Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles and DeSean Jackson.
According to multiple reports, Jackson is done meeting with officials at the Redskins’ facility. Finalizing a deal could be next:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 1, 2014
As Tim reported this morning, Washington is still the heavy favorite to land Jackson.
Gregg Doyel of CBSSports.com writes that it shouldn't be difficult for Jackson to prove the Eagles wrong:
What has happened to Jackson has to have been hard -- to have your name dragged through the mud and even blood of gang-related murder -- and then to have been dumped in return for absolutely nothing.
But what happens next ought to be simple. Sign somewhere. Show up when everyone else shows up. Work as hard as everyone else works. Go home. Stay out of trouble. Wake up the next day and do it again. And again. And again. Sticking it to the Eagles ought to be the easiest thing DeSean Jackson has ever done.
Mike Tanier of Sports On Earth offers his take:
Law enforcement experts know a lot about gangs. The law enforcement expert who provided the meat of last Friday’s NJ.com story said that there is no evidence that Jackson is in a gang. It is right there in paragraph 25 – paragraph 25! – after the detective in question talks about all of the people Jackson is connected to who are connected to murders.
Connections to connections: are we linking DeSean Jackson to the Crips or Kevin Bacon? When the primary police source for a story tells you he has no hard evidence, you are either dealing with a bad cop or a bad story. Given a choice to cast aspersions at a peace officer or some sensationalism-minded colleagues, I pick whoever buries “no hard evidence” in paragraph 25 of an article about a person’s gang connections. And I would be harder on the crew at NJ.com if I thought most people talking about Jackson this weekend had bothered to read their story.
Louis Riddick of ESPN.com says interested teams need to have a plan for Jackson:
Obviously there's no secret about DeSean [and his issues] and I'm not talking about the gang nonsense. I don't know anything about that. But I've seen what happens when you just look at the player and how you'll use him on the field and then think about his off-field [behavior], 'We'll just figure it out.' It's such a recipe for disaster I can't begin to tell you how ridiculous that is. You can't do that here. You have to make sure you know what you're doing."
Excellent All-22 breakdown here from Matt Bowen of Bleacher Report:
Looking at Jackson's overall skill set, I do believe his speed, route-running and matchup ability will continue to impact defensive game plans next season.
Even though the Eagles did generate specific matchups for Jackson to exploit, from my perspective as a former NFL defensive back, there is no substitute for big-play ability. That impacts how you prepare, play and adjust on Sundays versus a receiver such as Jackson, who can flip the field on multiple route schemes.
Bill Barnwell of Grantland has questions and answers on Jackson:
Is that really new behavior from Jackson, though? Has he really acted any differently than he has in the past? That sort of attitude has been the book on Jackson for most of his career, and it didn’t stop the Eagles from re-signing him two years ago, nor did it stop him from making the Pro Bowl this past season. All those adjectives might very well be true, but I’m still waiting to hear a play-by-play guy shout, “The me-first diva hauls in the pass for a touchdown!” Jackson’s never been my favorite player, but he was good enough to overcome whatever personality flaws he had a year ago, which is why you didn’t hear anybody in Philadelphia complaining last season.
Jason Cole of Bleacher Report notes that Jackson received a death threat in 2012:
And those reasons don't include one other. Several sources close to Jackson and the Eagles say he received a death threat in 2012 from a "crackpot fan.'' Unfortunately, those same sources say that such a threat is not unusual. But what is concerning about this one was Jackson's reaction to it.
"It freaked him out,'' a former associate of Jackson's said. "He thought it was gang (related) at first.''