Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles.
Kevin Seifert of ESPN.com examines the potential explanation for DeSean Jackson’s release:
So what happened between Jackson and the Eagles? You might feel compelled to blame Kelly for arrogance bordering on hubris. You might think he is so enamored of his system that he doesn’t think he needs a DeSean Jackson to make it work. That’s a tough sell for me.
Kelly’s offense worked at Oregon largely because his players, some of whom had poor character backgrounds as well, were faster than everyone else. If he truly believes that scheme is the key to winning in the NFL — and not the talent of his players — then he won’t be with the Eagles much longer.
Jarrett Bell of USA Today takes a look at the Jackson situation:
But with the Eagles’ heightened level of concern comes the question of profiling.
Jackson, 27, has largely avoided legal issues throughout his career, and there is no record that he’s been involved in any sort of violent crime. That published insinuations about links to gangs is the last straw seems like a rush to dump a player without due process — unless something else is revealed.
Don Banks of SI.com offers his take:
But this much seems clear in retrospect: Kelly wasn’t sold on Jackson as a person, and reportedly had issues with how he approached his job as a player. The rumblings were that Kelly was never comfortable with Jackson’s act and didn’t believe his attitude, accountability and commitment level matched those of his fellow Eagles. Maybe it was a case of Jackson not fully buying into Kelly’s program, or Kelly not wanting to give the perception of cultivating a star system on his roster. Either way, a tipping point was resoundingly reached, and Jackson went from being considered an asset to a liability seemingly overnight. But perhaps it was only sudden from the outside looking in, and had been heading to this point ever since Kelly arrived in Philly in early 2013.
An interesting story from CSN Bay Area about Jackson walking with gangsters at San Quentin:
I don’t know if Jackson is a gang member or has gang affiliations, but I know he grew up surrounded by the culture. He also knows it is, figuratively and often literally, a dead end.
See, I’ve been to prison with DeSean. I’ve seen him walk the yard as if it were his old neighborhood, shaking hands and embracing inmates and engaging them in animated conversation. I was just a few feet away.
Doug Farrar of SI.com suggests the Cleveland Browns as a potential suitor for Jackson:
In our Mock GM post published Thursday, Chris Burke and I hypothesized that a trade from the Eagles to the Browns might be best for all involved when it came to Jackson’s future. Cleveland has more salary cap space than any other team in the league, so no matter what Jackson can get on the open market, the Browns can top it if they so choose. In addition, the need for a second receiver to pair with Josh Gordon is obvious, and Jackson would be a perfect fit with his ability to dominate man coverage at multiple levels. There’s no indication that such a move has been discussed beyond the cursory interest level, but it makes a lot of sense in a lot of ways.
Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com suggests the Raiders as a potential landing spot:
At 27, Jackson would be much younger than most of the free agents that general manager Reggie McKenzie has signed this offseason. The Raiders need explosive playmakers and have salary cap room to burn. Jackson went to nearby Cal. Most importantly, Oakland is the team most likely to give the type of contract Jackson will desire.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com gives the Eagles a B for their work in free agency (this was before Jackson’s release):
The Eagles went into free agency without many objectives after re-signing left tackle Jason Peters, center Jason Kelce, and receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. They will go into the draft with relatively few needs after re-signing Allen and adding Jenkins from New Orleans.
“I was praising them before free agency even opened,” Williamson said. “They kept their own, including a bunch of guys familiar with that offense now. I don’t like Jenkins that much, but safety was their biggest need and it is filled now. They are set up to take the best defensive player available throughout the entire draft. That is how I look at it.”
Redskins CB DeAngelo Hall would welcome the addition of Jackson:
DHall on possibility of landing DeSean Jackson: “If we could add a piece like that … if we could pull that off, it would make my year.”
— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 29, 2014