Tag Archives: Howie Roseman

The Other Guys The Eagles Drafted

7 May

Sure, Carson Wentz got a lot of the attention as the Philadelphia Eagles first round draft pick. But the team picked up a few other pieces in the 2016 NFL Draft.

By Chris Murray

For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Wendell Smallwood

Can Wendell Small be the next great running back for the Eagles. Photo by wvusports.com

The 2016 NFL Draft will obviously be remembered for the Philadelphia Eagles wheeling and dealing into the No. 2 spot to get quarterback Carson Wentz, the man they hope will be the Birds next franchise quarterback.

But I thought that there were a few more things that the Eagles needed to do in the draft on the offensive side of the ball in addition to getting a new number one quarterback.

I think they addressed the things that they needed. The only problem is, we won’t really know for quite some time how good the pieces they picked up in the draft will be.

That said, I thought the Eagles did a good job of adding some depth on their offensive line and finding a running back that would fit head coach Doug Pederson’s scheme.

Perhaps the most intriguing Eagles draft  pick in is former West Virginia running back Wendell Smallwood (5-11, 208).  When you look at what he did at the collegiate level, Smallwood, a back similar to the Kansas City Chiefs Jamaal Charles is an ideal fit for Pederson’s version of the West Coast offense.

In 2015, Smallwood led the Big 12 in rushing, gaining 1,512 yards and scoring nine touchdowns. He averaged 6.4 yard per carry and ran a 4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Smallwood also caught 26 passes for 160 yards and has experience as a pass blocker.

Smallwood has a good shot to get some playing time alongside guys like Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles. He’s definitely a good three-down back and reminds me of, dare I say, LeSean McCoy.

But the downside for Smallwood, a native Wilmington, Delaware, is that he’s had some off-field incidents that have raised more than a few eyebrows. In July 2014, he was arrested for allegedly trying to get a witness change her story implicating a friend in a robbery attempt.  No charges were filed against Smallwood. He’s also made a few offensive statements on social media.

But from most accounts and from the Eagles extensive background checks, Smallwood is a mature young man who has stayed out of trouble since  and is looking to do the right thing.

“We spent a lot of time with him and we feel that this is a good kid,” said Howie Roseman, Eagles vice president of football operations. “He’s got to prove it on and off the field, but we have no doubts about what kind of player and person he is.”

After former coach Chip Kelly inexplicably refused to bring in more offensive linemen last season via the draft last season, Pederson and Roseman made sure that the Birds brought in some beef on the offensive line after the team struggled in that department last year.

Third round draft pick Isaac Seumalo (6-4, 303) played just about every position on the offensive line during his collegiate career at Oregon State.  He will probably challenge Allen Barbre for the left guard spot and some observers are saying that Seumalo could be the team’s next center.

According to Pro Football Focus.com, Seumalo is a solid pass protect who can locate and knock down opposing defenders while on the move. More importantly, Seumalo is probably better than anyone the Eagles currently have on the roster.

Former TCU tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai (6-6, 320), is big enough to block out the sun and most opposing defenders. He has played at both left and the right tackle. He will probably back up veteran Pro Bowl offensive tackle Jason Peters, who’s at the tail end of his career.

Vaitai will eventually be playing at one of those tackle positions if Peters retires or gets hurt during the season. If that does happen, Vaitai would move to the right tackle slot while Lane Johnson would take Peters’s spot.

But let’s not put the cart before the horse here, Vaitai and Seumalo both have to show that they can beat out guys who are already immersed in the Eagles offensive scheme.

But at the end of the day, having solid depth at the offensive line position can only help an offense that couldn’t block many people last year.

 

 

Eagles Wheeling, Dealing and Erasing the Chip Kelly Era

15 Mar
HowieandDougie

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson, left and Eagles VP of Football Operations, Howie Roseman have done their share of altering the roster. Photo by Webster Riddick.

In the first week of free agency, the Philadelphia Eagles have started the process of re-making the team in the image of head coach Doug Pederson and Howie Roseman, the team’s vice president of football operations.

The high-profile guys that former head coach Chip Kelly brought in via trades and free agency last season will not be with the team in 2016, most notably running back DeMarco Murray, who was traded to the Tennessee Titans for a fourth-round draft pick.

After leading the NFL in rushing in 2014, Murray gained just 702 yards, averaged just 3.6 yards per carry and was frustrated in Kelly’s system because it didn’t utilize his strengths as a downhill runner. Even with the coaching change, Murray was still not happy and he was sent packing to play with Kelly’s former quarterback Marcus Mariota.

