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Kelly sidesteps question about DeSean Jackson

Jackson Getty Images

After a series of moves that would have been regarded before free agency began as implausible, it’s impossible to rule out further surprises.

In Philadelphia the potential surprise that wouldn’t really be a shock would come from the decision to part ways with receiver DeSean Jackson.  Given the current market for receivers, Jackson’s $10.5 million salary and a $12.75 million cap number becomes glaring.

Yes, he had a career year in 2013, with 1,332 receiving yards.  But, as Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com recently explained during a visit to PFT Live, Jackson’s size and me-first streak could make him vulnerable to a trade or a release.

On Friday night, coach Chip Kelly had a chance to throw water on speculation regarding Jackson’s status, during the Maxwell Football Club’s annual event.  Instead, Kelly avoided the topic, as explained by Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“The coach sidestepped a question about speculation that DeSean Jackson could be moved, joking that he’ll determine the importance of Jackson among the Eagles’ receivers by how reporters predict they will be prioritized,” Berman writes.

Said Kelly of Jackson:  “He’s a priority at wide receiver before [Jeremy] Maclin, behind [Riley] Cooper, or is it Cooper before Maclin, or Maclin before Cooper?  I’ll check what you write and tell you how I feel about it.”

That last part was a slap at a report from the Inquirer that the team prioritized Maclin before Cooper, which implied that the team would bring Maclin back and let Cooper leave through free agency.  Instead, the Eagles signed Cooper before Maclin, to a longer-term deal with more guaranteed money.

While Kelly may have simply been toying with reporters, an unconditional commitment to Jackson hasn’t been provided.  With Darrelle Revis, DeMarcus Ware, Julius Peppers, and Steve Smith all released in recent days, it’s impossible to presume Jackson is safe — especially without an unequivocal declaration from the team that he is.

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58 Responses to “Kelly sidesteps question about DeSean Jackson”
  1. toonloonboon says: Mar 15, 2014 1:26 PM

    hes starting to sound more like andy reid everyday. good for you, philadelphia

  2. golicsloveschildfromphilly says: Mar 15, 2014 1:30 PM

    Chip always keeps things close to the vest…reporters tried for weeks if not months to get Chip to say “Foles is the starter for the rest of the year”. He loves breakin’ balls with the reporters.

  3. nfl4days says: Mar 15, 2014 1:31 PM

    Not a good sign for Desean.

  4. buzzlightner says: Mar 15, 2014 1:32 PM

    I love how kelly destroys the media for asking slow day questions

  5. dwats says: Mar 15, 2014 1:33 PM

    The Vikings got a 1st, 3rd, and 7th round draft pick for the Harvin trade last year. Eagles won’t settle for less than that.

  6. yb1956 says: Mar 15, 2014 1:34 PM

    Possibly a draft day trade? With Bryce Brown?

  7. chawk12thman says: Mar 15, 2014 1:35 PM

    Why the upper management doesn’t just say that all players are subject to movement, depending on Cap, offers, team chemistry, additions or subtractions that occur or are available, etc…..They can quickly follow up with; but most aren’t going to occur and speculation is just that, speculation. In any case, the dance they do sometimes is calculated to drive negotiations……..

    I would be shocked if they released Jackson…..Trade? Maybe…

  8. thevikesarebest says: Mar 15, 2014 1:38 PM

    The vikings>your franchise.

  9. nitro276 says: Mar 15, 2014 1:40 PM

    Yes, DeSean is a pain in the neck.

    However, only handful of guys can turn the momentum of a game on a dime, and do it with a fair amount of consistency.

    Kelly is goofing. DeSean isn’t going anywhere.

  10. salscobrakai says: Mar 15, 2014 1:40 PM

    Maybe DeSean owes Chip some money.

  11. theblender22 says: Mar 15, 2014 1:40 PM

    It’s the NFL, there are a total of about 10 players who are “safe”.

  12. afcdomination says: Mar 15, 2014 1:44 PM

    what is with this strange eagle fans constantly talking about andy reid and what he never said/doesn’t say in press conferences. I can say for a fact that KC fans got about 1/10th as much information from crennel.

    expecting something other than coach speak is kind if silly

  13. aldavis4president says: Mar 15, 2014 1:48 PM

    Yeah ok. The difference between desean Jackson and peppers,ware,revis, and Steve smith is he just had a career year, is in his prime, isn’t 30+, and is a huge difference maker with his speed, especially in chip Kelly’s spread em out offense. I highly doubt they’ll cut him.

  14. realnflmaster says: Mar 15, 2014 1:48 PM

    LOL sorry Eagle fans so bitter Reid left them and is having incredible success.

    Maybe your franchise will be lucky to enough to have a coach as good as future HOFer Rex Ryan.

