Thursday night’s loss to study the playbook more thoroughly (video link). While not denying he went to Haskins directly, Peterson addressed the matter on Twitter by saying he believes in the first-round prospect. In two relief appearances, Haskins has thrown no touchdown passes and four interceptions this season.
  • The conditional 2021 fifth-rounder the Giants dealt to the Jets for Leonard Williams would become a fourth-rounder if the G-Men extend Williams before free agency, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. While the Giants may have a wink-wink agreement in place with Williams, in order to sign him after the start of the 2020 league year to preserve that fourth-round pick, that’s far from certain — especially for a player who has struggled in recent years.
  • While the Giants acquired Williams, they are also looking unload Janoris Jenkins and Alec Ogletree.

Injury Updates: Packers, Adams, Cardinals

No surprise here, but Davante Adams will miss another game this week, per the Packers‘ final injury report. This marks the wide receiver’s third-straight missed contest as he rehabs from a toe ailment.

Adams had a strong start to the season with 25 receptions for 378 yards before going down and seemed on his way to matching last year’s 111/1,386 posting. The Packers were able to get past the Lions without him and they’ll aim to do the same against the Raiders.

Here’s the latest on other bumps and bruises from around the NFL:

  • Uh oh – Cardinals running back David Johnson is dealing with a new injury. After tweaking his back against Atlanta, Johnson will be a game time decision thanks to a sore ankle, head coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters.
  • The Cowboys will have offensive tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins, wide receivers Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, and cornerback Byron Jones are set to play on Sunday against the Eagles, as Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. All five are listed as questionable for the game, but they took the practice field and Friday and should be good to go.
  • The Eagles, on the other hand, will try to fly without: linebacker Nigel Bradham (ankle), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (abdomen), defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan (foot), cornerback Avonte Maddox (concussion/neck), tackle Jason Peters (knee), and running back Darren Sproles (quadricep).
  • Wide receiver Kenny Stills is set to return on Sunday against the Colts, per the club’s injury report.