So much for the offseason doldrums. During a time in the offseason between pro days and the NFL draft generally devoid of news, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to help us get through it by making some headline-grabbing moves.
They started off by signing the much-maligned Mark Sanchez to a one-year deal to go along with Nick Foles and Matt Barkley. The news comes as a bit of a surprise as many questioned Sanchez's ability to fit in Chip Kelly's scheme. But that doesn't seem to concern general manager Howie Roseman, who thinks Sanchez is a talented quarterback who will bring a good veteran presence to the locker room:
This is an interesting assessment given the fact that the Eagles have now paired up a quarterback who set the record for the single-season touchdown-to-interception ratio and the quarterback who turned the ball over more than anyone over his two previous seasons (and did it in spectacular fashion, I might add).
Also interesting is now the Eagles have the two previous starting quarterbacks from USC.
Probably the most interesting aspect of this move revolves around Kelly's system. Kelly loved running a fast-paced offense led by a mobile quarterback in Oregon. When he came to Philly, many felt it would revive Michael Vick's career since he fits that mold perfectly.
Yet, Vick ended up doing what he does best, getting injured, which thrust Foles in the starting spotlight. There were a number of people who had concerns about how well Foles would do in this high-octane offense since he is more of a pocket passer.
Obviously, Foles put those doubts to rest with his 27-touchdown, two-interception performance last season. However, it now remains that a coach who loves mobile QBs and built his offense to tailor to that style of play has three legitimate pocket passers on the depth chart.
Sanchez is hoping he can revive his career in Philly and move on from the circus he endured/caused with the New York Jets. Although it really didn't take long for him to have another fumble:
Friday was a busy day, and the moves didn't stop with Sanchez.
Shortly after his signing, the Eagles parted ways with star receiver DeSean Jackson. This came after a week-long saga regarding whether or not Jackson was on the trading block, with a report from Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer indicating that Jackson told his teammates he was assured he would be staying.
The reasoning behind the move was one of the more exotic reasons for any cuts this season. Philly let him go after a report surfaced from Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez of NJ.com about apparent gang affiliations.
According to that report, he also had issues of missing team meetings to hang out with friends. This move shows that Kelly is not afraid to make waves and put his stamp on this team.
DeSean Jackson allegedly released over gang affiliation but Joe Flacco clearly a crip. pic.twitter.com/whGwdOltrW— Nikko Motta (@NEEKSFSU) March 31, 2014
This move instantly makes him the most popular man on the free-agent market. This popularity extended to some of his friends who gave him their support...sort of:
Initially, both the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs were linked to him. However, much to the disappointment of Andy Reid's BBQ cravings, both teams have been ruled out due to either conflict of system or cap restrictions, via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com and NFL.com's Ian Rapoport. That leaves Washington and Oakland as the likely main contenders for DJax.
The idea of him signing with Oakland is quite the ironic, and possibly volatile, situation. As stated in the reference above, DJax has been linked to Los Angeles-based gang members. As it so happens, Raiders owner Mark Davis recently endorsed the idea he could move the team back to LA.
Jackson will be missed in Philly despite the presence of Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. This could be especially true next season as there is a good chance Maclin will be gone as well since he was only signed to a one-year deal.
These two abrupt moves certainly surprised the football world, and obviously, only time will tell how it will work out. However, there is one tweet that really sums this whole situation up:
Eagles out 4-6 weeks after doctors conclude cutting DeSean Jackson and signing Mark Sanchez are severe concussion symptoms.— The Fake ESPN (@TheFakeESPN) March 30, 2014