It is rare that a player in his prime who has is under contract is released and the reason is not a criminal case. DeSean Jackson found himself in that situation last week. The Philadelphia Eagles released the former Cal Bears star and now he is free to choose his next team.
There have been several reports that he is connected to gang activity. Nj.com reported that the Eagles were uncomfortable with Jackson connections to possible murder suspects. It appears clear that Jackson may know people who may or may not be affiliated with a gang, however, jumping to the conclusion that he is or has been involved in anything illegal would be ill-advised.
Jackson now controls how his story will be written. He can go for the money or he can go and try to win a championship.
Here are the top five destinations for DeSean Jackson:
The Lions don’t have a ton of cap room. They had $10 million when free agency started. Low cap room does not mean a deal couldn’t be done. Joe Flacco signed a huge deal last season but his cap number was just over $6 million.
If the Lions found a way to add Jackson, it would make them the most feared receiving core in the NFL. If Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate got on board with this, the Lions should compete with the Broncos for the most prolific offense in the NFL next season.
Going to Washington makes sense because Jackson would get the advantage of playing his old team twice a year. Partnering Jackson with Pierre Garcon would make a nice tandem for Robert Griffin III to throw to.
This is the kind of move Washington has been known for in the past but the player has rarely been in his prime. They signed Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, and traded for Donovan McNabb on the backsides of their careers. Jackson would be in his prime, his best years are still ahead of him.
If Jackson wants to get paid like a top receiver then the Raiders are the team he needs to talk to. The Raiders still have a ton of cap room and Jackson fits a need.
The Raiders had been rumored to be thinking about selecting Sammy Watkins in the draft and while he would be cheaper, he is an unknown commodity on the NFL level. Signing Jackson would allow the Raiders options with that No. 5 pick in May’s draft.
Veteran saftey Charles Woodson thinks he would make a great addition. “Bring him in. I think he would look good in the Silver and Black,” Woodson told KGMZ-FM last week,per ESPN.com. “Of course I know the business side of it, but I’ve watched this guy and what he is, is a dynamic football player.”
New York Jets:
The Jets still have need at the wide receiver position. Jackson knows Marty Mornhinweg’s offense. He has an on field rapport with Michael Vick. They could pay him a handsome salary as well. The Jets need the offense to play at the same high level as the defense and this would be a step in that direction.
San Francisco 49ers:
If Jackson would have been available at the opening of free agency the 49ers would been the No.1 team seeking his services. The team has sense resigned Anquan Boldin and is still in the process of working out an extension for Colin Kaepernick.
Michael Crabtree will be another year removed from surgery and Boldin still gets tough yards but the team does not have a guy to blow the top off coverage. Jackson is that guy. The 49ers need their version of the Seattle Seahawks Percy Harvin. If they were to sign Jackson, he could be the difference in the two team’s rivalry.