NFL Rumors: DeSean Jackson Could Return To Eagles, ‘ESPN’ Says

DeSean Jackson, with Tampa Bay
Julio Aguilar / Getty Images

Wide receiver DeSean Jackson began his NFL career with the Philadelphia Eagles, who drafted him in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He soon became one of the most explosive wide receivers in the game and a potent deep threat. In his Eagles tenure, Jackson was famous for two things: The “Miracle at the Meadowlands II” last-second touchdown against the New York Giants in December of 2010, and for Bradley Cooper wearing his #10 Eagles jersey for nearly the entirety of the 2012 movie Silver Linings Playbook.

Jackson had something of a messy departure from Philadelphia when, in 2014 shortly after NJ.com news reported that the team was troubled by Jackson’s gang connections, the Eagles released Jackson. He signed with the divisional rival Washington Redskins, and later moved to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Now, Jackson could be headed back to his first team. According to an ESPN report Monday by Jenna Laine and Tim McManus, Tampa Bay is shopping Jackson, and the player prefers Philadelphia as his destination, as the 32-year-old receiver would like to have the chance to play for a contending team. The report also said that the Eagles “are expected to have mutual interest in Jackson.”

The report stated that if the team fails to find a trade for Jackson, he will likely be released. That’s what happened five years ago when the Eagles were not able to trade the player and released him instead.

The Eagles’ wide receiving corps is in flux. They have a number one receiver in Alshon Jeffery, who is signed long-term. Receiver Golden Tate is a free agent, while Nelson Agholor has a fifth-year option. Veteran Jordan Matthews, who returned to the team last season after he was traded two years earlier, is a free agent again. Other Eagles receivers, including Mack Hollins and Mike Wallace, were injured for most or all of last season, and the Eagles were said to have pursued Antonio Brown before he was traded to the Raiders. Whoever ends up in the receiving group will be catching passes from Carson Wentz.

The coach of the Eagles when Jackson was released, Chip Kelly, is long gone, and Doug Pederson now coaches the team and uses a very different offensive system than the one favored by Kelly. Wentz was also not in the league yet when Jackson first played for the Eagles, and he caught passes from the likes of Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb, Michael Vick, and Nick Foles.

An informal roundtable on sports radio station WIP’s morning show Monday morning, in reaction to the news, found nearly unanimous opposition to a return of DeSean Jackson to the Eagles.