DeSean Jackson a hot topic at NFL owners meetings

Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. (Akira Suwa/Staff Photographer)
Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson. (Akira Suwa/Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 25, 2014

ORLANDO - When the NFL last convened at the Ritz-Carlton here for its annual league meetings, the Eagles arrived ready to shop Donovan McNabb.

Four years later, the team's top decision-makers arrived at the posh resort apparently ready to rid themselves of Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson.

Jackson's future will be one of the biggest stories at this week's meetings, which begin Monday and provide a rare occasion for owners, general managers, and coaches to gather in the same place. That makes it a fertile ground for trade discussions and also will force Eagles management to address the widespread speculation that Jackson could be traded or released.

Coach Chip Kelly will meet with reporters on Wednesday for his first extensive interview since the postseason concluded. General manager Howie Roseman has not spoken to reporters since free agency started. Owner Jeffrey Lurie is also expected to meet with reporters.

In addition to Eagles-specific news, there will be noteworthy rule proposals put to a vote during the next few days. The New England Patriots proposed moving extra-point kicks from the 2-yard line to the 25, which would add more suspense to a play that has become a virtual certainty. There were five missed extra points in the NFL last season, four of which were blocked.

If the rule is not passed, the competition committee is considering moving extra points to the 20-yard line in one preseason game as an experiment.

Other notable rule proposals include moving kickoffs to the 40-yard line from the 35; adding five feet in height to the goalposts; making personal fouls eligible for review; and installing fixed cameras on boundary lines.

There are also proposed bylaw changes that would affect personnel. One is expanding the game-day roster from 45 to 49 for Thursday games and adding two more players to the practice squad, making it a 10-player group.

The Eagles proposed a bylaw to streamline scouting that would permit teams to host 10 draft prospects who attended the combine and allow any team to watch the workout if it included three or more players.

Extra points

Before the Jets signed former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, Jets owner Woody Johnson spoke to Lurie and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

"Just to see what he was like, just to have a conversation about the man," Johnson said.

Johnson called it doing due diligence, and involved Goodell because he knew Goodell has a relationship with Vick. Johnson believed that Vick would be a "positive" at quarterback and in the locker room, an opinion shaped in part from a conversation with Lurie.

"Jeff said he's a great athlete and said good things about him," Johnson said.


zberman@phillynews.com

@ZBerm

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