After ongoing speculation for the past several days that the Philadelphia Eagles may have been looking to trade wide receiver DeSean Jackson, things have come to a head as the team announced this afternoon that Jackson will be released.
After careful consideration this offseason, Eagles decide to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) March 28, 2014
The move has come as a surprise to many. The 27-year-old receiver is entering his seventh season in the NFL and is coming off career-highs in both receptions and yards. In 2012, he was re-signed by the Eagles to a five-year extension worth $51 million after having been franchise tagged two weeks before. That season was cut short due fracturing his ribs in Week 12.
Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez of NJ.com offered some insight into what may have led the Eagles to come to this conclusion in an eye-opening expansive look into Jackson's issues off the field.
Yet the Eagles' apparent interest in jettisoning Jackson likely has little to do with his performance on the field or a big-money contract that could squeeze the team's salary cap. Rather, sources close to Jackson and within the Eagles' organization say, it's Jackson's off-field behavior that concerns the front office. A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly are the reasons, sources told NJ.com. And when the Eagles looked more deeply into why Jackson was missing meetings, they found that his friends were becoming a more powerful -- and negative -- influence in his life.
The Browns remain somewhat thin at WR behind the likes of Josh Gordon, of course. Even with the addition of Andrew Hawkins, an exciting slot receiver, there's still no clearly dependable No. 2 target at the position.
Another factor the Browns will soon have to consider is Gordon's own contract extension, which could be a number not unlike what Jackson will land on the open market. If Gordon leads the league in receiving again, the number could approach the going rate for that production, roughly $16 million per year (see: Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald).
Can the Browns afford to chase another big-time WR with possible off-the-field issues?