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For his 12th NFL season, Second-team All-Pro and 3x Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be playing once again for the team that drafted him in 2008, the Philadelphia Eagles.
Even at 32-years of age, Jackson continues to be a deep threat receiver, maintaining his speed and quickness with relentless offseason training led by expert coaches he has worked with since childhood.
A more mature Jackson, of course, hopes his return to Philly includes a Super Bowl run, and we take a glimpse at his journey back to the east coast and go over the odds and predictions of his 2019 offensive numbers.
DeSean William Jackson is a 32-year-old pro wide receiver in the NFL who was born in 1986 in Los Angeles California to Bill and Gayle Jackson, his older brother Byron a former NFL receiver who spent two seasons on the Kansas City Chiefs practice squad.
Like a lot of NFL players, Jackson played high school football at Long Beach Polytechnic and by his senior year had become one of the top receiver recruits in the nation, having been named the 2004 Glenn Davis Award winner by the LA Times.
That same year, Jackson caught 60 passes for 1,075 yards and 15 touchdowns, leading his team to the CIF Southern Section Championship, a game where he even played some defense, snagging two picks and running one of them back for a 68-yard touchdown.
After being voted the MVP at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (despite somersaulting from the five-yard line and leaving the ball there instead of in the end zone), Jackson was also voted the Calhisports.com 2004 Mr. Football State Player of the Year among many other honors.
In 2005, Jackson began playing wide receiver for the University of Southern California, Berkeley.
In his three seasons at USC, Berkeley, Jackson caught 162 balls for 2,423 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing 11 times for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson chose to forgo his senior year of college football eligibility and declared for the 2008 NFL Draft holding Pac-10 records for punts returned for a touchdown both in a season (4) and in a career (6).
The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jackson in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft with the 49th pick overall after zero receivers were picked in the first round
Over his first six seasons in the NFL with the Eagles, Jackson caught 356 balls for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns, as well as picked up three rushing touchdowns and four punt returns for touchdowns.
In his time in Philadelphia, he was selected to the Pro Bowl three times and was a Second-team All-Pro.
Yup, hes that guy.
For those not in the know, in 2010 when the Eagles were playing the New York Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, Philly came back from being down 10-31 in the fourth quarter to make it a tie ballgame at 31-31 with 14-seconds left in the game.
After fumbling the punted ball, Jackson picked it up and ran 65 yards to score a touchdown and win the game, even running parallel to the goal line once he reached it to kill a few more seconds off the clock.
Jacksons miracle is the first-and-only game winning punt return on the final play from scrimmage in the history of the NFL.
Yup, hes that guy, too.
Not having learned from his ill-fated All-American Bowl somersault back in high school (see above), the young Jackson early in his NFL career caught a pass against the Cowboys that would have been an easy touchdown.
Unfortunately, a celebrating Jackson instead flipped the ball backwards just before he broke the plane of the end zone and the ball was considered dead and the touchdown never happened.
Those were the types of plays that gave the young Jackson a bit of a reputation of at times showing judgment while at other times displaying a total lack of it, the latter quality totally frustrating fans, teammates and especially his coaches.
After the statistically best season of Jacksons career in 2013 when he caught 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns, the Eagles mysteriously released him.
And thats after having just signed him to a five-year, $51 million contract in 2012.
Asked why they let him go, head coach Chip Kelly said Jacksons character had zero to do with it, its just that the team was going in a different direction, but few believed him.
After his release from the Eagles in 2014, Jackson signed with the Washington Redskins for a three-year, $24 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.
During his Redskins years, Jackson led the league in yards per catch twice, but injuries slowed him down a bit in 2015.
In 2017, Jackson signed a three-year, $33.5 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his output wasnt stellar, in part due to an injured Achilles tendon.
Jacksons output was low but the results were high.
He caught just 41 balls for 774 yards, but that still qualified him as the league-leader in yards-per-reception (18.9).
That was the fourth time in his career that he held that honor.
Currently, Jackson holds one NFL record.
24 of Jacksons career touchdowns are of 60 or more yards, which is the most in NFL history.
Another high honor bestowed on Jackson was being on the cover of the PlayStation 2 version of NCAA Football 09.
Jackson attributes his ability to maintain his breakaway speed to hard work and the people he keeps around him, including a team of trainers who have essentially dedicated their lives to his success.
Since he was around twelve, track coach Gary Cablayan and his group have inspired Jackson to train on the track field in addition to moderate weight lifting.
Add to that speed the high football IQ hes developed in eleven seasons and Jackson becomes a receiver worth double-teaming, which leads the middle of the field open for other Eagles playmakers like tight end Zach Ertz or fellow receiver Alshon Jeffery.
On Monday, March 11, the Buccaneers announced they had traded Jackson and a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In return, the Bucs will get a 2019 sixth-round pick.
Jackson, who was due to make $10 million in 2019, received a new three-year deal with the Eagles for $27.6 million, including a $7.17 million signing bonus.
The cap hit for Jackson in 2019 is reportedly $3.164 million.
The two categories that oddsmakers have already offered over/unders for in 2019 are total receiving yards and total number of touchdowns.
Keep in mind that over the last two seasons, Jackson caught for 668 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2017 and for 774 yards and 4 touchdowns in 2019.
The question football gamblers have to ask is what difference will moving from the number one passing offense in Tampa Bay to the seventh most productive passing offense last season in Philly make on Jacksons output next season.
Caveat: Jackson must play in game one for action to commence.
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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