The Sports Daily > Redskins Hog Heaven
DeSean Jackson and the Eagles: How did it come to this?

It’s April 1 and there are a ton of fairy tales about precisely why DeSean Jackson is a free agent today. Hog Heaven turned to one of its most trusted blogging friends for some sanity on why DJax is on the street now.

Tom Jackson of Eagle Eye blog offers an insightful take.

“It appears that Chip Kelly is jettisoning all the big-money contracts of Eagles players left over from the Andy Reid era— once the guaranteed portions of the contracts expire.

“Simple as that, really. It’s a Bill Belichick plug’n’play concept…nobody is going to be bigger than The System.
“DeSean wanted to redo his current contract for much more guaranteed money over the next two years…and made public comments about it.  Kelly and G.M. Howie Roseman responded by putting Djax on the trading block. There were no takers willing to assume his scheduled $10.5 million contract—so the Eagles released him.
“It’s a tough business these days in the NFL—  getting harder for most players to get guaranteed money beyond a 1-year deal.
“Of course, DeSean didn’t help his value with his occasional spats with position coaches over the years or his distaste for downfield blocking. As for his reported association with SoCal gang activity? I think that stuff is overblown and largely fictional speculation. He has an interest in the music biz and hangs out with Jay-Z…no big deal.
“As for pure football ability, he’s still got the NFL’s fastest breakaway speed in the open field and great hands.  The Eagles will miss his big plays. He’s only 27. But to Chip Kelly, he is not a good fit for the “System”— well, at least not at $10.5 million guaranteed.”
So simple as that? Cap casualty?
We know that Jackson is a little twerp diva (or is it a diva twerp?). That seems somehow to go with wide receivers more than any other position in football. The Eagles may have been concerned by his apparent gangsta wannabe affectations.
When in the same situation, the Patriots saw something in Aaron Hernandez. But Hernandez was not affiliated with a gang and had no criminal record. Like Hernandez, something changed in Jackson, I hear, when he lost his father. For all the money involved, the Eagles got cold feet. That may not be any fault of Jackson’s.
Study Chip Kelly’s bio and you find that he made a big impression from small venues. Before the Oregon Ducks, he earned his coaching chops at Columbia, Johns Hopkins and New Hampshire. There’s nothing wrong with non-BCS experience, but how well does that prepare you to cope with the number of players with a deeply inculcated urban mindset? Or to put it nicely, white bread vs. hot chocolate.
If the Redskins can sign Jackson, they should sign him and then hope Jay Gruden can cope with him better than Jon Gruden coped with Keyshawn Johnson.