Almost three months after the Eagles released him it appears that DeSean Jackson is still living rent free inside the collective heads of his old team.
The topic of the talent wide receiver, who signed with the Redskins within days after the Eagles let him go, came up recently when running back LeSean McCoy said that coach Chip Kelly was sending a message to the rest of the team when he cut Jackson.
“They’ll cut one of your best guys if (he’s) not buying in,” McCoy told the NFL Network.
Kelly has said repeatedly that the decision to release was a football decision. He believes that the team is better off without Jackson, nothing more and nothing less.
“I don’t send messages to other players by how I deal with other players,” Kelly said to the Eagles media on Thursday. “And how LeSean McCoy interprets things, . . . LeSean has a beautiful mind. Sometimes trying to analyze that mind I don’t wrap myself around that too much. Or bother myself too much with that. However LeSean interprets things is how LeSean interprets things.”
This all seems kind of silly. Jackson is gone and even though he had his best season with 82 receptions for 1,332 yards it’s not unreasonable to believe that Kelly decided that his $10.25 million base salary wasn’t worth it. Although it’s difficult to sort out what stories about Jackson’s off-field conduct are true and which ones aren’t, it’s safe to say that he was a high maintenance employee.
But as long as you have to figure out how to make your offense productive without Jackson and you have to eat the $6.25 million in dead cap anyway, why not send a message at the same time? Even if that wasn’t the intent of the move in the first place, if some players interpret it that way, why not let them think that?
In Washington we say that if you’re explaining, you’re losing. We won’t know for a while who won and lost in this matter but for the moment it looks like the Eagles are doing a whole lot of explaining.