The crazy saga of DeSean Jackson took a weird twist today as the outspoken wide receiver was released by the Eagles, amidst reports he has gang ties, didn’t fit in the locker room, had a poor work ethic and was a general distraction to the football team. It’s rare to see a player with Jackson’s ability simply let go in their prime with a team getting nothing back in return. After all, he posted 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in a career season last year. However, the Eagles reportedly were so concerned about Jackson’s possible ties with gang activity and so fed up with his antics that they didn’t want to unload his problems on another team. You have to be careful what you believe, but the fact the Eagles got nothing for a Pro Bowl caliber receiver tells you quite a bit about his perception in league circles.
The move creates a ripple effect in dynasty leagues, so let’s investigate.
DeSean Jackson, WR FA
Jackson’s value is in total flux right now. On the good side, there are teams lining up already for his services. Unfortunately, his landing spot is unlikely to be as fruitful as it was in Philadelphia. Owners are going to need to take a wait and see approach on this and hope he lands in a good spot. The rumors of a reunion with Kansas City Head Coach Andy Reid and the thought of being paired with pop gun-armed Alex Smith is making any dynasty owner cringe at the moment.
There’s really not much more to say about the value of Jackson at the moment because we know everything we need to know – he’s an extremely talented player who has some maturity issues and no place to call home. If he can find a team with a solid coaching staff and make some better choices in his personal life, there’s a chance he could rise back up. If he can’t, we’re looking at a much younger distraction in the mold of Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens.
Dynasty owners of Jackson have to hold on tight and cross their fingers. You can’t trade him at the moment because you’ll get virtually nothing in return. Successful dynasty league owners are not ones for knee jerk reactions. Don’t go nuts here and stay patient.
Riley Cooper, WR PHI
It sure looks like Cooper is going to have a chance to earn his contract this season. With Jackson out of the mix, he and Jeremy Maclin look to be the starters for the Eagles this year. It remains to be seen if he can repeat his monster season, but he’ll get his chance.
Jeremy Maclin, WR PHI
The Eagles are going to really need him to show up healthy as he could very well lead the team in targets. His value jumps up a tick, but he’s on a one-year prove it deal anyway. Simply put, this is a pivotal year for Maclin and his dynasty value. The loss of Jackson just magnifies it.
LeSean McCoy, RB PHI
It’s possible the loss of Jackson allows defenses to focus more on McCoy, but I have my doubts anything really changes for him. A player like McCoy is going to get his touches no matter what.
Darren Sproles, RB PHI
Sproles could actually be the winner in this transaction as he does a lot of the same things Jackson does on short screen passes. He’s certainly no deep threat, but Jackson’s targets need to go somewhere and the combination of McCoy and Sproles look to get some of them. This could actually work in his favor.
Damaris Johnson, WR PHI
If there’s a sleeper wide receiver on the roster to keep an eye on, it’s probably Johnson. Track the moves of the Eagles closely. If they fail to add another receiver via free agency or the draft, Johnson could now have some sneaky dynasty value.
Nick Foles, QB PHI
The dream off-season for Foles comes to a screeching halt, but this is no time to panic. With all the players we’ve mentioned, along with tight end Zach Ertz in tow, Foles should still be poised to have a good season. This is in no way a crushing death blow to his value. Chip Kelly knows how to get his players in a position for success and he’ll do it with Foles.
The 2014 NFL Draft
Keep an eye on the Eagles in the draft now. Cooper and Maclin are both nice receivers, but Maclin is on a short deal and we still don’t know if Cooper’s season was a fluke. If the Eagles add Odell Beckham Jr. or Brandin Cooks, this would be a prime landing spot.