New York Giants: Is former rival DeSean Jackson an option at wide receiver?

New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, DeSean Jackson
Sep 20, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) warms up before action against the Los Angeles Rams at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

After a couple seasons back with the franchise, the Eagles are moving on from New York Giants menace DeSean Jackson. The team has made the decision to release the receiver, but it looks like Jackson still wants to play this season. Jackson would spend time on the injured reserve in 2020 and only appeared in 5 games, cutting his total receptions down to 14. It’s a big drop compared to 2018, where Jackson had 41 receptions in his last year in Tampa Bay.

Now, Jackson is still looking to play and it remains to be seen which team will pick him up. At the age of 34, it doesn’t look like he’ll be an expensive player and it’s well known that the New York Giants are in need of playmakers. Should they consider this player that has had some of his best games against them?

Jackson in 2020

Jackson’s 2020 season was largely affected by injury. He managed to pull in 10 receptions and 121 yards through the first three games of the season. It looked like the year would be an improvement compared to his 2019, and in a way it was as he finished with more receptions and yards – but the bulk of his performance last year came near the early part of the season before he was taken down by hamstring and lower body injuries.

These injuries would strike back to back and keep Jackson out most of the year, as shown in his low number of games played. It’s safe to say Jackson still has some potential based on his start to the season, but his age is showing and based on last season, he shouldn’t be expected to be the healthiest player on the field.

Should the Giants make a move?

It might be tempting for the Giants to try to add Jackson as a cheap playmaker to help Daniel Jones, but the team should be wary of some of their other ventures signing older players under Dave Gettleman. The Jonathan Stewart signing, for example, is unpopular for good reason – the veteran running back ended up only playing three games with six rushing attempts. Signing Antoine Bethea and Golden Tate near the back ends of their careers didn’t pan out as the organization likely wanted, either.

The Giants do need playmakers, but bringing in DeSean Jackson has the risk of creating another situation where the Giants have a veteran on their hands that doesn’t perform as they used to and might not even take the field often due to injury.

With the 11th pick in the draft, the Giants may have a chance to add an elite receiver prospect. This seems like the better way to acquire a playmaker compared to the stopgap measure of adding a 34 year old veteran coming off an injury plagued season to improve the offense.

The franchise has a chance to become one of the league’s good young teams under Joe Judge in the next couple of years. And in this case, they should remember that and stick to building in that direction rather than going for any free agent that fits a needed position.