PHILADELPHIA – With rumors stating that Philadelphia Eagles wideout Desean Jackson could be released, a number of teams could be a potential landing spot for the former Cal Golden Bear.
Below are the top ten likely landing spots for Jackson, based on need of an explosive playmaker, use of the West Coast Offense and pieces in place to help him win his first Super Bowl.
Other teams could be building towards contention with Jackson being either the last piece or a complimentary one. Below are this writer’s top ten possible landing spots for Jackson.
- Cleveland Browns : Don’t laugh now, but the Cleveland Browns are quietly beginning to put together a quality team for once. In poaching speedy slot receiver Andrew Hawkins from the Bengals to replace the disappointing Davone Bess. Due to the uncertainty of Greg Little and being widely linked to be selecting former Clemson Tigers standout Sammy Watkins, Cleveland may seem like an unlikely spot for Jackson. Due to the factors above, the sight of Jackson across from Pro Bowl wideout Josh Gordon with Hawkins out of the slot and the athletic man-child/tight end in Jordon Cameron flexed out, should at least entice Browns GM Ray Farmer to make a move.
- Oakland Raiders : Like the aforementioned Browns, the Silver and Black have quietly had a solid off-season in free agency in landing defensive standouts Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley and trading for Matt Schaub and signing James Jones. In landing Jackson, not only would he be back in the Bay Area, but give the Raiders a much-needed and deadly 1-2 vertical passing threat.
- San Diego Chargers : Thanks to the emergence of NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, Kennan Allen, and the steady production of future Hall-of-Fame tight end, Antonio Gates, San Diego has everything they need on offense, right? While Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers had one of the best bounce-back performances in 2013, Aside from Allen and Gates, San Diego doesn’t have a player of Jackson’s ability who can really stretch the field. In San Diego, Jackson would not only give Rivers that luxury, but also open up the field more for gates and Allen as well.
- New York Jets : Thanks to the recent addition of former Eagles teammate in quarterback Michael Vick and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg, Jackson to the Jets logically makes the most sense for a variety of reasons. Couple that Vick/Mornhinweg Philly connection along with the free-agent signing of former Broncos wideout Eric Decker, and the Jets go from the back of Page Six to a possible wildcard contender with Jackson.
- Seattle Seahawks : Thanks to the recent free-agency defection of Golden Tate to the Detroit Lions, the defending Super Bowl champions from the Pacific Northwest could use a true no.1 such as Jackson. While they already have Percy Harvin, Doug Baldwin and Jermaine Kearse, none of them are considered “true” number one wideouts, and due to Harvin’s shaky injury history, Jackson would help solve that dilemma, as well as opening things up down field for quarterback Russell Wilson.
- Carolina Panthers : In losing Ted Ginn Jr, Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell in free-agency, no team makes more since for Jackson to go to than Carolina. With a quality defense led by NFL Defensive Player of the year, Luke Kuechly and two-time Pro Bowl quarterback, Cam Newton under center, Jackson in Carolina could be a realistic option.
- San Francisco 49ers : Despite re-signing Anquan Boldin, the 49ers lack a truly explosive playmaker downfield to take pressure from Colin Kaepernick and Vernon Davis. In Jackson, the option to use more quick wide receiver and bubble screens on the outside, will add a new element of San Francisco’s run-dominant offense.
- New England Patriots : In what would be a truly shrewd signing, picture Tom Brady throwing a deep pattern to a streaking Desean Jackson for a touchdown. One can be sure that Pats owner, Robert Kraft is thinking the same thing. While re-signing slot receiver Julian Edelman, acquiring Brandon LaFell in free agency, the other key reason hinges on the health of injury-prone tight end Rob Gronkowski and wideout Danny Amendola. Despite the development of Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, the Pats lack a true playmaker downfield, which is exactly what Jackson would give Brady.
- Green Bay Packers : While not many would consider the Packers as a possible free-agent landing spot for Jackson, in losing No.2 wideout James Jones to the Raiders, The Packers could be a sleeper in the Jackson sweepstakes. While Jarett Boykin filled in nicely for Jones, he is no Jackson, couple that with Randall Cobb missing ten games and Jackson could step in and immediately become the No. 1 receiver in Green Bay—supplanting Rodgers’ favorite target, Jordy Nelson.
- Kansas City Chiefs : After being infamously rebuffed by free-agent wideout Emmanuelle Sanders—mostly his agent—the Chiefs need a quality playmaker across from Dwayne Bowe. With Donnie Avery producing pedestrian numbers, his first year in Kansas City, Jackson would give a much-needed spark to the Chiefs. Couple that with former Eagles head coach, Andy Reid, calling the plays and being the most familiar out of any of the aforementioned teams in knowing how to use Jackson the best, don’t be shocked if the Chiefs score a big free-agency win in landing Jackson.
To conclude, if the Eagles do indeed decide to release Jackson, whichever team does end up landing him get’s a quality game-changer capable of making any team better.