Is DeSean Jackson worth the risk for Jets?

With DeSean Jackson on the open market, do the risk factor outweigh the reward for general manager John Idzik's New York Jets?

It was anything but a quiet Friday for the Philadelphia Eagles and more importantly the fans of the New York Jets on twitter also know as #JetsTwitter.

First, Mark Sanchez was officially signed by the Eagles, and fans were discussing whether or not Sanchez or the Jets were to blame for the failure of the former No. 1 draft pick of the Jets.

Secondly, DeSean Jackson was released by the Eagles and heated discussions of the wide receiver's past took over not only #Jetstwitter but all of the NFL on twitter.

He's a great receiver, so why would the Eagles cut bait with one of the best in the game after he just had a career year? Before I heard about his past, the rumors of his gang connections, or even his diva attitude with his club, I thought he was a good fit for the New York Jets.

In the day and age of twitter, the information comes at you at tremendous speed. You don't know what is fact or fiction. It is like trying to piece together a complicated puzzle as it falls from the sky and mixed in with other puzzles. Most fans have taken the attitude: if you are part of a gang, then I don't want you on my team. The only trouble is, was Jackson part of a gang? No one knows what reports to believe, but I know this, the Eagles thought he was enough trouble to just cut bait. I mean, they tried to trade him, but in the end they get nothing for him. Jackson is now a free agent and can sign with the one of the reportedly many teams inquiring for his services.

The more you learn about Jackson however; here is what I have been able to collect:

The former Eagle was scheduled to make $10.75 million this season. He was also going to account for $6 million in cap space. That now comes off the books. Was this a contract issue?

The Eagles had character concerns. The Eagles felt that if they paid a guy the most money on the team with character issues, they were sending the wrong message to the rest of the team. Did the Gang Member report push them over the top to release him?

The Eagles were concerned about his attitude, his work ethic, how he interacted with other people in the team facility.

The Eagles were majorly concerned about the crowd he hung out with off the field. This is where the debate begins. Jackson claims he doesn't hang out with gang members, and there is a report that says he did in fact have ties.

The Eagles were shopping Jackson for a trade and were made aware of the NJ.com report (Gang Affiliation), and made their decision on Friday to release him. The existence of this story accelerated his departure.

Knowing all this, should the Jets take a chance on the reportedly troubled but without question talented wide receiver?

There's no doubt that his skill set would be amazing for the Jets' offense and their QB whether it is Michael Vick or Geno Smith, both would benefit. It would open up the offense, free up the newly acquired Decker, and free up the Jets to use the No. 18 pick in the draft other than wide receiver.

I know that in the past Jets fans have had major issue with Santonio Holmes because of all the issues used above to describe Jackson, minus the gang affiliation. Holmes was known as a distraction for the team. Some are calling DeSean Jackson "Santonio Holmes 2.0? but I think that's not even close.

Jackson is so much better on the field than Holmes. Fans can look past character issues of a player only if they are producing on the field. That is exactly what happened with Holmes the past two seasons. He was an asset for the Jets in 2010 winning 4-5 games almost by himself down the stretch, but when his production decreased and his character issues increased, Jets' fans were essentially done with him.

Now if and only if, Jackson has no ties with any gangs, Idzik and company should look past all his character issues and sign him to a short-term deal. I'm sure that Jackson's camp is looking for a long-term deal and with many teams inquiring for his services may get that, but if I'm Idzik, I stand firm with a one-year "prove it" deal.

As long as Jackson is not affiliated with any gang, puts out tremendous production on the field, I can look past his "character issues" for at least this year.


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