DeSean Jackson may be released if the Philadelphia Eagles cannot find a trade partner, according to reports from Saturday. This entire saga has been a messy affair, given that it seems like nobody really has any idea what's likely to happen or entirely why it's happening.
Jackson is coming off a career year and is one of the top receivers in the NFL, but with $10.5 million due to him this coming season, the Eagles are exploring their options to unload him. Last season they were reportedly asking for a second-round pick, and now this year they're asking for a third. Or perhaps they're not asking at all, and are merely "listening" to offers, as some reports suggest.
SB Nation NFL
SB Nation NFL
And if that's the case, have they told Jackson? Some reports suggest they have promised Jackson he would not be traded while others are now saying he could simply be released outright. That would be catastrophic for the Eagles, who are hoping to win now with Nick Foles at the helm. Losing a guy like Jackson without getting any return would be a big deal.
Philadelphia can afford to pay Jackson this season, as his cap hit is not insurmountable. Given that that the team just found its franchise quarterback, it's really surprising to see this happening. Most believe there has to be more to this, with one side having angered the other in some way. Now it only seems like a matter of time before Jackson, a 27-year-old receiver coming off the best season of his career, is either traded or released.
Here's what else you might have missed from Saturday in the NFL:
Tight end Jermichael Finley is hoping to return to football sooner rather than later, but it sounds as though his projections were optimistic at best. Finley has been visiting with teams, most notably the Seattle Seahawks, but he has reportedly failed a physical with the Super Bowl champions. Finley listed the Seahawks as a preferred destination and could surely end up there in 2014, but he has a lot more to show doctors regarding his health going forward.
The Atlanta Falcons will retain the services of defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora in 2014. The 32-year-old defensive lineman is in the final year of a two-year contract and his place on the defense was in question due to his cap hit and the team's transition into a more traditional 3-4 defense. There was speculation that Umenyiora would have to restructure his contract to remain with the team, but it looks as though Atlanta is confident in keeping him at his cap hit of almost $5 million.
NFL Free Agency
NFL Free Agency
The Pittsburgh Steelers will host running back LeGarrette Blount on Sunday, but a division rival is also interested in the running back's services. The Baltimore Ravens will reportedly host Blount for a visit in the event that he leaves Pittsburgh without a contract. Blount did a lot for his stock last season with the Patriots, putting up 772 yards and seven touchdowns after struggling in previous seasons. Pittsburgh picked running back Le'Veon Bell early in the draft last season and are becoming more of a power-running team, though Blount would likely want the opportunity to be the primary ball-carrier.
The NFL could be considering banning celebrations that include dunking over the crossbar of the goalposts, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. It's not an officially-proposed rule change being discussed this offseason, but it is reportedly something that's being considered. The NFL banned the use of props during celebrations, but an exception has been made for the goalpost dunk and the Lambeau Leap, for some reason. Last season, Jimmy Graham damaged the goalpost doing the dunk, which could be the catalyst for this consideration.