The Birds also acquired former Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel to compete with Sam Bradford for the starter’s position.

Two more of Kelly’s acquisitions from last season were also sent packing via the trades. Linebacker Kiko Alonso and cornerback Byron Maxwell were sent to the Miami Dolphins to clear some salary cap space and to swap places with the Dolphins in the 2016 Draft. The Eagles will now have the eighth pick instead of the 13th.

The Eagles haven’t had that high a draft pick since 2013 when they used the fourth pick to draft solid right tackle Lane Johnson.

The Eagles could use that pick on a variety of things. With Murray’s departure, they could use it to  pick a running back, possibly Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliot or Alabama’s Derrick Henry.

But the smart use for the pick would be an offensive tackle. In a draft that will be heavy on linemen on both sides of the ball, the Eagles have a couple of possibilities.  Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley (6-7, 312), Michigan State’s Jack Conklin (6-7, 315) and Ohio State’s Taylor Decker (6-7, 315) are possibilities.

With 34-year-old Pro Bowl tackle Jason Peters on the downside of his career, the Eagles could cut him as soon as this year. At some point, the Birds are going to have to find a replacement for him.

“The O-line is a priority period,” Roseman said during a press conference last  week. “It’s a priority today, it’s a priority tomorrow, it’s a priority next week, it’s priority in April. Every day we’re looking for an offensive lineman. I think the good news the lines in this draft are very strong.”

The place on the offensive line where the Eagles really struggled was at the guard positions. That’s why they signed 6-5, 335-pound offensive guard and former Houston Texan Brandon Brooks.

For the past three seasons, Brooks has been the starting guard for the Texans, playing in 44 of 50 games. The Eagles singed him to a five-year, $40 million deal. Considering how badly the Eagles guards played last season, Brooks is a definite improvement and they’re going to need somebody to protect quarterback Sam Bradford.

The Eagles also bulked up their secondary by signing former Buffalo Bills cornerback Theodis McKelvin to a two-year deal. McKelvin has been in the league for nine years and has 12 career interceptions. The Birds also signed McKelvin’s teammate, former LSU star safety Ron Brooks, who’s been a backup since coming into the league in 2012.

Former St. Louis Rams safety Ron McLeod (5-10) also came to terms with the Eagles this week. A proven starter in 48 straight games, McLeod has the ability to cover receivers in the passing game as well as play the run.

In just a short period of time, Pederson and Roseman have basically disassembled everything Kelly put together.

Considering how many Eagles fans felt about the changes Kelly made during his tenure, they probably think that’s a good thing.

 

Keeping Maclin, McCoy, Improving Secondary a Priority for Kelly

12 Jan

By Chris Murray
For The Chris Murray Report and The Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will lead the way in making personnel decisions for the Eagles. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will lead the way in making personnel decisions for the Eagles. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—Now that Chip Kelly has assumed control of all the Eagles personnel decisions, the burden on him to win a championship has been increased exponentially.

Now the last time an Eagles head coach had that much control over the players he could bring in, do you remember the results?

Yes, it was four trips to the NFC title game including a Super Bowl appearance, a team that consistently stayed under the salary cap, a bizarre disregard for certain positions on defense and at the receiver position (except for one year with Terrell Owens) , a front-office power struggle, and a city without an NFL championship since 1960.

Under Andy Reid as head coach and head personnel guy, the Eagles were good, but were always a couple of pieces away from being a great team that could win a Super Bowl.

First and foremost, Kelly is going to have to find a general manager or player personnel guy that can find the players that he can trust that’s going to fit the profile he wants for his team.
It’s the NFL’s equivalent of a guy in charge of recruiting at the collegiate level; something Kelly has experience with during his days at Oregon.

Kelly will be in charge of the draft, trades and bringing in free agents while Howie Roseman, who was promoted to vice president for football operations, will responsible for signing the checks.

Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie hopes that Kelly and Roseman can be on one accord unlike Reid and former team vice president Joe Banner. If there were a Salary Cap Bowl the Eagles would have been the greatest of all-time. On the field, the Eagles were a very good team, but couldn’t get over that championship hump.

The first priority for Kelly as “the man” will be to re-sign free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and restructuring LeSean McCoy’s contract.

Since he is now in charge of personnel decisions, suffice it to say he will be involved in making sure those guys stay in Philly.

Kelly would like to accomplish what New England’s Bill Belichick has accomplished as the man in charge of personnel with three Super Bowls. Seattle’s Pete Carroll who also has say-so over the players he chooses, has the Lombardi trophy on his mantle as well.

