The move sparked instant debate over whether it was a wise decision to revisit the past and bring back Jackson, whose first run with the Eagles was two parts electrifying and one part turbulent.
Whatever the split this time around, it's always best to buckle up when Jackson is in town.
Why make this move?
The Eagles have been chasing a speed receiver of Jackson's caliber since the day former coach Chip Kelly cut Jackson in March 2014. Torrey Smith filled the role during the team's Super Bowl run in 2017 but didn't strike fear in the hearts of his opponents quite like Jackson can. Mike Wallace was supposed to be the field-stretcher last season, but he broke his leg in Week 2, and the offense suffered for it.
The ideal setup is to have a burner working opposite a big, physical wideout such as Alshon Jeffery. That's when coach Doug Pederson's offense is at its best. Same goes for the mirror system of his mentor, Andy Reid, who drafted Jackson and is now blessed with Tyreek Hill in Kansas City. As one of the best deep-threat receivers in NFL history, Jackson fits the bill quite well.
Jackson has 29 touchdowns of 50-plus yards in his career, second to only Jerry Rice (36).
But Jackson is 32. Is he still that guy?
The numbers say he's still got the juice. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jackson remains one of the fastest players in the game. He reached 20-plus mph on eight of his 52 touches (15.4 percent) last season, the highest rate in the league. Hill was second highest at 12.4 percent.
He had the highest average target depth in 2018 at 19.1 yards, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Eagles had nine passing plays of 40-plus yards all of last season. Jackson had five such plays all by himself despite appearing in only 12 games.
Any issues about him being a locker room fit?
Fair question. It wasn't all roses during his first stint in Philly. Jackson was sometimes immature and caused his share of headaches internally. He wore his emotions on his sleeve, so if he was in a bad mood, it was written all over his body language and you could feel it when strolling through the locker room. He had the power to affect the temperature of a team.
Jackson has mellowed some over the years, though, according to people close to him. There should be less volatility this time around.
It will be fascinating to watch how Jackson integrates with the team in his second stint. Time hasn't sat still. The roster has turned over, a new set of alphas run things, and he's going to have to figure out where he fits.
Organizational familiarity should help. Pederson knows him from his first go-around in Philly, as do some players and front-office members. The fact they decided to bring him back after being married to him once says something.
Who benefits the most?
Carson Wentz. There is some gunslinger to his game and he's got a big arm. He'll feel right at home airing it out and letting Jackson do his thing on the other end.
I'll just stand here and throw it as far as I can, you go ahead and just RUN.... how's that sound @DeSeanJackson11 ??? 😎— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) March 12, 2019
Welcome back to Philly my man!
Expect Wentz's deep-ball accuracy to jump up.
Jackson's value also comes via lifting the top off a defense and attracting attention. There should be more space in the intermediate areas for guys such as Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert to operate in. Wentz should be able to take advantage of Jackson's gravitational pull in the secondary.