After three straight playoff appearances, the Birds landed in the basement.
In this era of free agency in the National Football League, it’s been proven over the years that teams can go from last place to a division title or even a Super Bowl championship. Such was the case of the Philadelphia Eagles, who finished with a 7-9 record and were dead last in the NFC East in 2016 to 13-3 and winners of Super Bowl LII.
That would be the first of three straight playoff appearances for then-head coach Doug Pederson. But it all came apart in 2020 as the team fell to 4-11-1, Pederson was fired by season’s end and former starting quarterback Carson Wentz is now in Indianapolis after being traded to the Colts.
This is a franchise with a lot of cap issues (see Spotrac). First things first. Mike Kaye of NJ.com explains that while the team renegotiated new deals for defensive tackle Malik Jackson and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in early January, NFL Network’s Mike Garofalo explains that neither player is in Philadelphia’s plans for 2021. Likewise star tight end Zach Ertz, who also doesn’t figure to be back as well (via Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network).
So who could the team be looking to part ways with in the next few weeks? And how do you define surprising?
3. WR DeSean Jackson
The return to the City of Brotherly Love hasn’t gone as planned. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson began his career with the Eagles and then moved onto Washington and Tampa Bay. He came back to Philadelphia in 2019 and has been back with the franchise for two seasons.
Unfortunately, he’s played in a total of eight games in his second tour of duty with the club. It adds up to 23 receptions, good for 395 yards and three touchdowns. That’s an impressive 17.2 yards per grab, further proof that the big-play pro hasn’t really slowed down.
Perhaps the real surprise is that Jackson remained on the roster after an injury-riddled 2019. In any case, the 13-year veteran could be one of numerous familiar faces the franchise parts ways with this offseason.