Things with DeSean Jackson are starting to get weird.
First, we know – for now anyway – the Chiefs are out on DeSean Jackson. This comes from Ian Rapoport, who right now is the only one definitely stating the Chiefs are not in the running for him.
However, the Chiefs being out may have less to do with the reports surrounding Jackson’s alleged gang connections and more about the money he is asking for from interested teams. Consider these tweets.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 30, 2014
DeSean Jackson is going to be surprised about what his market really is if his asking price remains high. Too much depth in the draft
— Pat Kirwan (@PatKirwanCBS) March 30, 2014
Most believe DeSean will follow the $. Thing is, WR market hasn’t boomed: Decker ($7.25m per), Tate ($6.2m), Sanders ($5m), Edelman ($4.25m) — Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 30, 2014
And that’s not to say those WRs are as good as DeSean. But some of the market forces there (i.e. strong draft class) work against him too. — Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 30, 2014
To put it bluntly, the tweet from Ian was a message being sent. Read the tea leaves and you will figure out the two options.
— Nick Jacobs (@Jacobs71) March 30, 2014
There seems to be a disconnect between what Jackson’s value is on this market and what Jackson thinks it should be. John Dorsey and Andy Reid have been pretty adamant about not overspending to land a player. This philosophy is why Branden Albert, Jon Asamoah, Geoff Schwartz, Dexter McCluster, and Tyson Jackson all left via free agency – the Chiefs simply are not going to overpay a player to keep them on the roster if they feel they can find an equivalent or similar player somewhere else.
These tweets also make Jackson’s scheduled visit to Washington make more sense. Washington is known for their overspending ways, and there is little doubt Jackson is going to get a big offer from them Monday. Unless Jackson is willing to come down to a fair market price, it is hard to see a team like the Chiefs, Seahawks, 49ers, or others who were thought to be interested make a move for Jackson. Even Oakland, the team with tons of salary cap space, seems uneasy about what Jackson is asking for.
We talked on Friday about how the Chiefs can make Jackson fit within the salary cap constraints they have for this season. But there is a difference between making a player’s contract fit and completely overpaying for the player. Markets change from year to year, last year would have been a great one for Jackson (see: Dwayne Bowe and Mike Wallace‘s deals). But this year, fueled by a quality draft class, the price of receivers have dropped significantly. It would be unwise for the Chiefs to overpay, and that appears to be the stance they have as of today.