  15. chasemutley says: Mar 15, 2014 1:48 PM

    Come on, that doesn’t sound ANYTHING like Andy. Chip’s answer show he has a personality.

  16. captrtp says: Mar 15, 2014 1:49 PM

    They need to trade him for another first rd pick and grab a big stud receiver early in the first round

  17. laeagle says: Mar 15, 2014 1:49 PM

    Ugh. He didn’t “sidestep” anything. He made fun of a stupid question, because asking questions about how important Jackson is to this team are stupid. He’s very important to the team, and speculation about his status is entirely media-driven speculation.

    So now one of the reporters he was mocking reports that he “sidestepped” the question, and that report is getting re-reported as if it were actual news.

    You know what’s news? When someone in the NFL does or says something concrete. You know what’s not news? Reporting on what another reporter said.

  18. birdgang says: Mar 15, 2014 1:50 PM

    The difference between Desean and those other players you listed is that the Eagles are no where near the salary cap coming into this season. Chip was at the Maxwells accepting an award, the last thing he’s gonna do is say something to cause problems in his locker room. Desean will be an Eagle in 2014, as far as beyond that I’m not too certain.

  19. lukedunphysscienceproject says: Mar 15, 2014 1:57 PM

    Making fun of an asinine question is not “sidestepping”.

    Not every player in the league with a big cap number is destined to be cut. How many other 27 year old players in the primes of their careers who have no shown no sign of slowing down, and in fact are coming off the best years of their careers, have been released this off season?

    Keep thinking. The closest I can think of is Revis and he is coming off a down year and is his number was much higher.

    Jackson isn’t going anywhere.

  20. santamoss says: Mar 15, 2014 1:57 PM

    So evidently this is what it takes to break a story as a reporter these days.:

    1. Ask coach or GM if (insert any star player’s name here) is going to be traded or released.

    2. If coach/GM says no, write story “Coach X denies that Player X will be traded or released”.

    3. If coach GM is noncommittal, write story “Coach X sidesteps question about Player X”

  21. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 15, 2014 2:01 PM

    They just found a shifty weapon in Sproles to add for a reasonable trade cost. If they could find a way to make an interesting trade for DJ then maybe they can also find a way to trade for some value WRs, or sign some from the glut that is out there and just swap him out for talent at another position and more cap space in the next couple years that can come off the books. Kelly can’t say much since he’s not sure how those talks could potentially play out, but they definitely should be investigating trades. Somebody out there will overpay in material for him.

  22. alphaq2 says: Mar 15, 2014 2:05 PM

    As a Redskins fan I can’t see why the Eagles would let him go. I don’t think they would be able to trade that contract and it makes not sense to just cut him. Jackson keeps defenses honest and makes DC’s honor his ability to stretch the field. He’s a huge reason Cooper had so much success last year working underneath. Plus, the eagles have the cap room to deal with his contract. I’d be shocked if this speculation came to fruition.

  23. cguy7 says: Mar 15, 2014 2:05 PM

    Nobody’s forkin’ over a first for that dude. Unless it’s Indy…

  24. toybkshr says: Mar 15, 2014 2:07 PM

    LOL – the last part of the post, unequivical declaration DeSean is safe!

    NFL teams break those declarations routinely. It comes down(as always) to the $$. If the cap hit by releasing him is too hard to swallow, he is safe, otherwise he isn’t.

  25. abninf says: Mar 15, 2014 2:08 PM

    The NFC East has a combined 12 Super Bowl wins, with Dallas leading the way with five. The Eagles have contributed zero.

  26. fdugrad says: Mar 15, 2014 2:09 PM

    Dump him and let him get on with his search for the bling and money his “best boys” took.

  27. thenordicthunder says: Mar 15, 2014 2:10 PM

    “The Vikings got a 1st, 3rd, and 7th round draft pick for the Harvin trade last year. Eagles won’t settle for less than that.”

    I highly doubt they’d get that. Harvin is TWICE the player and game-changing threat of Jackson.

  28. imnotsorryisaidthat says: Mar 15, 2014 2:10 PM

    Jackson being released aint happening,Jackson beinging traded?..not if but when..

  29. alphadux2u says: Mar 15, 2014 2:11 PM

    I hate the media

  30. ajgreenhof says: Mar 15, 2014 2:14 PM

    Not a big fan of Jackson.

  31. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 15, 2014 2:24 PM

    Not a fan of Jackson and Chip Kelly is rather annoying as well…

  32. kev86 says: Mar 15, 2014 2:25 PM

    Kelly beating media so far

  33. phillysports1 says: Mar 15, 2014 2:25 PM

    We still need a safety …. Not too excited about Jenkins . .

