With reports coming out in machine gun fashion on a daily basis, Eagles fans just want a resolution to the DeSean Jackson fiasco already. It’s been drama overload lately and the masses just want a decision and be able to move on.
So, when will a resolution come? One would think relatively soon, based on the high visibility of the situation. Most of the time, teams don’t like having public questions like this looming for very long.
Initially, I thought a decision would likely come before Chip Kelly has to face the media on Wednesday during the owners’ meetings this week. I mean, does he really want to have to answer the barrage of questions about this subject before a conclusion has been drawn?
It would be easier to answer questions after the fact about why a move was made rather than answering questions about what is going on and what will happen, etc.
However, maybe Kelly is prepared to do some serious tap dancing during his media session and will find a way to address the issue without really addressing the issue. Kelly is as good of a talker as he is a coach.
I read this article today by Paul Domowitch where he points out that releasing Jackson now would make no sense. Of course, that is in response to the various reports out there saying that he could be released if they can’t trade him.
The notion of just cutting Jackson seems absurd on the surface. At the minimum, the Eagles should be able to find a way to get some kind of trade value out of him. Especially if they want to add to their measly collection of picks in a draft that is loaded with talent.
If the Eagles just flat out released him any time in the near future, can you imagine what the initial public perception will be? The team would be blasted up one side and down the other.
If that happened, I will be waiting for some sort of earth shattering news about Jackson that we don’t know about yet. A serious explanation would be needed in order to escape public persecution for simply cutting their star receiver after the most productive season in his career.
Hopefully that won’t happen, or at least not yet. The main point I wonder about from Domowitch is regarding the idea that Jackson and the Eagles could end up playing hardball with each other.
Trading Jackson would be much easier if he was willing to restructure his contract. But, as one of the rapid-fire reports that have come out, apparently he’s not willing to. And that’s the only leverage that Jackson has in this situation to “stick it” to the Eagles.
By not restructuring, Jackson could be trying to force the Eagles to release him outright so that he becomes a free agent. From a player’s point of view, being able to shop your services and control your own destiny is far more appealing than being traded.
But, as Domowitch also points out, the Eagles could play some hardball of their own by simply keeping him on the roster until the summer. The market for his services would theoretically be more robust (and lucrative) before the draft and June 1st cuts rather than afterwards when many teams have addressed their needs for a wide receiver.
At this point, nobody really knows what is going on between Jackson and the Eagles. It would seem that the Eagles clearly don’t want him going forward and that Jackson may be responding to that in somewhat of an immature way by posting Instagram pics of him with the likes of Cam Newton, Pete Carroll, and Michael Vick.
Those three are with teams that were linked to the Eagles as trade partners at least at one point in time. So, in essence, one could take that as Jackson “mocking” the situation and stirring the pot.
Much has been made of the lack of communication between Jackson and Eagles on this matter. Even though players know that the NFL is a business, they still feel disrespected if their name is being thrown around in trade rumors and the team never reassures them one way or another.
If a team makes a decision and wants to move on from a certain player who is under contract, and that player is a valuable commodity, the mature and professional thing to do would be for the two sides is to sit down and discuss the situation and agree on a plan of action.
There is a way in these situations that Jackson could have input on where he goes, as long as he’d be willing to restructure his contract. The Eagles and Jackson’s agent could essentially shop around with mutually interested teams and ultimately take the best deal.
In a way, that is very similar to being a free agent and both the team and the player get what they want.
However, a lack of communication could be at the root of any possible tension between the two sides. If so, we could see this issue drag out until at least the draft in May or possibly beyond.
Both sides have reasons to stand firm for as long as possible.
For Jackson, it’s wanting to become a true free agent, even if that means waiting until the summer. For the Eagles, it’s wanting to get some kind of compensation for him via a trade.
Which side will blink first?