Fans are hoping that Kelly, unlike his predecessor, will bring in guys who are going to make a real impact on the defensive side of the ball. In the draft and in free agency, defense should be a major priority.

Instead of bringing in projects like former Louisville linebacker Marcus Smith, Kelly needs to sign guys who are ready to make an impact now—whether it’s in the draft or free agency.

The Eagles need to get better in the secondary. Both cornerback Bradley Fletcher and Nate Allen are going to be free agents. I don’t think Kelly is going to move heaven and earth to get those guys back nor should he do so.

Not since Brian Dawkins or even Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown have the Eagles had a secondary that covered anybody and put a hard hit on an opposing receiver.

At the collegiate level , some of the highly –touted stars include Michigan State’s redshirt junior corner Trae Waynes who played a lot of press coverage in the Spartans highly-touted defense the last two seasons, especially playing alongside Darquez Dennard, who had a solid rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

NFLDraftScout.com rated Waynes the No 1 cornerback in the country and is expected to be taken in the first round. If he’s available, the Eagles should draft him.

Before his season-ending knee injury, Oregon’s Ifo Ekpr-Olomu was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. Ekpr-Olomu was so proficient as a cover corner that opposing quarterbacks rarely threw in his area. He had nine passes defended and two interceptions.

Because of the injury, Ekpr-Olomu’s stock will probably fall, but don’t be surprised if ends up with the Eagles because of Kelly’s affinity for former Oregon players.

Florida State has two good prospects at the cornerback P.J. Williams (74 tackles, one interception) and Ron Darby, who didn’t have an interception this last year, but the scouts seemed to like his speed at the cornerback position.

Top collegiate possibilities at the safety position are Alabama’s Landon Collins (6-0, 222) who has a reputation for being a heady, but physical safety, something the Eagles haven’t had in quite some time and Louisville’s Gerod Hollimon, a playmaking safety, something else the Birds haven’t had in a while.

In 2014, Hollimon had 14 interceptions by himself, more than the entire Eagles secondary this past season.

But if you don’t like the college guys, the 2015 free agent class in the secondary. The pickings at the safety position are slim. On some lists, New England’s Devin McCourty, who is considered a playmaker and has played at the cornerback position before switching to safety.  He had a huge interception in last Saturday’s playoff against Baltimore and allowed just one pass for 17 yards. He had 68 tackles and two interceptions during the regular season.

At the cornerback position, New England’s Darelle Revis is the top cornerback out there. Seattle’s Byron Maxwell, who had 39 tackles and two interceptions playing along side Richard Sherman, will be in the free agent market.  The question is will it be worth it for the birds to spend a lot of money for that position?

Kelly, Roseman and Lurie will all have to be on the same page—Easier said than done if you believe all the rumors of an apparent between Roseman and Kelly.

Jackson Signs with Washington, Eagles Have to Find his Replacement

3 Apr

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Former Eagles and now Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson apparently did not get along with Birds head coach Chip Kelly. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Former Eagles and now Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson apparently did not get along with Birds head coach Chip Kelly. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—The Philadelphia Eagles and the City of Brotherly Love have not seen the last of wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Five days after the Birds kicked Jackson to the curb, he signed a three-year, $24 million contract ($16 million guaranteed) with NFC East rival the Washington Redskins, making him part of an offense that already includes quarterback Robert Griffin III and wide receiver Pierre Garcon.

In a phone conference with the Washington media, Jackson avoided the subject of his departure from the Eagles and his relationship with head coach Chip Kelly.

But he disputed reports saying that his attitude was what got him released from the Eagles.

“People that know me, know what type of player I am, they respect me and know that I am a team guy,” Jackson said. “(Attitude) has never been a problem.”

The 5-foot-10 Jackson is coming off a career year with 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. With his ability to stretch the field in the deep passing game, Jackson’s deep speed kept opposing safeties from closing the box, something that helped running back LeSean McCoy lead the NFL in rushing in 2013.

Getting released by the Eagles was the best thing for him after having the best year of his career, Jackson said.
“It was a humbling experience and me being at the peak of my career and doing some great thing …I’m very humbled to be released like that,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s ability to stretch defenses also enabled players like Riley Cooper, who recently signed a five-year deal, to have career years. Since 2008, Jackson has been one of the league’s most dangerous deep threats and 35 receptions of 40 yards or more. In six years with the Eagles, Jackson caught 356 passes for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns.