  34. bearshaterseverywhere says: Mar 15, 2014 2:35 PM

    I love how Eagles fans are talking like they have known Chip Kelly for a decade or so and they’re friends with him and know his every move. Most hilarious fan base ever.

  35. ghost26 says: Mar 15, 2014 2:37 PM

    Kelly already had this team moving in the right direction. Now that he’s added Sproles I don’t believe another team in the NFC East can compete w/ the Eagles in 2014.

  36. fathertimemusic says: Mar 15, 2014 2:38 PM

    I guess you needed more stories today so you posted this idiotic one. Clearly you are lost when it comes to Kelly’s humor.

  37. realfootballfan says: Mar 15, 2014 2:40 PM

    Sounds like you guys are making up a story out of nothing. I know, shocking. Kelly only made a joke with reporters who tend to speculate to get eyeballs on their columns.

    He might be expendable in the future, but as pointed out, he’s coming off a career year and he’s not 30 yet, which we all know is the end of the road age under this new CBA unless you’re a QB.

  38. captainwisdom8888 says: Mar 15, 2014 2:48 PM

    I’m an Eagles fan, and I truly believe that all of this stuff being said about parting ways with Desean Jackson is pure hogwash…and I’ve never used that word before but it’s simply too fitting. If the guy continues to produce at a very high level than why wouldn’t Chip Kelly see to it that he keeps Desean around for a while longer? It’s truly as simple as that…if Jackson kills it again next year than how do we get any better by showing him the door?

  39. ochospantalones says: Mar 15, 2014 2:50 PM

    I wouldn’t read too much into this. Kelly just likes being a dick to the media, and since he’s been successful so far no one cares.

    Cutting DeSean in 2014 still makes no sense. There is no one to use that money on who would be better. Most of those guys listed were cut because they are past their prime and their team needed the cap space to make other moves. The Eagles don’t need cap room this off-season, and there are no receivers (or players at any position) still available that are better than DeSean. The only comparable person in that list is Steve Smith, who was cut because they didn’t want him around anymore, not for money reasons. DeSean is better than 35-year old Steve Smith, so he would be having to cause some pretty huge problems behind the scenes to warrant being cut.

    In 2015 they have to extend a bunch of young players, and they may well make a move with DeSean then. Hard to see them paying all three of DeSean, Maclin, and Cooper long term. But for this year there is no reason to dump your best receiver before a season in which you’re trying to win the division.

  40. everybodyhits says: Mar 15, 2014 2:55 PM

    Did anyone read the article? He ridiculed the reporter for asking a stupid question. The quote was a reference to another dumb article written by the reporter. This is nothing whatsoever like anything Andy Reid ever said in Philadelphia.

    Its shameful and irresponsible reporting to characterize Kelly’s answer as “sidestepping”, but it’s forgivable for a tabloid site because that’s essentially what readers should expect. What is less forgivable is commenting on an article without reading it. I guess he knows his audience will build his narrative by commenting on his headline alone, which was exactly the point, but yikes pretty cynical

  41. nceaglesfan says: Mar 15, 2014 3:03 PM

    Ship the little punk off. More trouble than he’s worth. Send him to the Panthers. They need receivers and are experienced with little receivers with attitude.

  42. philahitman says: Mar 15, 2014 3:15 PM

    This entire “trade Desean” “story” is 100% media manifactured.

  43. nomoreseasontix says: Mar 15, 2014 3:25 PM

    The problem with Jackson, aside from his punk attitude, is that his career year last years is more than likely his actual career year. He’s not likely to match or better it in the future.
    They’ve already gotten the best he’s going to be.
    Won’t be able to trade him at that price.

  44. andrejohnsonforpresident says: Mar 15, 2014 3:27 PM

    He’s not worth it but hes gonna get paid for it. Simply because he’s the best little guy that goes deep in the game. Only one other wr really compares and can actually produce and thats Mike Wallace.

  45. FinFan68 says: Mar 15, 2014 3:30 PM

    I can’t stand Jackson. Kelly didn’t play the media’s game. They basically made stuff up and then asked him about their rumors. I think he answered appropriately

  46. huthuthut says: Mar 15, 2014 4:01 PM

    Chip Kelly also refused to speak – again – on whether or not he killed a young college woman in 1996.

    No, he did not kill that woman, but his continued avoidance of the question continues to raise speculation throughout the blogosphere.

