When rumors swirled that DeSean Jackson was been available via trade, their was talk that the San Francisco 49ers might have interest in the wide receiver. However, when Jackson was actually released by the Philadelphia Eagles, the Niners appeared to not be a player in the sweepstakes after all.
With Jackson apparently close to making a decision, the likelihood of him ending up in San Francisco is looking less and less like a possibility. But was Jackson just what the 49ers needed?
It’s no secret that San Francisco struggled throwing the ball for long stretches last season. A reason for the lack of production was the fact that they had no real deep threat beyond tight end Vernon Davis. In 2013, Davis led the team with a 16.3 yards per catch average. The only receiver (with more than one catch) who was close to him was Michael Crabtree at 14.9
Jackson has a career yards per catch average of 17.2 and actually averaged over 20 yards a grab (22.5) in 2010. Adding that kind of play maker to an offense that already features Davis, Crabtree and Anquan Boldin would make the 49ers very tough to defend.
So why wouldn’t the 49ers have at least kicked the tires on Jackson?
The first reason could be because of the salary he will command. While it will almost certainly be less than the $10.5 million he would have earned with the Eagles, he will still be paid well in his new deal.
The 49ers are not in that habit of giving big money to players from outside the organization and would prefer to pay their own. If the team were to spend in the neighborhood of $7-8 million per year on a receiver, they might be more inclined to offer that to extend Crabtree.
Jackson has also had some off the field issues that may have given the 49ers pause. Whether the alleged gang ties Jackson reportedly had hold merit or not, he was still said to have work ethic and attitude problems that the Eagles saw as troublesome. All of this adds up to a possible headache that the 49ers may not want to have inflicted on their Super Bowl ready roster.
Finally, the 49ers may have seen Jackson as someone that was not essential to their success because they could have their eyes on a receiver in the upcoming NFL draft. If the team feels they can get an impact wide out then, that player would come at a fraction of the cost and may not have the baggage Jackson would bring with him.
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
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