Coming off of his career-best season, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who recently turned 27 years old, is reportedly on the trading block. But before Eagles fans suggest backward logic from the organization, there are reasons general manager Howie Roseman and head coach Chip Kelly would be willing to part ways with the speedy target.
Carrying a $12.5 million cap charge for 2014 -- and with three years remaining on his current contract -- Jackson is an expensive commodity. Teams are constantly assessing a player's value relative to his contract, even the very best players. And there has been some discussion of behavioral issues with Jackson, an at-times outspoken receiver who was previously deactivated for a game during the 2011 season by then-head coach Andy Reid for missing a special-teams meeting.
Beyond that, Kelly's offensive system -- even in just one season -- showed itself capable of maximizing talent of multiple types of receivers. Riley Cooper was another Philly pass-catcher who experienced a career year, leading the team to give him a five-year contract earlier this offseason. And with fellow vertical target Jeremy Maclin re-signed as well, the Eagles have no shortage of targets for quarterback Nick Foles (including tight ends Brent Celek, Zach Ertz and James Casey, plus running backs Darren Sproles and LeSean McCoy).
A deal may not be imminent, and, perhaps, may not happen at all, but if it does, whichever team Jackson is shipped to will be acquiring perhaps the best sudden-change player in the NFL. Jackson's rare speed and ability to navigate in the open field allows him to flip field position and hit a football home run nearly any time he touches the ball.
The skill set he presents is obviously appealing, so let's size up some potential fits that make sense from a need, schematic and/or salary-cap situation. The following four teams would be wise to try to trade for Jackson.