Eagles

Eagles agree to a trade for DeSean Jackson

Eagles agree to a trade for DeSean Jackson

Updated: 7 p.m.

It took him a few years, but Howie Roseman has undone another one of Chip Kelly’s bizarro roster moves.

The Eagles have reacquired wide receiver DeSean Jackson, five years after Kelly released him following the 2013 season, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Derrick Gunn. 

The Eagles gave up their 2019 sixth-round pick for Jackson and Tampa Bay's seventh-round pick in 2020, a source confirmed.

The speedy Jackson, already the fourth-leading receiver in Eagles history with 6,117 receiving yards, spent 2014 through 2016 with the Redskins and the last two seasons with the Buccaneers.

He has openly campaigned to rejoin the team that drafted him in the second round 11 years ago, and he instantly gives the offense the explosive firepower that’s been missing since Kelly released him five years ago this month.

There’s no question Jackson can still run.

Even at 31, he led the NFL this past season with 18.9 yards per catch. It was the fourth time he’s led the league in yards-per-catch, and his 17.4 career average is third-highest in the NFL over the last 25 years behind Henry Ellard (18.2) and Devery Henderson (17.9).

In Carson Wentz, Jackson now has a quarterback who should be able to get the most out of him, and Wentz for the first time has a true deep threat to take the top off opposing defenses.

Jackson had one year remaining on the three-year, $33.5 million contract he signed with the Buccaneers before the 2017 season. That deal pays him $10 million with a $10 million cap hit in 2019.

According to ESPN's Tim McManus, Jackson's re-worked deal is worth $27 million over the next three years. He was originally slated to earn $10 million this year on the final year of the three-year deal he signed with the Bucs in 2017.

Jackson has had five 1,000-yard seasons — three with the Eagles and two with the Redskins — and he made three Pro Bowls, all with the Eagles, most recently in 2013.

He’s among the best in NFL history turning in big plays, and the numbers are crazy.

Jackson has 29 career touchdowns of 50 yards or more, second-most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice. That includes 24 receiving, four on punt returns and one rushing.

His 24 career receiving touchdowns of at least 50 yards are fifth-most in NFL history, behind Hall of Famers Rice (36), Randy Moss (28), Lance Alworth (27) and Terrell Owens (27).

Jackson has the unusual distinction of scoring the most 50-yard touchdowns since 1960 by an Eagle (17) and the most 50-yard touchdowns since 1950 against the Eagles (3).

What this move means for Nelson Agholor remains to be seen.

As of now, the Eagles have three wide receivers under contract with huge salary cap figures for 2019: Alshon Jeffery ($14.725 million), Jackson ($10 million) and Agholor ($9.387 million). They are the highest, sixth- and seventh-highest cap figures on the roster at the moment.

The Eagles have until 4 p.m. Wednesday – the start of the league year – to release Agholor with zero dead money or restructure his contract to spread out the cap hit. If they do neither, that $9.387 million figure becomes real money. It becomes guaranteed and that means it will count fully against the 2019 cap.

Since he entered the league in 2008, Jackson has 36 100-yard games, sixth-most in the league during that span.

His biggest catch as an Eagle was probably the 62-yarder from Donovan McNabb to give the Eagles a lead over the Cards in the fourth quarter of the 2008 NFC Championship Game.

Jackson has played with some talented quarterbacks – McNabb, Michael Vick and Nick Foles here and Kirk Cousins in Washington, but he never clicked in Tampa with Jameis Winston or Ryan Fitzpatrick – although he did have a 75-yard TD from Fitzpatrick against the Eagles in September.

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Doug Pederson reveals his plan for Boston Scott

Doug Pederson reveals his plan for Boston Scott

Can’t keep Boston Scott on the bench now.

After this?

Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday that Scott, the Eagles’ speedy 5-foot-6 running back, earned a regular spot in the team’s running back rotation with his electrifying performance against the Giants.

Scott, forced into action in the second half as rookie Miles Sanders battled cramps, was nothing less than brilliant, turning 16 touches into 128 scrimmage yards and the touchdown that started the Eagles’ comeback.

Scott, who entered the game with only 99 career yards from scrimmage and one career catch, ran 10 times for 59 yards and caught six passes for 69 yards, including a 25-yarder down the right sideline in overtime that was one of the Eagles’ biggest plays this year.

His 128 scrimmage yards are the most by any Eagles running back since LeGarrette Blount had 156 against the Chargers in 2017.

Asked whether that performance earned Scott playing time even when — or if — the Eagles’ running backs are healthy, Pederson said:

Sure, (because of) where we are right now as a team, an offense (and) his performance and what we've seen in practice, too. Really, it goes all the way back to training camp and some of the preseason games where he played and showed some of that speed and quickness. I think he can really make an impact for us.

