Enough with the ridiculous speculation. DeSean Jackson is not going anywhere.
End of story.
Trading Jackson would be a move that defies all logic. It wouldn't be the right move for anyone. Not for the team's on-field performance, not for the locker room, not for the fanbase and not for the future of the Philadelphia franchise.
Jackson will be an Eagle in 2014, and he will be one for life.
It's unclear where these rumors originated, but they do the Eagles front office and organization a huge disservice. It suggests that the organization is clueless enough not to realize what a special player Jackson is, what a special Eagle he is.
The rumors suggest that Jackson is such a locker room headache that he can't remain with the Eagles one more season or even one more day. He is supposedly such a divisive entity that the Eagles have no choice but to remove him for the good of the team.
How? Usually divisive players are unhappy with their situations. Last time I checked, Jackson had a strong desire to remain in Philly. He not only said so, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News, but he also showed it. He re-signed in Philly after a disastrous 2011 Eagles season. That was the perfect opportunity for him to leave and he would have had the pick of his destination.
Instead he chose to remain with the Birds despite how dysfunctional they were.
It's true, DeSean did blow up on the sidelines last season during Philadelphia's Week 15 game against the Minnesota Vikings. But these things happen. It was an inexcusable performance in a must-win game, and his emotions got the better of him. And if it were Peyton Manning or Tom Brady in a similar situation he would be praised for showing "a strong desire to win."
And when temporarily demoted to third string over the offseason, Jackson took it in stride. He expressed his unhappiness at first, but cleared the air after speaking with Chip Kelly in person. Does this sound like a horrible distraction of a teammate to you? Why does Jackson deserve to be removed now but not Riley Cooper last summer?
Another criticism that has accompanied the Jackson trade rumors says that the veteran wideout is not worth his five-year, $47 million contract. But Jackson is coming off the best year of his career. How was money not an issue in 2012, when he caught just two touchdowns, but suddenly is an issue when he is coming off an 82-reception, 1,332-yard, nine-touchdown season? Those numbers not only led the Eagles in every category last season, they led by a mile.
Furthermore, Jackson's worth to the Eagles goes beyond mere numbers. Jackson is in many ways a franchise player. He is as iconic of the new-generation Eagles as anyone else on the roster.
He was there for 44-6 against Dallas in 2008. He experienced Donovan McNabb's, Brian Westbrook's and Brian Dawkins' last hurrah as Eagles.
He was there in 2010 for Michael Vick's historic six-touchdown night against the Washington Redskins, a performance so stunning that it was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And he was there for the Miracle at the Meadowlands II, as it was Jackson himself who gave Philadelphia fans the greatest regular-season play in franchise history, returning a punt all the way to seal an epic comeback.
Is Jackson always a model teammate? Maybe not. But he has given the Eagles everything they could have ever hoped for when the drafted him. Jackson is not just a great player, he is well on his way to becoming an Eagles legend.
Whoever started these rumors needs to put them to rest right now. It's an insult to Jackson, who has been nothing short of one of the best Eagle receivers since Terrell Owens, and it's an insult to the fans, who know just how valuable Jackson is to the team.
Jackson will not be traded. Only towards the end of his career when his best years are behind him would such a move be plausible. But Jackson is well in his prime, and his best years may be yet to come.
Follow Yueh Ho on Twitter @YuehHo
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