On his Instagram page, Jackson posted a picture of the ESPN report announcing the deal with Washington. The caption, in all capital letters, read: “ITS GOIN DOWN!!BURGUNDY AND GOLD.”

The Eagles parted ways with Jackson last Friday, but have yet to come up with an explanation for why they let him go. It has been widely speculated that Jackson’s relationships with alleged members of the Los Angeles street gang, “the Crips” played a part in his dismissal.

About an hour before the Eagles cut Jackson, NJ.com released a story that focused on the ties that Jackson reportedly has with L.A. gangs. Oddly enough, the Los Angeles Police Department said Jackson has never been involved in gang activity or connected to a crime.

Neither General manager Howie Roseman nor Kelly spoke to reporters after word got out that Jackson was cut, a move that has drawn criticism from fans. Much of the team’s African-Americans fan base and members of the local and national media felt the team leaked the story in an effort to justify releasing the wide receiver, who had been trying to get his contract restructured at the time.

The bottom-line here was that Kelly did not feel that Jackson was a part of the culture he wanted to create for the team and didn’t get along with the former Cal-Berkeley star. Perhaps if the team would have said as much it might have minimized some of the public acrimony.

Another thing bothering fans is that not only did the team not get anything for the speedy Jackson, he signed with NFC East rival Washington. If Griffin III is healthy, the combination of Jackson and Garcon will be a formidable challenge to the Eagles secondary.

Now that Jackson is gone, Eagles fans are focusing on next month’s draft and wondering if the team is going to pick up a wide receiver in the draft to replace Jackson’s contribution to the offense. The Birds have the 22nd pick in the draft. Because the draft features a deep class of wide receivers according to draft experts, the Eagles could find someone to pick up the slack left by Jackson’s departure.

But what if they don’t?

As much as I like Jeremy Maclin, I’m not convinced that he’s fully recovered from his knee injury and I’m not sure if Riley Cooper will find the open spots he found last season because there’s no one to fear now that Jackson’s gone. Quarterback Nick Foles needs to have a game-breaker at the receiver spot.

If the Eagles think they can get by with the wideouts they have on the roster now, they’re deluding themselves.

Unless they get someone in the draft that can equal Jackson’s production, it’s going to be a long year for Gang Green.

 

Eagles Badly Mishandled Release of DeSean Jackson

30 Mar

 

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

 

Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been contacted by several teams since he was cut by the team on Friday.

Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson has been contacted by several teams since he was cut by the team on Friday.

PHILADELPHIA—In the previous column on DeSean Jackson’s unceremonious release from the Eagles, I refrained from outright criticizing the team’s handling of this situation because I wanted to hear it from them rather than rely on second-hand information or the speculation from other publications.

Instead of Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and Chip Kelly addressing the issue head-on and honestly, they chose not talk to the media that covers the team. Their silence allowed a NJ.com story to portray Jackson as a thug with ties to a Los Angeles street gang so they could come up with a convenient justification to cut him and not have to pay him.

The Los Angeles Police Department told the Philadelphia Daily News that they have never accused Jackson of being in a gang nor has he been tied to a crime committed by someone in a gang.

In aftermath of his release from the Eagles and the criminal implications that came with it, Jackson released a statement denying any involvement in gang activity:

“I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible. I work very hard on and off the field and I am a good person with good values.”

By not addressing the media, the Eagles not only put themselves in a position to be possibly sued by Jackson for defamation of character, they have created a public relations nightmare with their fans in the African-American community who see this as the team appealing to an ugly stereotype of Black men so they can justify releasing him.

On Facebook and Twitter, some African-American sports fans are wondering how is it that Riley Cooper can get away with making a racist remark while Jackson can get cut from the team for merely being suspected of having ties to a gang.

To be clear, I don’t believe Jeffrey Lurie or the Eagles organization is racist given their years of community involvement in a city that is mostly Black and Latino. Over the years, Lurie has been an owner who has more than shown that he is sensitive on issues pertaining to race.

How they’ve handled the “divorce” from their former star receiver was petty and underhanded. I can understand that Kelly and Roseman may not have liked Jackson’s attitude and felt that the former Cal star probably didn’t fit into the kind of the team that they wanted. If you don’t want a guy on your team, then cut him and be honest about why you did it.

Trying to tie Jackson to a gang, vilifying him as a person and possibly tainting his character is not a way to do business. It makes the team looks like they’re trying to run him out of the league for daring to act like a diva and wanting more money. That’s the only “crime” that Jackson committed here.