The Eagles signed Scott off the Saints’ practice squad late last year, but he didn’t play on offense. He started this year on the Eagles’ practice squad and was signed to the 53 when Corey Clement went on Injured Reserve in mid-October.

But the 24-year-old Scott didn’t play much until Monday night, when Sanders left the game in the third quarter with cramps.

The Eagles trailed 17-3 at halftime, but with Scott making play after play, they scored 20 unanswered points and won 23-17 in overtime to keep their playoff hopes alive.  

It was good to see Boston get in the game and do the things he did,” Pederson said. “It just gave us as an offense a change of pace. There’s a quickness there, and that's just Boston. It takes nothing away from the other guys. Something we'll continue to implement into our game plan and find ways to utilize him in the offense.

It took four running back injuries — Clement, Sproles, Jordan Howard and Sanders — for Scott to finally get a chance.

Why did it take the Eagles so long to recognize his ability and why did it take four injuries to get him on the field?

Valid questions.

But what’s important now is that Scott continues to have the chance to make plays like he made Monday.

He netted his 128 scrimmage yards on just 16 touches and had 122 of those yards after halftime.

He's the first Eagles running back with 128 yards on 16 or fewer touches since Sproles against the Colts in 2014 and only the eighth to do that in the last 40 years.

He also became the first Eagles running back with 122 scrimmage yards in a half since LeSean McCoy had 170 of his 221 in the second half of the Snow Bowl win over the Lions in 2013.

Pederson said Tuesday that Sanders is fine. His 69 scrimmage yards Monday night gave him 948 this year, which quietly broke McCoy’s franchise record for scrimmage yards by a rookie running back.

But Clement and Sproles are out for the year and Howard remains out indefinitely with a stinger. He hasn’t played since the Bears game on Nov. 3.

As of now, Sanders, Scott and Jay Ajayi are the Eagles’ healthy running backs, although Ajayi has not been productive since his return, with 30 rushing yards on 10 carries in three games. Once Scott started going off Monday night, Ajayi didn’t play.

Looking ahead, Sproles is expected to retire and Howard and Ajayi are due to become free agents.

Sanders is under contract through 2022, and the Eagles control Scott through 2021 and Clement through 2020.

So the reps are there for Scott if he continues to produce. Not just this year, but in the future as well.

After seeing him play Monday night, how can you not play the kid?

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Jason Peters had a message for his teammates before Eagles’ comeback

Jason Peters had a message for his teammates before Eagles’ comeback

As ESPN’s broadcast came back from a TV timeout in the third quarter on Monday night, it showed a graphic of the previous five Eagles’ drives.

It was ugly.

Each of those previous five drives had lasted just three plays for a total of 31 net yards. All ended in punts.

What the broadcast didn’t show was that in the offensive huddle before the drive that began with 7:07 remaining in the third quarter, 37-year-old future Hall of Famer Jason Peters gave an impassioned speech to his teammates.

“I just told them to empty the tank. Empty the tank,” Peters recalled in the wee hours Tuesday morning to a small group of reporters left in a locker room that had mostly emptied.

“We got two quarters or we’re going home early. The guys answered after I told them that. It’s either win tonight or be at home in three weeks. That was just plain and simple.”

The Eagles them promptly marched down the field 58 yards on 10 plays and punched in their first touchdown of the night. They scored the game’s last 20 points to pull out a win.

Peters said he had “no question” that his teammates would respond.

“I told Doug coming out of halftime, ‘Just stick with what you’re doing. We gonna win the game.’ And he did,” Peters said. “He called a great game. Every play was kind of clicking for us.”

The Eagles were trailing 17-3 at halftime but Peters said he actually felt like they were getting close to making plays. The Eagles were able to move the ball at times in the first half, which gave him confidence that they’d be able to turn things around.

In his 16th NFL season, Peters isn’t the All-Pro he once was. He gets beat occasionally and, although he played every snap on Monday, has had trouble staying healthy. And, yeah, those false starts — he has three this season — can be annoying.

But if there’s one thing we know about Peters, it’s this: When he talks, his teammates listen.

“I always speak up. I ain’t gotta be all in the media or all on TV,” Peters said. “I get our guys, I talk to them every day, in practice, in meetings. I ain’t no big-time rah, rah guy that have to get on television or nothing. I just pull my guys to the side and talk to them individually.”

The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in the first round this spring to be Peters’ replacement. Peters is the second-oldest starting tackle in the NFL and is playing this season on a reworked one-year deal. We all kind of understand the situation.

We could be nearing the end of one of the greatest careers in Eagles history.

Maybe the Eagles have one more run in them before it’s over.

“We’re not in a bad spot,” Peters said. “We’re taking it one week at a time. This wasn’t our best performance. I’m glad we came back and won but we can’t do that against the good teams. We gotta start off hot. Hopefully … we got some people banged up, we get some people to step up. We go from there.”

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