The timing was curious, to say the least.
At 12:05 p.m. on March 28, NJ.com published a story saying the Eagles were concerned with DeSean Jackson’s alleged ties to gang members. At 12:40, the Eagles sent out a 25-word statement saying they had released the wide receiver.
And then silence. For 30 days.
The strategy seemed obvious. Use the gang affiliation story as cover for what would be deemed a peculiar and unpopular decision by many. Yet the way the team’s brass explains it, the Eagles were actually doing Jackson a favor by releasing him when they did. Read more »
That was the term Chip Kelly (as well as owner Jeffrey Lurie) kept going back to when addressing the release of DeSean Jackson for the first time.
Kelly, speaking at the Eagles 18th annual playground build at Prince Hall School in North Philadelphia, suggested the move was about x’s and o’s and not related to off-field behavior or concerns about the receiver’s influence on the locker room.
“It has nothing to do with anything that was ever written in a newspaper article or any off-field behavior from him,” said Kelly. “DeSean was great in the year that I was with him. Wish him nothing but the best in terms of where he is going to be.
“I know he’s down in Washington now, we’ll face him twice a year. I have nothing but good things to say about DeSean.” Read more »
Jeffrey Lurie’s impressions of DeSean Jackson’s on-field performance in 2013 seems to be different than that of most other observers.
Speaking at the Eagles’ 18th annual playground build at Prince Hall Elementary School in North Philadelphia, the team’s owner addressed Jackson’s release for the first time.
“Really it was a football decision,” Lurie said. “Chip [Kelly] and his people were incredibly clear that for us to get better, we needed to take a step back and reconfigure the wide receiver position. Common to a lot of really smart coaches, he knows exactly what he wants at every position. And for Chip on offense, it just wasn’t a good fit. It just was not a good fit for what he asks for wide receivers to do. He can explain that to you, but it just was not a fit. He was so clear that we had to get better.” Read more »
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder met with reporters today and explained his team’s decision to sign DeSean Jackson.
“That’s going to be exciting, not just the two games against Philly,” Snyder said, via The Washington Post. “We got tired of seeing him score a lot of touchdowns against us, and watching him on TV. So it’s great to have him here.” Read more »
There has been a theory floating around that DeSean Jackson wasn’t all that integral to Nick Foles’ success last year.
Foles had better chemistry with Riley Cooper, some have argued. The only problem? The theory’s not really rooted in fact. Read more »
An NFLPA arbitrator found that DeSean Jackson owes Drew Rosenhaus over $500,000, according to a report.
Per Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports, it was determined that Jackson owes his former agent a grand total of $516,415 in unpaid loans and agent fees. Read more »
When Chip Kelly took a seat inside a Ritz-Carlton ballroom in Orlando last month and was surrounded by reporters, he knew DeSean Jackson was not going to be back with the Eagles.
Jackson’s release was the biggest move the team made this offseason, and undoubtedly, Kelly had already given a lot of thought about what the Eagles’ offense would like without the speedy wide receiver.
Year 1 under Kelly was a clear success. By just about any statistical measure, the Eagles had a top-five offense that included a quarterback reaching heights even his biggest supporters never envisioned. The team set record after record, the offensive line stayed healthy, and the skill-position players nearly all put up career numbers.
Now perhaps the biggest question facing the team going into 2014 is: How will Kelly alter the scheme to fit different personnel? Read more »
Kurt Coleman defended former teammate DeSean Jackson on his way out the door.
Coleman, who has agreed to terms with the Vikings, joined NFL Radio on Sirius XM Monday and talked about Jackson’s release and the notion that he was a problem in the locker room.
“I think Philadelphia is going to miss him big time,” said Coleman. “I find it troubling to hear some of the stories — and I don’t know who is really putting them out there. I thought DeSean was a good guy in the locker room. He was someone I could talk to and could relate to. Read more »
Until Saturday morning, no Eagles player had spoken out publicly in defense of their former teammate DeSean Jackson.
But that changed when LeSean McCoy addressed reporters while taking a break from his football camp at Camden Catholic High School.
“It’s a surprise for sure,” McCoy said when asked for his reaction. “I think anybody that tells you that they’re happy about it, I don’t know how honest that would be. It was a surprise. You heard so much, you didn’t really know. Not playing with him this year is gonna definitely be different. And playing against him is really gonna be different. I just imagine all the times we used to… knowing defensive teams are gonna try to defend us and different things like that, and now we’ve gotta defend against him, so it’s gonna be a little different. Read more »
Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week. Read more »