You can argue that Jackson shouldn’t have been tripping over his contract and moaning about it a day after your team was eliminated from the playoffs. It’s not like he was coming off like Terrell Owens in 2005 who divided the team in his efforts to get management to renegotiate his contract.

Outside of a being a bit of a diva, Jackson caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. His ability to stretch the defense made it possible for guys like Cooper, tight end Zach Ertz and running back LeSean McCoy to have career years.

With teams now clamoring for his services, Jackson’s release from Eagles is like the old African-American trickster tale of Brer Fox throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch. In other words, Jackson might have gotten the better end of the deal.

Now, the Birds have to find a receiver in the draft that better be as good as Jackson or they are going to struggle offensively and the fan base will not be happy. If the starting wide receiver becomes a weakness in this offense in 2014, Eagles fans will blame management for this debacle for years to come.

In street parlance the way the Eagles dealt with Jackson’s release was just downright “ratchet” and classless. Yes, the NFL is a cold-hearted business and players get cut all the time. But you don’t have to disparage a person’s character and rub their nose in it in the process.

 

 

 

 

 

Eagles Cut DeSean Jackson for Alleged Gang Ties and Bad Attitude

29 Mar

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Several teams are reportedly interested in former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson.

Several teams are reportedly interested in former Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson.

PHILADELPHIA—After a month of shopping him around and apparently finding no takers, the Eagles cut ties with wide receiver DeSean Jackson on Friday.
As of this point, no one in Eagles management is saying anything to the media about why they parted ways with the former Cal star, but the speculation on social media as to why Jackson was cut is blowing up the internet.

NJ.com reported that the Eagles were troubled by his off-field behavior and alleged affiliation with a gang before the team officially released him. It was also reported that Jackson didn’t have good chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly, was missing meetings and his friends were having a negative influence on his life.

ESPN.com reported that team owner Jeffrey Lurie, Kelly, and general manager Howie Roseman discussed the situation with the team’s lawyers and concluded that cutting him was the best option.

Shortly after Jackson was cut and received the word that NJ.com had written a story about his reported gang ties, he released a statement and said: “I am not a gang member.”
For the record, Jackson has never been arrested or linked to a crime. There are photos on Google Images of the former Eagles receiver posing in pictures flashing a gang sign.
Two days earlier at the NFL Owners meetings in Orlando, Kelly told the Philadelphia media that he liked Jackson and thought he did a good job for the team in 2013. On Tues, Jackson said he had a phone conversation with Kelly and came away with the impression that he was going to be staying with the Eagles.

But you have to wonder why a team would cut a 27-year-old receiver coming off the best season of his career and get nothing for him? The Eagles are also taking a $6 million salary cap hit.
Granted, it didn’t help things when Jackson talked about deserving to his contract renegotiated at his locker a day after the Eagles lost a playoff game to the New Orleans Saints. During a loss to the Minnesota Vikings in December, Jackson got into an argument with the team’s receivers coach on the sidelines.
With his reported ties to LA street gangs, the Eagles see getting rid of Jackson as their way of protecting their brand which means they think that Jackson must have done something or is involved with something egregious enough to warrant his departure.
As a journalist, I am not going to make any judgments of the team or Jackson until we hear from all the parties involved. I would rather have the facts before I lean either way on this issue. That the team was willing to take the salary cap hit does speak volumes on the urgency they had in unloading Jackson.
Another thing to look at here is how quickly Jackson lands with another team. Jackson’s agent Joel Segal said six teams called him 30 minutes after his client was released by the Eagles. Carolina head coach Ron Rivera told USA Today that he was interested in Jackson.

If Jackson signs with another team before the end of the weekend or the end of the week, then maybe his issues aren’t compelling enough to keep him out of the league. Teams that need a good, speedy wideout like the New York Jets or the San Francisco 49ers will be glad to have him if he doesn’t have too much baggage.

At this point, Eagles fans want an answer from Kelly and Roseman for why the team let their best wide receiver go for absolutely nothing. Was Jackson that big of a jerk and a disruption to team chemistry? Was his reported gang affiliation that troubling to the team?
More importantly, can the Eagles find a comparable replacement or better to make up for Jackson’s production that can play right away?

 

Love and Chip-Hop: Will DeSean Jackson Stay with the Eagles?

27 Mar

By Chris Murray
For the Chris Murray Report and the Philadelphia Sunday Sun

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said he likes DeSean Jackson. The team was field offers for the Birds speedy wide out. Photo by Webster Riddick.

