Baltimore Ravens: Stay Away From DeSean Jackson

Jan 10, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) looks on from the field prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 10, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) looks on from the field prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens could use someone with DeSean Jackson’s talent, but he comes with more headaches than production.

There is no denying that the Baltimore Ravens desperately need a wide receiver that can stretch the field. That does not mean they have to sign the fastest guy out there just because he is available.

Over the past few weeks, there have been rumblings about a certain speedster potentially being cut and being a fit for the Ravens. The problem is he really is not a fit at all.

DeSean Jackson is one of the most dynamic players in the NFL with the ball in his hands. That’s a statement that very few will argue. His speed is real and it adds a whole new dimension to any offense. Pair that with a rocket arm like the one Joe Flacco has and it does sound like the perfect combination.

It is also true that the Ravens do covet salary cap casualties because it does not take away a compensatory pick. Derrick Mason and Steve Smith are a pair of wide outs that Baltimore brought in after being cut by their former teams so the precedent is there.

Any team that has a quarterback with a strong arm would want Jackson. So why are so teams giving up on him so quickly?

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The Philadelphia Eagles decided to part ways with Jackson after his best season as a pro. Chip Kelly felt that even with the 1,334 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns that he was not worth the trouble. When the news broke, there was the talk about whether it had to do with race or the group of people he hung out with. That looked to be a common theme with much of Kelly’s former players so Jackson’s ways were brushed to the side.

Jackson decided to take his skill set right down I-95 and join the Washington Redskins just two seasons ago. He had a good first year in D.C. with 56 receptions for 1,176 yards and six scores. Those numbers significantly dropped in 2015 and now there is talk that Jackson could be let go.

Jackson’s contract has a lot to do with the rumors that he could be let go. He’s scheduled to have a cap number of $9.25 million, the same figure as the 2015 season. Typically, those figures go up as you enter the later years of a deal so it’s not as though he is suddenly getting a massive pay raise that impacts the cap. There has to be a reason why are the Redskins not willing to pay Jackson the same salary in back-to-back seasons.

The NFL – and sports in general – has transformed into “what have you done for me lately” league. Jackson is coming off his worst season and started just nine games this season. He battled a shoulder injury through much of training camp and also had a hamstring issue during the seasons. He also was missing for much of the Redskins offseason training which did not sit well with the team. His numbers were down. Does any of this sound like something the Ravens need right now?

Baltimore already has enough injured wide receivers to field another team. They really do not need another injury prone player at the position. Smith will be coming off an Achilles injury. Who knows what to expect out of Perriman. Adding another injury prone player does not help.

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Some will point to the fact that the Ravens took a player like Smith who loves to talk trash that they would be willing to deal with Jackson’s demeanor as well. There is a major difference between the two players. Smith came to the Ravens in his later years looking for a championship. He knew that he would be counted on to lead the younger receivers. Jackson is still chasing the money and all about himself.

The Ravens have not had the best public relations after several arrests and the Ray Rice debacle. They do not need someone that brings the baggage that comes with Jackson. Sure, Jackson has not been in any trouble with the law that we know of, but several people inside the NFL have their worries about him. That’s why the Eagles let him go.

It was not long ago that Ravens fans were upset with Ed Reed getting a coaching job with the Buffalo Bills over joining John Harbaugh’s staff. Unlike Ray Lewis, Harbaugh and Reed never really saw eye to eye. The two butted heads and is a major reason why Reed isn’t coaching in Baltimore. Harbaugh likes guys with character, but ones that backup the talk with consistent play.

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Jackson has an average of 17.7 yards per reception since entering the league which is an absurd number. He would bring back the effect Torrey Smith had on the Ravens offense, but with better hands. A lot of teams can use that type of production.

The problem with Jackson is the headaches outweigh the production. That’s why there is no chance he ends up in a Ravens uniform.