DeSean Jackson is a free agent after the season, the Eagles have the NFL's least impactful wide receiver group, and so it's almost a foregone conclusion around these parts that DeSean will return to the Eagles.
Confidence in a reunion grew when Jackson didn't deny interest in it earlier this season.
"I never really had hard feelings toward Philadelphia, besides being released by whoever released me," Jackson said in mid-October, obviously referring to Chip Kelly. "That's different — but I guess he's not there anymore."
In that same interview, Jackson noted that he still talks to former Eagles teammate LeSean McCoy "every day."
So when Shady says something like he said over the weekend, maybe it means a little more. On a live video on Instagram Saturday night, McCoy said that Jackson told him he was going back to the Eagles. Shady also called linebacker Kiko Alonso, for whom Kelly traded him to the Bills, a "bum," according to NFL Network host Dan Hellie.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham, who played with Jackson from 2010-13, also thinks he's coming back.
"It's an exciting feeling to get an Eagle back," Graham said Monday morning on TCN's Breakfast on Broad.
"I'm excited because he should have never left. Everybody knows that DeSean, yes, things were happening while he was here, but he's a good guy. I used to be with him all the time.
"I'm just happy because I kinda knew already. I've talked to him. I talked to him when Doug (Pederson) got hired. He was like, 'Tell Coach come get me.' We have fun during the season. He's like, 'B.G., I'll be back.' But now that it's official, as far as the season about to be over, I think you'll be hearing a lot of noise about DeSean. ... I'm saying official as far as the end of season, now we're gonna really see."
So Shady thinks DeSean is coming back to the Eagles. Brandon Graham thinks DeSean is coming back to the Eagles. Most Eagles fans think DeSean is coming back to the Eagles. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's not like DeSean is going to be hurting for offers.
This year's group of free-agent wide receivers is ugly. Alshon Jeffery, Terrelle Pryor ... and then Jackson and Pierre Garcon, both current Redskins, are probably the next-best options.
Sure, Jackson is 30 at a position filled with youth, but he's still averaged 18.0 yards per catch this season, the fourth-highest mark of his career. He's just 29 yards away from another 1,000-yard receiving season, even after missing a game. He's still a focal point of a high-powered offense.
You mean to tell me Jackson is so gaga over Philly that he's going to forego what might be his last chance at a big payday?
There are going to be a lot of teams interested in Jackson and his ability to take the top off a defense. One thought I've had lately is that maybe the Patriots take a look at DeSean in free agency. They've long coveted speedy, downfield threats — Randy Moss, Donte Stallworth, even someone like Chris Hogan — and they've taken in divas in the past like Moss and Chad Johnson. If you put DeSean in that offense, it would open up even more space underneath for Tom Brady's other receivers.
One thing you can probably rule out is DeSean's returning to Washington. The 'Skins need to spend money to improve their defense, and they already have a lot of weapons for Kirk Cousins in Jamison Crowder, Jordan Reed, the running backs and this past year's first-round pick, Josh Doctson. Plus, Cousins himself has to get paid.