Tuesday, March 18, 2014
DeSean Jackson and the Patriots
By Mike Reiss
Over the past two days, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter has said that the Philadelphia Eagles aren't necessarily shopping receiver DeSean Jackson, but they'd be open to listening to those interested in acquiring him. ESPN.com national NFL writer Kevin Seifert used those thoughts as a springboard for a piece on a potential divorce between Jackson and the Eagles.
Also on Tuesday, CSNPhilly's Derrick Gunn reported that the Patriots were one team that has made an inquiry to the Eagles about Jackson.
Could this really happen?
That question popped into the Twitter "inbox" multiple times over the past few hours, so here are a few thoughts:
Sounds more like due diligence. The Patriots obviously had a plan to address the receiver position this offseason, as evidenced by bringing back Julian Edelman and signing Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell to a three-year, $9 million deal. They also hosted receivers Lance Moore and Kenny Britt on visits. As part of bolstering the position, it makes sense to think they've explored all possibilities, including trades. They always do. There's exploration and then decisive action, and on the surface, this seems to fall into the exploration category.
Factors to make it happen. The Patriots were willing to give up a third-round pick last year in signing restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders to a one-year offer sheet, so the price of a third-round pick wouldn't likely be a big hurdle to clear in this hypothetical situation. It's more Jackson's salary. If the Eagles truly were inclined to deal Jackson, and the Patriots truly were ready to act on it, I think the trade compensation would be the easy part, and wouldn't be surprised if the Eagles would have interest in Danny Amendola as well if it ever reached the serious stage. Renegotiating Jackson's contract, and slicing it significantly, would be the more significant issue. That puts the scenario more into "longshot" territory from this viewpoint.
Patriots depth chart at receiver. With Edelman, Amendola and LaFell joined by second-year players Aaron Dobson (second round), Josh Boyce (fourth round) and Kenbrell Thompkins (undrafted), the Patriots' receiving corps is fairly well solidified at this point. Obviously, Jackson is the type of player you don't turn away because of that, but the hunch is that the Patriots' big movement at the position is done, unless the stars unexpectedly align in the same way they did with cornerback Darrelle Revis.