Don’t Ignore the Inside Information

Updated: April 1, 2014

DeSean Jackson is available? 82 receptions? 1,332 yards? 9 TDs? That’s like a gazillion Fantasy points. We (i.e. name your favorite team) should sign him. Now!

Jackson not only has big stats but also freakish speed and elusiveness, the kind of game-changing ability the NFL craves. By the time the Eagles released DeSean Jackson on Friday the news was not quite as stunning as you might think…the Eagles were openly shopping him so you knew there was trouble.


Contemporaneously the headlines were out about DeSean’s gang connections, bad influences, missed meetings, poor work ethic, etc. Clearly the Eagles had enough worries to say DeSean could be more trouble than even his prodigious talent was worth.

And that’s the point to keep in mind here.

The sports world has been discussing whether in the absence of actual gang activity his gang ties should be counted against him, how the Aaron Hernandez case has made the NFL more sensitive to the subject, and so forth. At the same time pundits and fans alike have been dazzled by his stats and speed…’if NFL Security is OK with the guy, let’s sign him’.

I know this isn’t going to get him signed before Dan Snyder jumps in but let’s pump the brakes here. There was initial talk that the Chiefs (with Andy Reid) and the Jets (with Marty Mornhinweg) were the favorites to sign DeSean as they had coaches who knew him from Philly and whom DeSean could trust. Brilliant logic and brilliant reporting.

Chip Kelly from

What every armchair-Fantasy Team GM seems to forget is that nobody in the NFL knows more about DeSean Jackson than the Eagles and Chip Kelly. DeSean seems a perfect fit for Kelly’s high-octane game. Kelly has already proven himself to be a step ahead of most of the NFL and he  knows how to put a program together. And at Oregon he recruited more than his share of elite athletes with odious backgrounds so he’s no babe in the woods. Yet Kelly had obviously had enough.

‘Inside information’…bad thing on Wall Street. But for the rest of the world where info is not legally controlled, inside information is a wonderful thing, it’s being a step ahead of everyone else.

That’s what the Eagles have with DeSean Jackson. Whether it’s his gang buddies, the curious things that seem to go on around him, his poor attitude, his effect on teammates…we don’t know but clearly the Eagles do and whatever they’re seeing, it’s not worth all of DeSean’s talent.

The stunning thing to me is when the sports universe gets a story like this and writes its own narrative based on its own limited perspective…completely oblivious to the notion that there are insiders who are making these decisions and they’re (certainly in this case) a lot smarter than we are about their business.

I’m betting that Chip Kelly is at least a step ahead on this one. If I was an NFL GM at a minimum I’d want to know what the Eagles know before I did anything. Some respected teams like the Giants have declined any interest in DeSean while Dan the Fan and the Redskins are doing the fraternity rush. Like the old song says, “only fools rush in”.

Once again I really pity the poor Redskin fans.

Post-blog note: subsequent to this post the Redskins have announced the signing of DeSean Jackson. They basically got him and his agent in town and didn’t let them leave without a deal. No word on whether any other team was in on DeSean.

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