Thursday, October 14, 2010

Weaver Should Be Lesson to Jackson

It’s no secret by now that DeSean Jackson is not happy about his contract. The Pro-Bowl wide out is not having a good season so far, and has to see the dollars slipping away every time Kevin Kolb lines up behind center.

Jackson has been a good camper so far, not holding out, not creating a scene, and has yet to start working out in his driveway. His refusal to talk to the media on most days is the farthest he’s gone to show his displeasure.

It’s unlikely Jackson could be any more motivated to get a new deal. A base salary of 800,000 will do that to the top weapon on the team. But if he needs more proof now is the time to get the deal done, he needs only to look a few lockers down to Leonard Weaver and Owen Schmitt.

Last season, Weaver signed a one-year deal with the Birds. One Pro-Bowl appearance later, Weaver turned that one-year deal into the highest contract ever given to a fullback. With 6.5 million guaranteed, Weaver will receive over 3 times as much as Jackson will over the next two years (around 1.8 million dollars).

After the devastating injury Weaver suffered the first week of the season, his season is now over. Some question if he will ever be able to recover from the damage suffered in his knee. Once Weaver went down, the Eagles had no choice but to bring in a little known fullback in Owen Schmitt.

Schmitt’s play since he has arrived has been a pleasant surprise. He is averaging almost 10 yards a catch and players on the team have raved about what a great job he has done opening up lanes for LeSean McCoy.

Will Schmitt permanently replace Weaver? That remains to be seen. Weaver has come back from a season ending injury before. But if he comes back and is not the same player, he will be replaced by the Eagles, as the Birds have done with many other players. Schmitt has made the most of his opportunity. Ask Kevin Kolb what happens when a backup shines in your absence.

How does this relate to DeSean Jackson? Because every time Jackson takes the field, he risks his career ending. Jackson is a little receiver, one that kills teams with his speed. In the NFL, speed is the first thing to go. It is also the hardest thing to get back after an injury. Every time Jackson returns a punt, or catches a screen pass, he risks suffering the same fate Weaver did- without the big pay day.

If the Eagles front office decides to go with Kolb as their future quarterback, does Jackson become as valuable to the team? His numbers under Kolb are horrible, and you can tell Jackson is frustrated when Kolb is on the field. The Eagles already have a number one wide out in the making in Jeremy Maclin. They would not hesitate at all to make him the premier wide out on this team.

The Eagles front office pays for the future, and does not reward players based off past achievements. Regardless of what Weaver’s future holds, he is set for life financially.

Jackson can not say the same. And with the situation at quarterback, and a possible hold out coming next season, Jackson has to be frustrated on how long till that pay day will come- if it ever does.

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