Eagles say Jackson release was "a football decision"

Eagles say Jackson release was "a football decision"
April 29, 2014, 3:00 pm
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There has been plenty of speculation regarding why Chip Kelly and the Eagles decided to release DeSean Jackson with talk centering on an uncooperative attitude, the player being a bad influence on teammates, and possible gang ties.

But Kelly was having none of that talk when he talked to reporters on the subject for the first time on Monday.

He said that the call to release the Pro Bowl wide receiver was “purely a football decision.”

"It has nothing to do with anything that was ever written in a newspaper article or any off-field behavior from him," said Kelly, speaking at the Eagles 18th annual playground build event at a Philadelphia school. "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."

Team owner Jeffrey Lurie said that he supported Kelly’s action and echoed his reasoning.

"Really it was a football decision," Lurie said. "Chip 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."

It’s hard to see how Jackson wasn’t “a good fit” when he managed to catch 82 passes for 1,332 yards with 25 plays covering 20 yards or more. But that’s the company line and the owner and coach are sticking to it.  

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