  47. everybodyhits says: Mar 15, 2014 4:52 PM

    Regarding Harvin vs Jackson-

    The fact that Harvin so frequently injured or more like, takes so much time off, hurts his value relative to Jackson, who hardly ever misses a game and plays hurt. Harvin’s extra 15lbs of muscle means nothing if he can’t take a hit and stay in the game. Harvin might be the most explosive player in the game with the ball in his hands but Jackson is a much more polished receiver, who knows how to get open, runs better routes, has great hands and fights for the ball when it’s in the air. They’re slightly different in that Jackson is a pure wide receiver while Harvin is more of a multi – faceted OW type. Jackson might beat his guy deep 5 times for 150 yards, while Harvin catches 11 short passes and gets those 150 yards with 120 YAC. Either can do what the other is best at better than most in the league but the point is their games are different. I don’t know if Jackson should be worth more but the Eagles certainly wouldn’t take less than the Vikings got. Either could put up record breaking numbers if used correctly.

  48. huskywolverine says: Mar 15, 2014 5:05 PM

    LOL. Nobody is cutting or trading a young WR that had 1,300 yards last year and is one of the most explosive WRs in the game. A complete non-story.

  49. realdealsteel says: Mar 15, 2014 5:24 PM

    The timing is right if they want to move Jackson and either get a good D-lineman or a high draft pick in the coming draft.

    Why not swoop in and get the Chargers 1st round pick for him? Or the Panthers? If the Eagles play this right, they could really get a sweet deal for Jackson.

  50. 1rockyracoon says: Mar 15, 2014 5:31 PM

    I know reporters have to ask questions, but how do you expect a coach to respond to a question like this?

  51. chaseutley says: Mar 15, 2014 5:47 PM

    $6.25M in potential dead cap dollars says that there is next to no chance the Eagles will release DeSean Jackson.

    He’s too good and the Eagles are too far under the cap, right now.

    Demeco Ryans, Trent Cole, and (maybe) Cary Williams all have cap numbers that deserve more attention looking ahead to 2015.

  52. mimitaroo says: Mar 15, 2014 6:17 PM

    He’s toying with you because you write speculative articles like this. It’s his own way to subtly laugh at reporters in their face.

  53. steves11 says: Mar 15, 2014 6:59 PM

    “The Vikings got a 1st, 3rd, and 7th round draft pick for the Harvin trade last year. Eagles won’t settle for less than that.”

    “I highly doubt they’d get that. Harvin is TWICE the player and game-changing threat of Jackson.”

    A lot of good Harvin did the Vikings. How many championships did they win with him? I’m not saying the Eagles could get a 1st for Jackson, but a player is worth what some team (his own or another team) is willing to pay him….or for him…and if the Vikings got a 1st and 3rd for Harvin, its certainly not out of the question that some team will give up a 1st for Jackson. In any case, there’s no way the Eagles will release him without getting anything in return and they’ll only trade him if they get what they consider good value back….which probably means a 1st round draft choice, or maybe a 2nd and a 4th.

  54. robgilman says: Mar 15, 2014 9:08 PM

    haha good job chip kelly. reporters can suck it up

  55. dwats says: Mar 15, 2014 9:52 PM

    ^ Thank you Steves11. Jackson is a better receiver and a lot less injury prone than Harvin.

  56. chrissfiss says: Mar 15, 2014 11:45 PM

    Good for him

  57. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Mar 16, 2014 7:59 AM

    to the guy who says philly misses andy, i’m waiting for next season when the last place schedule wears off. after 9-0, when the schedule got harder, and the afc west saw andys offense a bit more, the team went 2-5. and 0-1 in the playoffs.

    the eagles with a new system on both sides and special teams took a while to get their balance, but finished much stronger than kc. no one want to trade chipper for andy

  58. joeknowsnada says: Mar 16, 2014 3:02 PM

    First off, anyone who says Chip sounds like Andy is tonedeaf, at best. Chip is Bill Parcells with more wit and wisdom. Second, if Romeo Crennel was less forthcoming than the arrogant enigma, Andy Reid, wow, that sucks! Third, DeSean, while accounting for significant dead cap space, if traded, is not overpaid, is somewhere around 8th in guaranteed money and 15th, I think, in overall comp at WR, making him, indeed, tradeable, as a top-1o or top-15 wideout, in a passing league. Fourth, no one on this team is untouchable. Fifth, I would still keep him, mouth, atty-tude and everything else. He and LeSean are among best 1-2 punches, as homerun hitters, in the league, and DeSean opens up the field for everyone else on the Offense. I would, however, go after a fast and big wideout in the draft, and, IF the guy panned out, I would trade DeSean. That is, IF he panned out, and that process might take awhile to observe in full. Sixth, I love folks who have seen Cap’n Andy’s act for 1 season and, therefore, think they understand it, or who chastise those who saw it for 14 years, but, somehow, misunderstood him! Hah! Wake up, pally! Good coach, so-so talent accumulator, bad interview, bad clock manager, needs better players than KC has to succeed. Good luck!

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