DeSean Jackson’s inconsistent play through the first three weeks of the 2011 season is exactly why his value is so hard to determine. Furthermore, he may be playing with the fear of getting hurt which would ultimately hurt, not help, his chances for a big contract.
After a big game in Week 1, DeSean Jackson has disappeared for the past two games. In the opening game against the Rams, he posted 6 catches for 102 yards and one TD.
In the two games since then, he’s posted a mere four catches for 51 yards and no scores.
I wish I could point to other factors for his disappearing act these past two weeks but the truth is, this is par for the course for him.
Jackson appears to be a feast or famine type of player. He can be electrifying at times and disappears at others. He has stretches of games where he’s making great plays and then the next thing we know, his face shows up on the back of milk cartons.
Consider the trends from his 2010 season:
Weeks 1 – 3: 13 catches for 318 yards and two TDs.
Weeks 4 – 5: Five catches for 43 yards.
Weeks 6 – 10: 10 catches for 241 yards and three TDs. Six rushes for 69 yards and one TD. (Missed one game with concussion plus bye week)
Weeks 11 – 13: 10 catches for 174 yards.
Weeks 14: Four catches for 210 yards and one TD. (The fantastic Dallas game)
Weeks 15 – 16: Five catches for 84 yards.
Playoff Game: Two catches for 47 yards.
Just to add on to this trend, Jackson also goes through long stretches of individual games without being a factor. He tends to make a few plays at the beginning of the game but then he goes missing again.
One key thing with him is that he only had one game last season where he posted more than five catches and had several games where he only had one to three catches.
Granted, some of those catches were for huge plays which is what makes him electrifying.
However, it is these off-and-on, up-and-down type of performances that make his value truly hard to gauge. There’s no question that he’s worth much more than he’s currently being paid, but the question is exactly how much more.
You can see what each side of the negotiating table is going to argue…
Jackson’s side points out his big play-making ability and what he brings to the offense and the Eagles’ side points to his inconsistency and the fact that he doesn’t appear to be a go-to guy.
Both sides have valid points, which is why this situation could very well end up unresolved for quite a while.
Another thing that is not helping Jackson’s case is a recent claim by an unnamed player who thinks that Jackson may be trying to avoid getting hurt. Here’s the statement:
“I can’t lie – it is something I’ve thought about,” the player told Yahoo’s Michael Silver Sunday. “There was a play toward the very end of the game where it looked like he might have short-armed it. And I don’t blame him.”
I can’t say I noticed Jackson doing such a thing but if this is true, you can bet the Eagles’ contract negotiating team took notice.
And just for the record, I disagree with this unnamed player’s opinion of “I don’t blame him.” He may not blame him, but I would!
Players can’t play this game with fear of getting hurt. It leads to missed opportunities and hurts the team’s chances of winning.
Do we really need another Todd, “I lost it in the lights”, Pinkston on the field right now doing his impression of Wally Gator? I don’t think so. This team needs to get its act together and start making plays and DeSean Jackson is an important part of that.
Jackson is a star and he needs to start playing like it. The good news is that, if he continues the aforementioned trends, he is due for a big game again soon.
However, he needs to play more consistently if he wants to bolster his position in contract negotiations. That means not playing scared, making big plays at big times and showing up each and every week.
Will it start in Week 4 against the 49ers?