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Decision to cut Jackson wasn’t a surprise, but the timing was

Jackson AP

With the Eagles unable to find a trade partner for receiver DeSean Jackson, it was no surprise that Philly cut him loose.  But it was a surprise that they did it today.

There was no deadline or other pressure point forcing the team’s hand.  The issue would have come to a head at the launch of the team’s offseason workout program, if Jackson had opted to show up for it.

But that was still several weeks away.  There was no external reason to cut Jackson now.

Some would say there was no reason to delay, because the decision had been made to move on and an effort had been made to trade him.  (Indeed, Coach Chip Kelly doesn’t seem to be the kind of guy who likes to wait around once he has determined a course of action.)  But anything could have happened between today and the launch of the offseason program.

What if the No. 1 wideout for a contending team tears an Achilles tendon while playing basketball this weekend?  Suddenly, the Eagles could have gotten value for Jackson.

There’s a theory/hypothesis/whatever that the Eagles moved quickly after publication of the NJ.com story making vague, ambiguous connections between Jackson and gang activity.  But the NJ.com report contained nothing the Eagles didn’t already know.

The far more likely explanation is that the Eagles decided that they’d cut Jackson this week if they couldn’t trade him at the league meetings, and that the NJ.com article provided cover (coincidental or otherwise) with the fan base.

Cover may not matter.  The Eagles will face heavy scrutiny and criticism for their decision, if Jackson’s new team has a better season in 2014 than his old team.  Regardless of how it all turns out, it’ll be another intriguing wrinkle for the 2014 season.

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46 Responses to “Decision to cut Jackson wasn’t a surprise, but the timing was”
  1. eaglesfan036 says: Mar 28, 2014 11:19 PM

    I think there is more to the story than we know. We’ll see what other teams think if/when they sign him by seeing what the contract looks like.

  2. beardownnation says: Mar 28, 2014 11:27 PM

    I don’t know how vague the allegation is. LAPD has stated the have questioned him in relation to his friendship with a known Crips member. There were pictures with Jackson and Crips members. It doesn’t mean he is a bad guy but he is hanging around an element that is known to have criminal activities. What puzzles me is why the league is not involved.

    Rozelle wasted no time with Namath and the mob hanging around is bar. A player having contact with any criminal elements needs to be investigated.

  3. ndgarretjax says: Mar 28, 2014 11:28 PM

    ANY player at ANY time can tear their ACL ANY day, so the timing due to this reason doesn’t really mean much.

  4. chrisk61 says: Mar 28, 2014 11:29 PM

    everyone is presuming jackson gets signed by another team.

    what if no one signs him, and he is effectively out of the league ? perhaps this, due to the alleged or real gang ties, was orchestrated by the nfl ?

    what if jackson is effectively blackballed ?

    the league can drive certain player decisions: it wanted vick back in the league, jonathan martin back in the league, sam in the league, incognito out of the league and maybe now jackson out of the league.

    i think there is a very real possibility no one signs jackson.

    and i think the eagles — by implementing league desires — in signing vick and dumping jackson — are next in line for cold weather super bowl. quid pro quo.

  5. chargrz says: Mar 28, 2014 11:30 PM

    Eagles just got tired of his act. Also price tag.

  6. ttommytom says: Mar 28, 2014 11:37 PM

    The criticism of him coming out of college was

    1: Size
    2: Lack of effort on the practice field.
    3: Character ‘concerns’.

    #1 has not been that big a deal but 2 is killing Kelly and 3 runs right through the whole organization.

    The whole burglary thing at his house and what came out of that from the Eagles paying stupid money to a private investigation team scared them straight.

  7. birdgang321 says: Mar 28, 2014 11:47 PM

    The eagles blew this big time, they not only failed to be honest with the fanbase but they cut a pro bowl reciever coming off his best year and at only 27 years old. He offered not just mind blowing speed but the ability to take the top off defenses and fellow receivers. This receiver corp is too average to cut Jackson and without him now they will struggle to get seperation. It’s so maddening though because they blamed him for something he’s not even apart of nor had any connection too, who cares if his friends are gang bangers? Jackson came from the hood that is never going to leave him. And even worse we got nothing for him….

