PHILADELPHIA -- DeSean Jackson left his mark on the NFL as one of the greatest deep-ball receivers of all time, a reputation that followed him until the day he finally decided to hang up his cleats. On his 37th birthday, Jackson signed a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Eagles -- retiring from the NFL and making sure defensive backs aren't terrorized any longer.

Jackson's impact in the game was profound. He finished with 641 catches for 11,263 yards and 58 receiving touchdowns in his 15 seasons (along with four return touchdowns). He led the league in yards per catch four times, averaging 17.6 yards per catch in his career with three Pro Bowls.

For years, Jackson was one of the hardest receivers to cover because of his game-changing speed. 

"He changed the game. He changed the dynamic of the game," said Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, who spent years covering Jackson with the Detroit Lions. "He really was the first true 160-pound receiver -- a super threat. Definitely a deep ball guy. 

"A lot of guys that used to be that small, they were quick and inter-changing, intermediate guys. But I think he changed the game for the deep ball guys. Most of the deep ball guys back then was Calvin [Johnson], Julio [Jones], Andre [Johnson]. Those (are) 6-3, 6-4 guys. He came in and changed the game. A little, skinny guy showed he can compete at a high level." 

While Jackson certainly redefined the wide receiver position and made the deep ball prevalent for today's NFL, his unique skill set is worthy of Hall of Fame consideration -- even if he doesn't have the raw numbers that the selection committee considers. 

"That was a goal for me. It was a vision. It was a dream," Jackson said. "I definitely feel like my body of work speaks for itself. (I'm) breaking records and creating records. There are records that wasn't even heard of that I was putting in the record books."

Jackson's interesting case for Canton speaks for itself. He became the first player in NFL history to earn Pro Bowl honors at two positions -- kick returner and wide receiver -- and shares the record for 50-plus touchdowns in a season (eight). 

Where Jackson's legacy is defined is the deep-ball touchdowns he's scored in NFL history, creating records that weren't even thought of until he showed up.

Most 40-plus yard touchdowns -- NFL history

  1. Jerry Rice -- 55
  2. Randy Moss -- 46
  3. Terrell Owens -- 40
  4. DeSean Jackson -- 39
  5. Lance Alworth -- 37

Most 50-plus yard touchdowns -- NFL history

  1. Jerry Rice -- 36
  2. DeSean Jackson -- 34
  3. Randy Moss -- 29
  4. Lance Alworth -- 27
  5. Terrell Owens -- 27

Most 60-plus yard touchdowns -- NFL history

  1. DeSean Jackson -- 26
  2. Jerry Rice -- 23
  3. Devin Hester -- 21
  4. Bobby Mitchell -- 19
  5. Lance Alworth -- 17
  6. Tyreek Hill -- 17

Highest yards per catch average -- NFL history (min. 500 receptions)

  1. Stanley Morgan -- 19.2
  2. Lance Alworth -- 18.9
  3. Don Maynard -- 18.7
  4. James Lofton -- 18.3
  5. Harold Jackson -- 17.9
  6. DeSean Jackson -- 17.3

Jackson has 13 seasons which he averaged 15-plus yards per catch, tied for the fifth most in NFL history (only Henry Ellard, James Lofton, Haven Moses and Don Maynard are higher). He has the most seasons averaging 15-plus yards per catch for any player 5-foot-10 or shorter and tied for the sixth-most seasons of 1,000-plus yards for any player 5-10 or shorter (five). 

Jackson did change the game for players his size. Will that be enough to get in? The NFL still doesn't have Torry Holt, Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, Ellard, Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Hines Ward in the Hall of Fame yet (and some of these players may never get in). Larry Fitzgerald has yet to appear on the ballot and Julio Jones will certainly enter the mix when he retires. Then there's the bizarre Antonio Brown situation.

Again, Jackson's case for Canton is distinctive. That may be enough for induction (and perhaps for other deep-ball threats like Ellard that came before him). 

"I definitely think I'm deserving," Jackson said. "That's not for me to answer. That's not for me to vote on. As for as the body of work, I think it's there ... I'm hopeful that I can get in and blessed if I ever do get in."