TRADING DeSean Jackson doesn’t have to hurt.
Chip Kelly’s Spread Offense as its name indicates is more horizontally based than vertically based. To his credit, in 2013 Kelly did a good job of transposing Jackson’s skillset over his existing system. Due to what Jackson could do, the coverage shifted and the impact was felt on the opposite side of the field as well as in the running game.
That being said, at its heart this is a horizontally based running system. It doesn’t require a guy like Jackson for it to run effectively. He’s a nice option to have out there, but the reality is, his abilities fit a mobile QB much better over the long haul than they do a pocket passer.
If this system is going back to its roots, then Jackson won’t even require replacing. You replace something when the replacement is supposed to do what the old part did. If you swap out the old part for a part that works differently, it’s usually referred to as upgrading.
That may be what the Eagles feel they can do here. This is a place where a rookie could be drafted whose skillset is entirely different from Jackson’s but better fits what Kelly wants to do.
I also already indicated how the Sproles Effect could easily offset the loss of Jackson, even if they simply cut him. (Pray that Howie Roseman isn’t that stupid.) If the system doesn’t need the top taken off the defense to make plays, your need for guys who can do that diminishes. Even if you still want one, lo and behold there’s a Draft coming up.
So a trade really comes down to getting value for him. In the end, aside from losing a player who gave us a few truly awesome memories (The New Miracle at the Meadowlands; falling backwards into the endzone against Dallas; a bomb for a TD as the first play of a record setting Monday Night game against the Redskins; the sideline bump with Andy, to name a few), perhaps this doesn’t have to hurt at all.
I just somehow can’t help thinking AND feeling, that it will.