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said he likes DeSean Jackson. The team was field offers for the Birds speedy wide out. Photo by Webster Riddick.

PHILADELPHIA—Watching the battle between the Philadelphia Eagles and disgruntled wide receiver DeSean Jackson has me shaking my head in incredulous disbelief.

(Cue soap opera music) In the latest episode of the reality series, “Love and D-Jax” (or “Chip-Hop Divas”) it was reported that Jackson spoke with Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly and was told to not worry about anything and to come back  ready to work in April’s minicamps.

At NFL Owner’s meetings in Orlando, Kelly expressed his affection for Jackson,  acknowledged that he had a great season and then followed it up by reminding folks that this is still a business.

“DeSean did a nice job for us,” Kelly told reporters on Wednesday. “But we’re always going to do what’s best for the organization.”
As you know by now, published reports had the Eagles ready to give Jackson his release from the team if they couldn’t get anything for him in a trade. Jackson was as good as gone.

DeSean Jackson says he wants to stay with the Birds.

DeSean Jackson says he wants to stay with the Birds.

According to a story on Philly.com, a Las Vegas casino has even put odds on Jackson’s fate with the Eagles. The current odds are even money that Jackson stays, 6-4 that he’s traded and 7-2 that he gets released. Ladies and Gentlemen, dig deep in your pockets and place your bets.

The questions that keep boggling my mind as this whole thing unfolds are  did  anyone in the Eagles organization really think this thing through? And If you send Jackson on his merry way who you gonna get to replace him?
After he had a career year in which caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns, what did Jackson do to offend Eagles management to the point that they are thinking about getting rid of him for the equivalent of magic beans?

Let’s face it, Jackson’s ability to stretch the field kept teams from employing eight guys in the box to defend running back LeSean McCoy and he also opened things up for wide outs like Riley Cooper, Jason Avant and tight ends like Zach Ertz to probe the middle of the field.

With the recent acquisition of versatile running back Darren Sproles, you would think that Jackson’s presence would make the Eagles offense even scarier to opposing defenses than it was last season.

Jackson, who is slated to receive $10.5 million this year, has been rumbling about wanting to renegotiate his contract, saying that he deserves it. From what I understand, Kelly is not happy with Jackson and feels he’s a detriment to team chemistry, especially since he said he wanted to re-do his contract a couple of days after the team lost to the Saints.

It didn’t help that Jackson got into an argument with receivers coach Bob Bicknell during the Eagles road loss to the Vikings a few weeks earlier.

It remains to be seen, especially in light of this recent public display of affection, if the Eagles management will still go ahead and send Jackson packing either by trade or release. Everybody in this business is always looking for the bigger and better deal.

But if they’re going to do that, you need somebody to take his place. I don’t believe that Cooper or Jeremy Maclin, who is coming off the second ACL injury of his career, is able to impact opposing defenses the way Jackson has for the last few years.

I would like to think that the Eagles would trade up in the draft to pick up a Sammy Watkins (Clemson) or a Mike Evans (Texas A&M), USC’s Marquise Lee, or Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks. You would think they would find someone who can make an immediate impact on the offense.

Letting Jackson go and not having an equivalent replacement is just downright foolish on the Eagles’ part. You know what you have in Jackson and he did fit the offense from a football standpoint even if you’re not a fan of his diva-like petulance.

While Jackson did produce during the regular season, he got shut down by Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis in the playoffs. He caught three passes for 51 yards after Lewis left the game with an injury.

Two days after his team’s tough playoff loss to the Saints, Jackson was telling reporters that he deserved to be making more money did not help things for him.

If re-negotiating his contract was Jackson’s goal, complaining about his current deal in the media was not a good move from a strategic standpoint on his part. You definitely don’t do that after a playoff loss in which you didn’t play that well.

With the team acquiring a weapon like Sproles, there might be even more opportunities to produce even bigger numbers to make an even stronger case for the Eagles to give him a new deal.
You should always let your performance on the field speak for itself. That’s always the best bargaining tool rather than sniping about it in the media.

While I think Jackson wanting to restructure his deal is ill-timed, the Eagles apparent willingness to give him away for virtually nothing is equally disturbing. With the NFL Draft coming up, there might be a deal you could cut for Jackson so that you can get a receiver that’s ready to make an impact immediately.

If the Eagles let Jackson walk for nothing or they player they do get turns out to be a player of lesser talent than what they let go, Kelly and general manager Howie Roseman will have a lot of explaining to do to the fan base if the wide receiver position becomes a liability.