Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be a free agent at the end of this season. Much to the chagrin of Eagles fans, the likelihood seems to be increasing that the mercurial star does not make his home in the City of Brotherly Love next season.
Jackson, who made it clear at the end of the 2010 campaign that he felt he had outperformed his rookie contract and wanted a contract extension that aligned his level of pay with his level of play, is unhappy with the Eagles' lack of urgency in inking him to a new deal. The team's now infamous summer spending spree, which included giving $2 million guaranteed to former New York Giants' receiver Steve Smith (more than double Jackson's 2011 salary of $769,960), was perceived as a slight by the Pro Bowler, proving, in his eyes, the team's priorities obviously lay elsewhere.
The organization's unwillingness to placate Jackson has precipitated a turbulent 2011 season for the playmaker. To be fair to Jackson, he hasn't done as much to earn the title of villain as the Eagles would like their fans to believe. Sure, he held out for part of training camp, but that has become standard practice in the NFL today, and he reported to camp once his point was made.
As for the Eagles' implication that Jackson has been a less-than-engaged employee this season, ultimately culminating in a one game suspension in November, the issues that have brought about Jackson's discontent are the result of choices made by the team. During Jackson's brief holdout, the company line was that the team would not negotiate with a player who was holding out, implying, in essence, that the receiver would be rewarded for his good behavior if he were to report to camp, and keep his mouth shut. Obviously, that reward never came.
As this season has worn on, the team has continued to force Jackson to risk career-ending injury week in and week out for a paycheck that covers just a fraction of the receiver's real value. As such, it has become increasingly clear to Eagles fans that their electrifying receiver may not be back next season. With, in all likelihood, just three games left in the Eagles' 2011 season, some are beginning to wonder, what will become of DeSean Jackson?
Here are a few teams that should consider taking a chance on one of the most exciting players in the entire NFL.