Earlier this week, NFL Network aired snippets of a one-on-one interview with Michael Irvin and DeSean Jackson.
And Sunday morning, we heard the rest of it.
Most notably, we heard where Jackson thinks he ranks among NFL wide receivers, and his answer probably reveals part of the reason why he doesn't have a new contract.
Irvin prefaced the question by referencing salary numbers for Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson, and then asked Jackson where he thinks he fits in.
"I think, right in that range, maybe top five in the NFL as far as my playmaking skills ability, punt return, dynamic duo of being able to get the ball and score at any point on the field," Jackson said. "I mean, Fitzgerald, he's a great receiver, don't get me wrong, but he doesn't play special teams so I think that's the extra edge to it."
If you're a regular MTC reader, you know I think Jackson is a dynamic playmaker, and the Eagles should do their best to bring him back because he's an excellent fit in this offense and will only be 25 years old when this season is over.
But he is not Fitzgerald, and he is not Johnson. There is not a GM in the NFL who would even think about taking Jackson over either of those guys. Furthermore, the Fitzgerald reference is ill-timed, considering the Cardinals receiver just torched the Eagles for seven catches, 146 yards and two touchdowns a week ago, while Jackson watched from home because he missed a special teams meeting.
Earlier in the interview, Irvin baited Jackson with a question that seemed, at least to me, to be based on non-factual information. Here's what Irvin said: "Now, people are saying 'he doesn't want to go across the middle' cause it was reported someone on your team said that you're not going across the middle..."
It's possible I missed it (and if so, please pass along a link), but I don't remember seeing the report Irvin speaks of. Reporters have criticized Jackson about shying away from contact; fans too. But to my knowledge, no teammate has mentioned anything of the sort. Clearly, Jackson was bothered by what Irvin said though.
Update: Apparently, this could have been the report Irvin was referencing, but it is from nearly two months ago. An unnamed Eagles player told Michael Silver of Yahoo Sports: "I can’t lie – it is something I’ve thought about. There was a play toward the very end of the game where it looked like he might have short-armed it. And I don’t blame him."
"That ain't good business right there 'cause I wouldn't throw anyone on my team under the bus," Jackson told Irvin. "I would hope it wouldn't be coming from a player that's saying that... that wish he was in my position or wish he was starting, just to say something to make me give him a opportunity, I don't believe in that type of stuff. The film don't show that though. The film show I'm protecting myself. I'm not dodging any hits. I know the type of player I am so I don't feel there's too many people in the NFL that could really do what I'm capable of doing when the ball's in my hands."
Jackson was also asked what was going through his head when the Eagles handed out contracts to a bunch of free agents this offseason, but didn't take care of him.
"It was a situation where it hurt, honestly, deep inside," Jackson said. "But I still to this day just try to go out there and not think about it."
Irvin's last question could have led to a combustible answer. He asked Jackson if he could see himself playing for another team, but the Eagles receiver reiterated that he wants to be here.
"Nah, not right now," Jackson said. "I can't see it. I'm just keeping good hope that the man above's got a spot for me here in Philadelphia. If I could paint the picture and have everything the way I want it to be, I would say I'll stay here."