That’s what Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe says (link).
Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson started a rap label and dropped $25,000 at a Los Angeles launch party. In his office that is still inside the Eagles’ NovaCare facility, former team president Joe Banner is having a good laugh. Jackson received his $47 million extension, in good measure, because Banner had his contract power usurped. Banner never would have done that deal.
If Joe Banner is laughing, the joke is on him and I’m not saying that because I’m DeSean Jackson’s biggest fan (spoiler: I’m not). Joe Banner got so caught up in his hardball, penny pinching methodology that it became counter productive and it started hurt the team.
You don’t have to tell me that DeSean Jackson probably didn’t deserve the big contract he was handed. And you don’t have to tell me that DeSean is a giant “hot dog” on and off the field. DeSean Jackson is flawed, there can be no credible arguments to the contrary. Yes, DeSean Jackson got suspended for missing a special teams meeting. Yes, DeSean Jackson is afraid to go over the middle. Yes, DeSean Jackson was dogging his routes last season. Yes, DeSean Jackson drops more than his fair share of passes. Yes, DeSean Jackson has seemingly been afraid of contact since the Dunta hit. And yes, his lack of size inhibits his ability to effectively run a full route tree. All of these things are undeniably true.
But consider this: The disgruntled, quiet DeSean Jackson that I saw last year wasn’t the same guy I saw in the first three years of his career. How much did negative contract negotiations with Joe Banner have to do with this? Personally, I think knowing you’ve got a price tage would make someone pretty upset. How would you feel if you knew you were only worth so much to the franchise and if you disagreed, they’d pack your bags for you. If you knew that was happening, would you give your all?
And I’m not the only one that noticed DeSean Jackson wasn’t the same last year. Michael Vick has noted DeSean’s improved attitude and WR coach David Culley has said that DeSean was playing not to get hurt last year.
Think, what would have happened if Joe Banner got his way? We would’ve franchised DeSean and dragged contract negotiations out even longer? Having a discontented DeSean Jackson really worked wonders for us last year. We would’ve let go of a valuable asset for free? Brilliant… Despite what Joe Banner thinks, DeSean Jackson is an integral part of this team. When he’s happy and swaggering about, the Eagles are better. When DeSean Jackson is running his routes and stretching defenses, the Eagles are better. And even when DeSean Jackson is hot-dogging it, he still does something for the Eagles…
Joe Banner was a master at saving the Eagles money but Joe Banner is a business man, not a football man and he clearly failed to take team chemistry and team morale into account, DeSean Jackson encapsulates that perfectly, as do Brian Dawkins, Jeremiah Trotter, Terrell Owens and Lito Sheppard.