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The ending to DeSean Jackson’s career remains unwritten. The 35-year-old speedster may go on to win multiple championships if he decides to keep playing professional football. For now, Jackson will have to sit and watch the team he started the year with advance to the Super Bowl.
The former Philadelphia Eagles star receiver started the 2021 campaign with the Los Angeles Rams. It was a feel-good story and happy homecoming for the Long Beach native who was selected 49th overall by the Eagles in 2008. But Jackson quickly fell out of a favor with Sean McVay for reasons unknown.
He saw only 100 offensive snaps before the Rams attempted to trade him. No one wanted the California burner, so Los Angeles waived the veteran receiver and saved roughly $1.5 million in cap space. Las Vegas picked him up and he went on to make 12 catches for 233 yards and a touchdown in nine games for the Raiders.
The Rams? They scooped up Odell Beckham Jr. who recorded nine catches for 113 yards in the NFC Championship Game. Jackson’s departure played a minor part in getting him there by clearing up $39 million, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Their books are clear to possibly run it back in 2022.
It wasn’t all bad news following the Rams’ 20-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game. According to Joel Corry, Jackson will get a paycheck for $65,000 from the Rams since he suited up for them in at least eight games. That’s more money than current Rams safety Eric Weddle.
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What Went Wrong for Jackson in LA?
No one is sure what wrong with the Jackson experiment in Los Angeles. McVay was coy about the divorce when reporters pressed him back in late October before the trade deadline. He called Jackson a “potential Hall of Fame player” and lobbied for the receiver to get another chance elsewhere.
“This hasn’t exactly been probably what he envisioned, and I think he deserves the opportunity to be able to see if there are better options out there for him,” McVay said, via Rams Wire. “I think he’s a tremendous player that has a great track record and resume.”
McVay hinted that Jackson was frustrated with his role, buried behind Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Van Jefferson on the depth chart. No hard feelings, though. Jackson posted a nice farewell message on Instagram: “I understand that everything happens for a reason & I look forward to beginning the next chapter of my NFL career.” He’s a free agent in 2022.
Darius Slay Celebrates Matthew Stafford
Eagles cornerback Darius Slay has always had Matthew Stafford’s back. The two players were teammates on the Detroit Lions for seven seasons before Slay bolted. The mutual respect made the plane ride to Philadelphia where Slay has referred to Stafford as a Top 10 quarterback and once compared him favorably to Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes.
So, it was no surprise to see Slay congratulate Stafford on Twitter seconds after the Rams punched their Super Bowl ticket. The Pro Bowl corner was happy to see the 33-year-old quarterback finally get out of Detroit and into the big game.