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 »
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 »
DeSean Jackson took questions from the Washington-area media yesterday after signing a three-year deal with the Redskins.
And so begins a new chapter in the wide receiver’s life.
The Eagles, meanwhile, remain silent. I know that doesn’t bother some of you, while others would like to hear from Chip Kelly about why the made the decision to release Jackson.
We’ve covered the whole saga extensively for the last month or so, and I understand there is some DeSean fatigue around these parts. But it’s become the story of the offseason for the Eagles. So before we start getting into full draft mode and moving on to other issues, here are 10 points I have to make to separate some myths from reality. Read more »
The release sent out by the Eagles landed in reporters’ inboxes at 12:40 p.m. Friday and contained 25 words:
“After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.”
So far, that is the only on-the-record explanation the team has provided for letting go of a 27-year-old wide receiver who caught 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.
The decision to part ways with Jackson came 35 minutes after NJ.com published a report about the wide receiver’s connection to Los Angeles-area gang members. The timing on the Eagles’ part was calculated. They became aware of the report two days earlier. They also knew that announcing Jackson’s release shortly after the report was published would soften the public backlash of getting rid of one of the team’s most productive offensive players. Read more »
ORLANDO, Fla. – Like Howie Roseman, Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie did not want to talk about DeSean Jackson during a brief session with reporters Tuesday afternoon at the Ritz-Carlton.
Asked about the status of the wide receiver, Lurie responded: “Nothing to say.”
And that was that.
But the Eagles’ owner did emphasize that he has faith in what Chip Kelly and Roseman are trying to accomplish this offseason. Read more »
ORLANDO — The NFL big dogs aren’t exactly roughing it this week.
The owners meetings officially get underway this morning but by Sunday the plush Ritz-Carlton, nestled next to a golf course on a picturesque plot of warm Orlando soil, was buzzing with league executives and coaches. There’s some business to attend to between now and when the meetings close on Wednesday afternoon but it’s very much a social scene — team brass rubbing with team brass over long dinners, a late-night cocktail or a quick nine. Not a bad setting if you wanted to, say, casually discuss a certain 27-year-old Pro Bowl receiver while smoking a cigar fountain-side. Read more »
The Eagles have released veteran wide receiver Jason Avant, the team announced.
“In the year I spent with Jason, he was unbelievable in terms of his work ethic and his selfless nature,” said Chip Kelly in a statement. “He was a great teammate. We know he will have a chance to sign with another team and by releasing him now, he will have a full offseason to make the necessary adjustments. I had a chance to speak with him today and he handled himself like the true professional he is.” Read more »
Jeffrey Lurie was front and center for Roger Goodell‘s state of the NFL press conference in New York Friday. Afterwards, he spoke with the NFL Network about the future of quarterbacks Nick Foles and Michael Vick, the possibility of Philadelphia hosting a Super Bowl, and more. Read more »
Jeffrey Lurie addressed the media in the wake of the team’s 26-24 playoff loss to the Saints. Though disappointed by the outcome Saturday night, the Eagles owner is clearly very encouraged about the state of the program after one year under Chip Kelly.
“My expectations were more about making sure we had a terriffic coaching staff that could transform a roster and a group of young players into something special,” he said. “It was not about wins and losses. I was incredibly impressed by how quickly Chip and his staff were able to get this group together and perform extremely well. There is just so many good, young players around this locker room that will be incredibly dedicated when they come back next spring. We know that. Read more »
Arlington, Texas — It was clear from the early going that Nick Foles was going to have a better day this time around.
The biggest game of Foles’ young career — a Sunday night showdown in Dallas for the NFC East crown — happened to be versus the same Cowboys team that he struggled badly against two months back. That 11-for-29, 80-yard performance, which ended with a concussion, left the quarterback’s future in Philadelphia uncertain.
What followed was one of the more remarkable stories of the year, with Foles leading the Eagles to wins in six of seven games down the stretch while amassing unbelievable personal stats, some 0f which only Peyton Manning and Tom Brady have matched. And now here came the Cowboys again, with the playoffs on the line.
It took less than a quarter for Foles to surpass his numbers from that October 20th game. He ended up 17-of-26 for 263 yards with two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 124.4 quarterback rating in the Eagles’ 24-22 division-clinching win. Read more »