The Philadelphia Eagles and DeSean Jackson haven't had the smoothest marriage. However, the prospect of the Eagles cutting Jackson, without even getting anything for him in a trade, was unthinkable not that long ago. Yet according to ESPN on March 28, that is the anticlimactic and potentially devastating ending to Jackson's tenure in Philadelphia.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, as well as the Eagles themselves, tweeted that Jackson had been released outright and put into free agency. The Eagles tweeted that they did this "after careful consideration this offseason" -- although most of the breakdown had leaked over the last month.
After surviving a year-long contract dispute in 2011 -- albeit barely -- it seemed like the Eagles and Jackson could survive anything together, regardless of speed bumps. Yet even after the most productive season of his career in 2013, Jackson and Philadelphia finally came apart for good, for one reason or another.
A new contract dispute and his relationship -- or lack thereof -- with Chip Kelly were cited as potential causes for the Eagles shopping him around. The Star-Ledger even alleged on the morning of March 28 that Jackson's "gang connections" along with "A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry" with Kelly were factors in the disputes.
Jackson did write on Instagram on March 25 that "Most of the reports that come out are hilarious," but this outcome is no laughing matter. Now the Eagles have to trust that Jeremy Maclin can be their undisputed No. 1 receiver after missing all of 2013, that Riley Cooper can keep developing, that Darren Sproles will fit in and that Philadelphia can draft or sign other receiving weapons in the months ahead. If not, then Kelly's offense could have a few new holes.
Since no team was willing to trade for Jackson, or give up enough for him, it stands to wonder what the free agent market will look like for him. Money and long deals have been hard to settle on for Jackson in Philadelphia, yet he may have no choice but to settle for less now.
When the New Orleans Saints traded Sproles to the Eagles, they at least got a mid-level draft pick for their dangerous running back/receiver. The Eagles settled on nothing for Jackson after all their years together -- but are they each in for nothing beyond that?