Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Five Reasons Why DeSean Jackson Won't Turn Into Terrell Owens

(God, please not let DeSean Jackson be Terrell Owens.)

With DeSean Jackson holding out while employing Terrell Owens' old agent, there's all kinds of people thinking that his end in the laundry is nigh, and that Shenanigans Are Coming. I'm not so sure. Here's why.

1) This is his first team.

Terrible spent his formative years being told that he wasn't Jerry Rice, for an organization that was in open decay and decline. In his formative years, his QB went from a Hall of Famer that could get him the ball all over the field (Steve Young) to a Nintendo-esque figure (Jeff Garcia) that couldn't go past 20 yards unless it was a sideline fly. Whining to get out was inevitable, and being rewarded for it just exacerbated his sense of exceptionalism.

DeSean's been an Eagle for four years now, and has seen the team go from an aging question mark to a Houdini act and emblem of redemption. He's seen the defense get a huge importing of talent, and a cadre of young skill players that complement what he does without competing with it. He might feel bent about not getting paid, or concerned that the club isn't ever going to pay him due to injury concerns... but he can't be thinking that there's a better place for him to play in 2011.

2) He's not angry.

Owens played just about every down of his life angry; angry at the QB for not getting him the ball, angry at the CB for thinking he could defend him, angry at any defender for thinking he could bring him down, angry at the ref for not throwing a flag on any play that didn't go his way. He might have been the most physically imposing wideout of his generation, and he wasn't that much of a leaper. No one ever accused him of taking plays off, and while it's really too simplistic a point, the biggest problem is that Terrell might have cared too much. (About Terrell first, of course. But still.)

DJ is an entirely different animal. He's not about getting 15 balls a game; he's about going 50 yards when he gets it, and impacting the game like clear air turbulence, or lightning on a cloudless day. I've never watched a player in the laundry who seemed to radiate more pure joy, really. Even his knucklehead moments (the infamous Dallas early drop touchdown, the delayed touchdown routes, the general inability to just score and hand the ball to the ref) are more along the lines of an irrepressible kid, rather than a me-first malcontent.

3) Drew Rosenhaus is older.

When Terrible spent his summer ensuring the Super Bowl hangover was going to last all year long, Rosenhaus was a virtual unkwown, and a guy who seemed to be well on his way to being an infamous footnote. Now, he's still in the game, still prominent for a number of guys, and no more loathed than anyone else in his line of business. He's still a guy who is going to say and do whatever it takes to get the biggest commision for himself, but he doesn't seem like he's going to be leading a workout circus in a driveway, either.

4) He's got friends on the team. Lots of them, actually.

Nnamdi Asomugha, Mike Vick, Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant, possibly even Andy Reid... the list is long, and there really isn't anyone on the team that doesn't seem to have kind words for the guy. Hell, after the Miracle at the Meadowlands, I'm pretty sure he's beloved for life. So there won't be any real fights or snottiness in the locker room, or guys sticking the needle in over how he didn't get paid. At least, that's what I'm hoping.

5) Plenty of other guys got screwed this year, too.

It's the NFL lockout year: free agents didn't get paid worth a damn, and the Eagles cleaned up by convincing the solid talent to take less for the chance to join a winner with a national profile. Assuming he stays healthy and the team wins games -- which, of course, can not be assumed, but seems the most likely outcome right now -- DJ could be finding himself thankful to not be locked up.

And if he winds up putting the same big plays and numbers up... well, it's not as if there will be any shortage of suitors willing to pony up big cash to take the key to the Eagles' deep game away from them. But it'll happen in the off-season, after we know an awful lot more about life -- whether DJ stayed healthy, whether Vick stayed in one piece, and whether or not this all-in move got paid off. Unless the man's concussion problems return, he's gonna get paid. Just not right away.

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