DeSean Jackson Doesn’t Rule Out Returning To The Eagles
As the Eagles prepare to face DeSean Jackson and the Washington Redskins this weekend, one can’t help but look beyond this year and notice the former Philadelphia wide receiver is a free agent after this season. In a Wednesday conference call, Jackson did not rule out the possibility of returning to the Eagles.
“We still got 11 games here,” Jackson started. “Being in a contract year, next year I’ll be a free agent, you never know how things will turn out. But I mean, you know, whatever the calling is, whatever God’s calling is, I definitely think I’ll be blessed to be wherever it is. Hopefully it’ll still be here in Washington and I’ll not have to really worry about that.”
“You never know how this industry, how this business turns out. Keep your options open, play it smart, do what you need to do to keep a job in the NFL. So I think I’m doing that, I think I’m still playing at a high level, still running by guys, still fast and haven’t lost a step, so I still see myself playing another five, hopefully seven years in this game.”
Jackson, who was unceremoniously cut by the Eagles in 2014 following a career season, says he harbors no hard feelings against his former team. The same can’t be said for Jackson’s feelings about Chip Kelly, who was head coach at the time of Jackson’s release.
“I never really had hard feelings towards Philadelphia,” said Jackson. “As far as being released by whoever released me, that’s different. But I guess he’s not there no more (laughs). So there’s never really been hard feelings towards the city or the team or organization. But like I said, things happen and we move on. I’m blessed to still have an opportunity to be playing at a high level and having a job and still playing at a high level. So never no hard feelings.”
It’s safe to say Jackson likes the Eagles’ new head coach, Doug Pederson, a lot more than the old one. Jackson and Pederson overlapped in Philadelphia from 2009-12. The wide receiver remembers him fondly.
“I’m happy to see Doug there, man,” said Jackson. “I respect him when he was there with Coach [Andy] Reid. I congratulate him on getting the job I think he deserves. He’s done some good things when he left and went to Kansas City, and now he’s back in Philadelphia. So I definitely have a respect for Doug. A good relationship with him as well, too, so it’ll be good to see him when we play Sunday.”
The praise for the Eagles didn’t stop there. Jackson also said he’s liked what he’s seen out of Philadelphia rookie standout quarterback Carson Wentz.
“It’s very impressive,” said Jackson. “I definitely have [watched him]. Saw him a couple games, obviously the Eagles [are] still televised on Thursday nights or Monday nights when we’re not playing at the same time. Checked him out, very impressive. He’s doing a great job as far as being a rookie. Just exciting to see a young guy come in and do some great things. I definitely saw him and I think he’s doing a good job.”
Jackson said he still thinks about his days in Philadelphia. He said regularly talks with former teammate LeSean McCoy, now with the Buffalo Bills, about what could have been if they were able to stick together on the Eagles.
“Everyday,” said Jackson with a laugh. “[McCoy] sent me a message this morning saying ‘Man, we was awesome together.’ I was like ‘Yeah, man, I miss playing with you.’ But we gotta live on, move on. We definitely do [still talk]. He actually sent me a picture this morning when he scored a touchdown and we were both in Philadelphia. It’s like ‘man, we miss them days.’”
“But you gotta live on, move on. It’s unfortunate that things broke up the way they did, but I think everybody’s still happy and still doing what they need to do.”
There’s little question the Eagles could use a player of Jackson’s talent. Philadelphia has sorely lacked a viable deep threat ever since his release (aside from Jeremy Maclin in 2014) and Jackson is one of the top speedsters in the game. The Eagles sorely need to upgrade their lackluster wide receiving corps.
Though Jackson might not have hard feelings toward the Eagles, it remains to be seen how the organization feels about him. The team was reportedly concerned by alleged gang ties two years ago. Kelly is gone, so things might be different now, but his release is ultimately a move that owner Jeffrey Lurie gave the green light on.
Whether or not Jackson returns to the Eagles won’t be on the team’s mind this week. Rather, Philadelphia will be tasked with defending Jackson. He has the second most receiving yards of any Washington player with 278.
“He’s still fast [and] he can run,” said Pederson. “That’s the thing you see on film. And just throw on his highlight reel and you’re going to see the exact same receiver that we had here. He and the complement of Jordan Reed and [Pierre] Garçon and these guys have opened up things for them offensively. But DeSean is definitely a deep threat and someone you’ve got to watch out for.”