Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey G. Pittenger-USA TODAY Sports
Earlier this month, Philly.com’s Jimmy Kempski blew the lid off of the NFL hot-stove, by connecting the dots that the re-signings of both Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper could signal that a trade of DeSean Jackson was imminent. In over two weeks since then, Jackson hasn’t been traded, but, both locally and nationally, we continue to try to put our finger on just what it is that makes Jackson a piece the Eagles would consider moving, despite the fact that he is coming off of a career year.
Over the weekend, I got a chance to discuss this very topic with Kempski (who holds firm to the idea that Jackson could be moved), as well as other pressing Eagles topics.
Tim Kelly: A couple weeks ago, you speculated that DeSean Jackson could be available via trade. Since then, speculation hasn’t exactly died down. How realistic is it that Jackson is actually moved this off-season?
Jimmy Kempski: I do think it’s a legitimate possibility that DeSean will not be an Eagle in 2014, whether he’s traded or cut.
Jimmy Kempski: DeSean’s off-the-field stuff is so difficult to quantify. The team absolutely does not appreciate things like his activity on social media (such as the gang signs, etc.) and his recurring unhappiness with his contract, but are those things enough for the team to get rid of him? No way. The unknown factor here is how much of a pain in the butt he is on a daily day-to-day basis, and whether or not he’s buying into Chip Kelly’s ideas. There’s a feeling by some in the organization that he is a detriment to the team because he doesn’t listen to anyone and just does his own thing. That’s a bigger issue than flashing gang signs or bitching about a contract.
Tim Kelly: I’m trying to gauge what Jackson’s trade value is. Would you move him for a second-round pick?
Jimmy Kempski: In a heartbeat.
Given the addition of Darren Sproles
, the Eagles now technically have four running-backs on their roster. LeSean McCoy
and Sproles are obviously locks to be on the 2014 roster, but are the Eagles now in a situation where they will look to move either Bryce Brown
or Chris Polk
? Or do they keep four running-backs and just treat Sproles as a receiver?
I think you make a good point there. Personally, I see Sproles as more of a receiver. They’ll move him around a lot. I would expect they’ll line him up in the slot, out wide, in the backfield, and really anywhere else they can create matchup issues. I would imagine that he’ll also be on the field at the same time as McCoy, as opposed to his backup. Think of Sproles as a replacement for what they hoped Damaris Johnson
would be. As for Brown and Polk, I think their standing on the team remains the same, especially with Polk. If someone offers up a decent enough pick for Brown, my guess is that they’ll entertain it, but I would doubt they’re actively trying to move on from him.
Tim Kelly: What’s your sense on where the Eagles are leaning in the first two rounds of the draft?
Best player available! The draft shouldn’t be a time to fill needs. When you try to fill needs in a draft you wind up with Danny Watkins
and Jaiquawn Jarrett
. Rosters turn over in the NFL with extraordinary speed. Take the Giants, for example. Only 6 of their 22 starters from their last Super Bowl win-which was 26 months ago-remain with the team. That’s incredible. Don’t pass on a player who you think will be great because he plays a position where you’re already strong, because you never know what your team will look like in 2 or 3 years. If the top player on the board is at a position of need, then great, but don’t sacrifice talent to fill an immediate need.
I’d like to give a special thanks to Jimmy for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer some questions. Please give Jimmy a follow on Twitter (@JimmyKempski
) and read his work over at Philly.com
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