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DeSean Jackson considering retirement, identifies 4 teams who could land him

Matt Johnson
DeSean Jackson
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

DeSean Jackson entered the National Football League in 2008 as one of the fastest players in the NFL. Entering his age-35 season, Jackson knows his career might have sped by but he could still be open to hanging around one more year under the right circumstances.

Drafted with the 49th pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the 5-foot-10 receiver signed with the Los Angeles Rams in 2021. Unfortunately, the homecoming didn’t end how anyone hoped and the franchise granted him his release in November.

  • DeSean Jackson stats (2021): 20 receptions, 454 receiving yards, 22.7 yards per catch

He joined the Las Vegas Raiders, making a few plays in limited action and still showing some of that electrifying speed that made him one of the most dangerous vertical threats in football. On the wrong side of 30, though, it became clear his best days were long behind him.

He now sees the writing on the wall. In an interview with Ashley Nicole Moss of Sports Illustrated, Jackson admitted he’s “not really sure” about playing next season and retirement is an option.

If he did hang up his cleats, the former Cal-Barkeley sensation would have plenty to look back upon fondly. He earned second-team All-Pro honors in 2009 and earned a Pro Bowl selection three times (2009, 2010, 2013). Furthermore, he holds the NFL record for 60-plus yard career touchdowns (26) and is tied for the most 80-plus yard touchdowns (five).

  • DeSean Jackson career stats: 11,110 receiving yards, 463 rushing yards, 62 total touchdowns

While retirement is a real option, Jackson admitted he is open to playing one more season if one of four teams reaches out with interest.

Evaluating DeSean Jackson’s preferred landing spots

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Dallas Cowboys
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Jackson likely realizes he lost a shot at winning a Super Bowl with the Rams and playing time might have played a role. He certainly envisioned being more involved in the team’s passing attack. Instead, he only drew 15 targets in seven games and his snap count dropped off as the season went on.

Knowing the 2022 season would be his last, the focus for Jackson is likely on competing for a Super Bowl with a team he can help when called upon. He can still beat plenty of NFL cornerbacks deep downfield, making him useful as a rotational weapon.

Let’s take a quick look at the four teams he identified as potential options.

  • Green Bay Packers: While the Packers signed Sammy Watkins, they need a lot more help at wide receiver. The Packers’ offense currently lacks a field-stretching wideout, the role Marquez Valdes-Scantling played this past season. Considering quarterback Aaron Rodgers recruited Jackson to Cal, it’s possible the NFL MVP could have some interest in bringing his fellow alum to Green Bay.
  • Kansas City Chiefs: If the Chiefs don’t plan to trade for a wide receiver, signing one in free agency could be an option. Valdes-Scantling already fills the role as a vertical threat, but coach Andy Reid likes to rotate players. If Jackson is truly open to playing limited snaps, he would fit in Kansas City’s offense and could score a few touchdowns with Patrick Mahomes.
  • Denver Broncos: It’s understandable why DeSean Jackson finds the Broncos appealing. Russell Wilson can still sling it deep and this should be a high-scoring offense with plenty of passing. However, Denver already boasts a deep receiving corps with Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy, Tim Patrick and KJ Hamler. Interest from the Broncos seems unlikely.
  • Cleveland Browns: Quarterback Deshaun Watson makes the Browns an appealing destination for wide receivers. It also helps that there is a need for more pass-catching weapons in Cleveland. Jackson likely sees an opening to take on that role as a No. 4 receiver who can outrun a defense, giving Watson chances to go deep. For an all-in team, there’s some appeal here for both sides.