Extra Points: Examining DeSean to DC

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Updated: 4/02 10:17 am

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Crips haven't issued a press release just yet, but Mr. Jackson is headed to Washington.

One man's trash can be another's treasure in the NFL and in the often incestuous world of pro football, the Redskins were thrilled to scoop up what the Philadelphia Eagles left at the curb just days ago, diva-like wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Often division rivals are like siblings envious of what the other has.

Take the NFC North, for example. Green Bay, Chicago and Minnesota were all disappointed in the way their defensive fronts performed in 2013. So, how did those teams address it in free agency? By playing a game of division musical chairs and raiding each other, along with the Detroit Lions, the lone North division team that had a plus-front a year ago.

When the music stopped, the Pack had signed Julius Peppers from Chicago and Letroy Guion after Minnesota jettisoned him, while the Bears took Jared Allen off the Vikings' hands and brought in both Willie Young and Israel Idonije from the Motor City. Minny, meanwhile, convinced Corey Wootton to leave the Windy City for the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

It's human nature to crave comfort and familiarity and it's natural to envy the pretty girl your brother is dating especially when you see her twice a year and don't have to deal with the baggage 24/7.

Jackson is that pretty girl for the 'Skins, a three-time Pro Bowl selection coming off his best season, compiling 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in his first campaign under the offensive genius of Chip Kelly.

For the Eagles, though, Jackson is the leggy, now ex-girlfriend who fell out of favor because of what went on behind closed doors.

On paper, Jackson seemed like a perfect fit for Kelly's innovative offensive mind, a versatile player who lined up all over the field and served as the ultimate home run hitter for ascending young quarterback Nick Foles.

So what went wrong?

At the end of the day, money was the main issue that pushed Jackson south on the I-95 corridor. He was always complaining about it and never happy with what he got despite having a salary cap figure that would have hit eight figures had he remained in Philadelphia.

Instead Jackson began the offseason by saying he wanted new contract and ultimately got it Wednesday, albeit one worth $2.5 million less (at least in 2014) than what he would have had.

When you mix in the fact Jackson butted heads with Kelly on more than one occasion, wasn't exactly Jerry Rice when it came to his work ethic, along with the often spotty off-the-field company he kept, you begin to understand the toxic cocktail that sent the California product from the City of Brotherly Love to the Beltway.

It's simple addition by subtraction in the Eagles' minds. Think the New York Giants moving on from talents like Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey so Eli Manning didn't have to deal with their mouthy and often disruptive behavior.

Behind the scenes, the Eagles' spin is that while explosive, Jackson is limited as a receiver because of size and concussion issues. Philly also thinks its cheaper options at the position like Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin are more than capable, and that they could draft a suitable replacement like Oregon State speedster Brandin Cooks. Meanwhile, the team just didn't want Jackson's attitude poisoning its younger talent.

Anyone who has spent any time around Kelly is not going to find it all that far-fetched the second-year coach has the ego and hubris to believe a player like Cooks could hit the ground running in his system and immediately replace Jackson.

And all of that is fine but own the decision.

Instead the Eagles played dirty pool, convincing a naive reporter to play up Jackson's potential gang ties in an effort to gain plausible deniability in this whole situation.

Now it's not about Kelly's dislike of Jackson or his belief that he can succeed with a lesser talent at the position, it's about the appearance of impropriety.

Jackson is his own worst enemy at times and makes trashing him painfully easy. He has flashed Crips gang signs in pictures on more than one occasion, was seen throwing a sign at his new teammate DeAngelo Hall on the field back in September of last season, and often hangs around with people accused of doing some dastardly things.

He's also paid homage to those friends by naming his record label "Jaccpot Records" because any good Crip knows you don't put the letter "c" and "k" together.

Jackson remains an immature, knucklehead at times, but his apologists can correctly point to the fact that the star receiver has never gotten into any serious off-the-field incidents, something a lot of other NFL players with far better reputations can't say.

Today the Redskins are in that apologists' camp while the Eagles consider themselves the realists.

History will ultimately decide which "brother" is right.

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