DeSean Jackson was released yesterday by the Philadelphia Eagles due to their overwhelming fear of his extracurricular activities. This was a surprise to most, especially after he signed a five-year deal in 2012. He'll count $6 million against the team's cap space this year, but is free and clear to sign with another squad. So who would take him?
The first place to look is the coach that drafted him into the NFL - Andy Reid. Reid, now head coach of the Chiefs, didn't have a problem with any of Jackson's off-field activity during the five years they were together, which ultimately resulted in a franchise tag label and that new contract. Reports say the Chiefs will pursue Jackson, which I'm sure we'll hear more about as the weekend progresses.
DeSean Jackson fills two large holes on Reid's new team. With the departure of Dexter McCluster to the Titans, the Chiefs lost their second-most productive wide receiver. Shifty but short, McCluster played the slot and benefit from the heavy attention paid to Dwayne Bowe, easily the Chiefs' best receiving option in 2013. Jackson, one of the fastest wide receivers in the league, would actually reverse that and require more attention than the 6'2" Bowe. This shared attention would open Bowe up for more games like the 8-catch 150-yard performance he had against the Colts in the playoffs. Jackson typically draws a safety to his side on deep routes, opening up intermediate out routes for tight ends as well.
Not to be overlooked (or taken seriously), the receiver duo could be coined "Bowe Jackson". I can't think of any better nickname for a wide receiver pair. Ever.
McCluster also returned punts, tallying up the most returns and punt return yards in the league last year. Another departed Chief, Quintin Demps (who left for the Giants), returned kickoffs and tallied the third-most kickoff return yards in the league. With both gone, Jackson could be a game-changer in both returning roles. The Eagles weened Jackson off those duties as his responsibility as a receiver increased. With his quickness, Jackson was always a threat to take one back, as Giants fans know all too well.
As stated, Reid got five years out of Jackson with no apparent issues. The connection is undeniable, and the fit makes sense. The biggest question now is salary cap. With an estimated $4.5 million in space, how do the Chiefs make room for DeSean Jackson without losing another key member to last year's resurgence?