The Philadelphia Eagles have been active thus far in the offseason, signing both of their free-agent wide receivers to new deals.
Riley Cooper got a five-year contract worth $25 million total, but should Cooper fail to produce, the team can release him after two years with minimal cap penalty. Former first-round pick Jeremy Maclin was re-signed to a one-year contract, giving the Eagles one of the better receiving trios in the league. As expected, veteran slot man Jason Avant was was released, seeing as he was due to make $4 million next year following a 2013 season which saw a major drop in production.
The surprise rumor as of late has DeSean Jackson on the trade market. Per Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, the Birds may be shopping their three-time Pro Bowl receiver, even as he’s coming off his best campaign. Kempski reports that Jackson’s attitude clashes with what Chip Kelly wants his locker room to be. That, and Jackson’s $32 million total cap figure over the next three seasons, may push the Eagles to move Jackson to an interested suitor.
At just 27 years old, Jackson is still a big-time playmaker. In 2013, he set personal bests in receptions (82) and yards (1,332), while tying his career high in touchdown catches for a season (9). Per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Jackson rated as an above-average blocker, and he was his usual explosive self, tying for the league lead with eight touchdown receptions of 20 yards or more.
What the Eagles can get for Jackson will depend largely on a team’s willingness to take on his contract. A few years ago, Philadelphia sent Asante Samuel to the Atlanta Falcons and got back just a seventh-round pick, despite the fact that Samuel was rated by PFF as the 11th-best corner in the league in 2011. What compelled the Eagles to make the deal was $9.9 million and $11.4 million Samuel was scheduled to make in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
There will certainly be a market for Jackson; he’s just 27 years old, and if he became a free agent now, he would command a contract in the neighborhood of the one he currently has—$10 million or so per season.
It’s probably not likely the Eagles trade Jackson—they didn’t in 2012 when it was rumored—but here are five teams that may be interested.