Whether you’re for it or against it, it’s going to be hard to keep from reading about the potential of DeSean Jackson reuniting with his former head coach Andy Reid with the Kansas City Chiefs.
On Friday, the Philadelphia Eagles made a long-rumored move official when they released Jackson to save significant money against the salary cap. It was the first of several likely moves coming from Philly, including other release candidates like fellow wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, and the Eagles are going to undergo considerable change under new head coach Nick Sirianni after firing Doug Pederson and trading quarterback Carson Wentz.
As for Jackson, he’s still a name known around the NFL as a once-productive receiver, but while you might think the 34-year-old might hang up his cleats, he seems to be interested in extending his career with a post on Instagram saying he’s “looking forward to the next chapter.” That could, of course, mean something off the field, but if he’s ready to play another season, then the conjecture will start soon about his next destination.
It’s natural to want to connect the dots about Jackson to Reid considering their history. The Chiefs have also not been shy about bringing in vets near the end of their career to see what’s left in the tank. From pass rusher Terrell Suggs to running backs LeSean McCoy and Le’Veon Bell to cornerback Darrelle Revis, the Chiefs have been the choice du jour of several proven performers trying to land a championship in their final seasons.
Then again, the Chiefs and other teams have to seriously question what Jackson would have left to offer a team at this point. He led the NFL in yards/reception as recently as 2018 as a 32-year-old, but Jackson played in only one quarter of all potential games over the last two years with Philly and averaged less than 50 yards per game even when he was healthy—and this was for a team whose wide receiving corps has been lacking, to put it mildly. (Greg Ward led the Eagles with 49 targets and Travis Fulgham led in rec. yardage with 539 in 2020).
As for the Chiefs, there are potential spots available if you’re operating under the assumption that Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson are probably both leaving in free agency. The Chiefs will return Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Byron Pringle along with other roster hopefuls. Does Jackson fit the bill there? It seems very unlikely unless it’s a one-year flyer for the veteran minimum that allows the Chiefs to kick the proverbial tires during offseason workouts.
Jackson could certainly be a good story as a veteran receiver returning to play for his first NFL coach, and it’s a testament to his talent and work ethic that he’s even playing into his mid-thirties. It’s just a stretch at this point to think the Chiefs or anyone might be a good fit given the age and injury history heading into 2021.