Late Friday following the Eagles re-signing Jeremy Maclin to a one-year contract, it was suggested that the move could predicate a trade of DeSean jackson, a rumor that simply doesn't add up.
Eagles writer Jimmy Kempski wrote a piece for Philly.com exploring the option of moving Jackson because the team had already locked up Maclin and Riley Cooper earlier this week, expanding the portion of their salary cap allocated to receivers.
"After (signing of Maclin and Cooper)," Kempski wrote. "The Eagles will have $26,420,000 allocated to their WRs in 2014. That is the second highest total in the NFL, behind only the Dolphins....the Eagles' WR cap number for 2014 is almost double the league average of $13,560,537."
Kempski also went on to outline how Jackson may not necessarily fit into the Eagles culture being cultivated by second-year head coach Chip Kelly which places a premium on selflessness and a "team-first" mentality.
All of those are valid points along with the fact that at 5'10", 175 pounds, Jackson does not necessarily fit into Kelly's "Big people beat little people" philosophy.
However, trading away the team's top receiver after re-signing Cooper who had a career year (albeit only hauling in 47 catches) to a deal that pays him $25 million but with only $10 million (or the first two seasons) guaranteed along with Maclin, who is one year removed from his second reconstructive knee surgery, would place the league's second rated offense squarely behind the eight ball heading into 2014.
Yes, Cooper forged a bond with quarterback Nick Foles in 2013 that helped propel the Eagles offense, but he still only posted three games with 100 or more receiving yards.
Taking away Jackson's game-changing playmaking ability in a scheme built around speed on the edges is simply too risky a gamble for the defending NFC East champions to take.
Now, if the Eagles can net a first-round draft choice in return for Jackson which would allow the team to move up high enough to snag a receiver such as Mike Evans, Sammy Watkins or Kelvin Benjamin as a replacement for Jackson than the move is certainly worth exploring and may even be the most prudent way of building Kelly's ideal offense.
However, Jackson's contract - a 12,500,000 cap number in 2014- makes a trade nearly prohibitive. Given Jackson's lack of size and hefty price tag, dealing him away for a first-round pick may be a tall order.
It seems that there are only three options facing the Eagles at this point.
Restructuring Jackson's deal and spreading the guaranteed money over the life of a longer contract.
Release him and eat the $6 million dead money that doing so would do.
Or proceed with a receiving corps that while among the pricest in the league features a unique blend of speed and playmaking ability with Jackson and Maclin along with a player who could develop into a premier possession receiver who also showed flashes last season of being the quarterback's favorite target along with a dependable red-zone target.
Either way, trading Jackson away doesn't seem to be the most prudent or even possible option for Howie Roseman and company.