There has been a lot of “he said-he said” the last couple weeks surrounding the Philadelphia Eagles. It started with the team’s recent signings of wide receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. Speculation then grew regarding DeSean Jackson’s trade potential, since he never received a restructured deal. Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had stated that the team is “listening” to offers for Jackson, asking for nothing less than a third round pick.
There have been multiple reports last week — first from 94WIP about Jackson having talked to head coach Chip Kelly. Hours later, there was a conflicting report from Philly.com, saying that they didn’t talk.
Reports have also surfaced over this time that the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Oakland Raiders all have called the Eagles to inquire about Jackson. These reports have been dodged by Eagles management.
Jackson took matters into his own hands recently, trying to defuse the situation. On Tuesday, he took to Instagram trying to debunk any rumor of him going anywhere with the following comment: “Good to Talk to BIg Chip today !! Say or hear what ya want !! The Picture speaks for itself !! Winner…”.
The picture also showed off the playfulness of the relationship between he and his coach.
With the owners meeting taking place this week, coaches and management were available for comment, and this certainly has been a pressing topic that everyone has wanted to figure out.
On Wednesday, Kelly was asked about the Jackson rumors. He did say that he had spoken with Jackson, which in theory is good enough in Jackson’s mind — the receiver then told teammates that he wasn’t going anywhere. Kelly did, however, stop short of assuring that Jackson wasn’t going anywhere. Zach Berman of Philly.com asked Kelly about Jackson at the owners meetings, and the coach had this to say:
Q: "Do you want DeSean on the team?" A: "I like DeSean. DeSean did a really nice job for us. But we're always going to do what's best…"
— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) March 26, 2014
In the Kelly offense, the way he spreads out the players and extensively uses the running back as a receiver, just about any receiver can be plugged in and still put up decent numbers. Still, very little has been shed on the situation to debunk the Jackson trade rumors.
Jackson, in his mind, may have been given the impression that he’s OK. But since this is a new regime in Philadelphia, Roseman and Kelly are going to take a more business-like approach to all football matters.
“He’s still under contract for us,” Roseman said, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Until there’s anything to report on our players, that’s where we are now.”
“Any conversations we have with teams, about teams, I think it serves well, with the relationships we have them, to keep those conversations private.”
The way Kelly has played the media since he has got to Philadelphia — and Roseman’s approach to revealing any details about the team — very little formation will be put out for the media to use. Speculation about a possible Jackson trade will continue up until the start of training camp when his $10.5 million contract will kick in for the season.
Should the team release him, they will be forced to deal with $6.25 million in dead money against the cap. The Eagles have all summer to work a deal out for the receiver, but as we get closer towards the draft, the talks will pick up. The Eagles are going to want to push hard to get a trade done before or on draft day itself to find talent that can help them this season — most likely, a player that they can draft to replace Jackson.