Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Pursue DeSean Jackson? With full force
By Bill Williamson
Perhaps the San Francisco 49ers' pursuit of an impact veteran wide receiver is not dead this offseason.
The latest name connected to the team is Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson.
Earlier Tuesday, ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reported that the Eagles were not necessarily shopping the dynamic receiver but they would be willing to listen. Later, CSN Philadelphia reported that the 49ers and the Patriots called about Jackson. The report stated that the Eagles would like at least a third-round pick for Jackson, who starred at nearby Cal.
Do I believe the report? You bet.
There's no doubt the 49ers are interested in receivers, and general manager Trent Baalke can be aggressive. They were connected to trade talks last year for receivers such as Josh Gordon and Hakeem Nicks. In recent days, they've been connected to Nicks, Julian Eldelamn (who visited) and Emmanuel Sanders.
Now that I have brought up the idea, do I like it?
Yes. A lot.
The 49ers don't have a lot of needs. However, a speed receiver is at the top of the list along with a cornerback. Jackson would answer half of that problem as much as any receiver the 49ers could get at the No. 30 pick. Jackson, 27, is coming off a huge season with 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.
The addition of Jackson would make the 49ers offense -- and quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- wildly dangerous. A combination of Jackson, Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis would make the 49ers a defensive coordinator's worst nightmare. Add in a promising receiver in Quinton Patton, one of the league's most consistent run games and Kaepernick's dual-threat abilities and the possibilities are limitless.
If the 49ers are going to bypass Super Bowl champion Seattle in the NFC West, it will be because they have improved enough on offense to overtake the Seahawks' defense. This trade could do the trick.
There are obstacles, of course. Jackson has a big price tag, but his contract is not guaranteed so the 49ers can get out of it. That could come into play since they have big-money deals looming with Kaepernick, Crabtree, pass rusher Aldon Smith and guard Mike Iupati.
But there are reasons to think the 49ers could make a Jackson trade work for the short term. Let's face it, the short term is all that really matters right now for a team that has been to three NFC title games and a Super Bowl, and saw their last two seasons end with their offense in the red zone with a chance to win.
The 49ers are in business to win a Super Bowl right now. Adding a player like Jackson for a reasonable compensation package (the 49ers are set to have 11 picks and up to six in the first three rounds) makes perfect sense.