The Eagles have officially informed DeSean Jackson of his release, according to the team (Twitter link). In announcing the move, the Eagles said they carefully considered the situation before deciding to part ways with the standout receiver.
The announcement comes only about an hour after the publication of a piece by Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez of NJ.com, which attempted to ascertain why trade rumors had surrounded Jackson throughout the offseason. According to the NJ.com duo, the receiver’s “bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly” are all reasons why the team wanted to part ways with him. Additionally, the Eagles were concerned about Jackson’s “continued association with reputed Los Angeles street gang members,” according to Shorr-Parks and Perez. The entire NJ.com piece is worth reading, and likely helps explain why the Eagles apparently had no luck finding a team willing to part with even a mid-round pick for the 27-year-old.
Jackson’s release also comes on the heels of his best season on the field. Catching passes from Nick Foles and playing in Kelly’s offense, Jackson hauled in 82 balls for 1,332 yards and nine receiving touchdowns — all three marks represent career highs. The former second-round pick is still in the prime of his career and his upside will tantalize plenty of teams, as will the fact that he’s no longer connected to a $10.5MM base salary. As Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com suggests (via Twitter), the lack of trade partners may have been more a result of that price tag than Jackson’s off-field question marks.
Still, taking into account today’s NJ.com report and the fact that the Eagles were concerned enough to release Jackson outright, teams will likely approach a potential signing with extreme caution. Although the 49ers, Seahawks, Jets, Raiders, Panthers, and Patriots were among the clubs identified as potential fits for the receiver over the past few weeks, many of those possible suitors sounded hesitant about acquiring Jackson even prior to this latest report.
Jackson had three years remaining on his contract, so his remaining bonus money will accelerate onto this year’s cap number for the Eagles, resulting in $6MM in dead money. The club creates $6.75MM in cap savings with the move.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.