  8. shakabraddah777 says: Mar 29, 2014 12:23 AM

    Timing not really that surprising imo, the team probably got a heads up about this article coming out and decided to pull the plug now.

    Thought I wanted him on the Niners cause I knew Boldin could keep his attitude in check, but now with the gang stuff coming out, bringing him only closer to it, not so sure I would want the guys on the team to deal with all that B.S.

    We’ll see, but with the Eagles still taking a $6M cap hit, this was more than football and money, DJ is still a skilled player on the field.

    We’ll see as The NFL World Turns….

  9. Marcus says: Mar 29, 2014 12:25 AM

    As an Eagles fan all I can say is that Chip and Co. better have something damn good up their sleeve to fill the suddenly gaping void at receiver.

  10. linvillegorge says: Mar 29, 2014 12:26 AM

    Seems like they would’ve held onto him until the draft to try to swing a trade during the draft.

  11. phillybirds22 says: Mar 29, 2014 12:35 AM

    Sad to see him go but business is business. I believe there will be some issues that surface in the next couple of weeks that will reveal what is really going on here. Hope he does well with whatever team signs him and he learns how to be more of a professional.

  12. cchicinfan says: Mar 29, 2014 12:45 AM

    When the Eagles came out to Seattle a couple years ago, Jackson acted like a spoiled 2 year old and quit on his team. It amazed me that they turned around and paid him a few months after that. Talk about rewarding bad behavior. I guess it is the NFL though, where reality isn’t a factor in most decisions.

  13. deenice810 says: Mar 29, 2014 12:47 AM

    Talented yes. Common sense not so much. Hopefully this is a wakeup call for DeSean.

  14. kvt7280 says: Mar 29, 2014 1:08 AM

    The Eagles should’ve waited and try to get something for him but they rushed it and it will likely make them draft a WR in the first rd. They could’ve dropped their asking price to 6th rd, at least that 6th rd pick could’ve been a very useful player but now, they have to pay all his guaranteed money and got nothing in return.

  15. captainwisdom8888 says: Mar 29, 2014 1:21 AM

    I’m a diehard Eagles fan, and I would fully understand this move if Desean Jackson had been underachieving on the field and acting like a complete embarrassment to the organization, but I don’t feel as if either of them are true. Jackson killed it more last season than ever, and there’s little reason to think he wouldn’t have killed it again THIS season. Desean is by no means a high character guy, but he wasn’t exactly a cancer…and his productivity was a primary reason for the success of the offense as a whole. We aren’t paying him to be a perfect person, we are paying him to do his job to the utmost of his ability and to do it professionally. He can use some work on the 2nd part, but he has certainly being doing his job on the field.

    I understand Chip Kelly wants to help create a more favorable culture moving forward in Philadelphia, and I respect the hell out of that, but I still firmly believe that the team didn’t get any better by removing Desean from the mix. The Eagles cannot go into next year with just Maclin, Cooper, and TEs…so I expect them to draft a WR in either round 1 or 2.

    *My pick: 6’5″ 240Lb WR Kelvin Benjamin

  16. titansbro says: Mar 29, 2014 2:17 AM

    Maybe they just decided he wasn’t worth the money he was set to make? I would even agree with them. Let some other team overpay for him. Actually surprised no one was willing to trade anything at all for him though.

  17. Mike Rigz says: Mar 29, 2014 2:23 AM

    Does it matter? He’s gone. When, why… who cares. The team has moved on and when players like Jason Kelce tweet out their happy with the direction the organization is taking, you know DeSean’s act was running thin. Teammates seem happy to move on.

  18. hoopieguy says: Mar 29, 2014 2:31 AM

    My Brownies got the money. He’d look good opposite Josh Gordon, with Johnny Football slinging “em the rock.—–and then I woke up.

  19. trayday350 says: Mar 29, 2014 3:40 AM

    He will be a oakland raider soon and we will draft sammy watkins best WR tandem in nfl just wait on it

  20. thetooloftools says: Mar 29, 2014 4:22 AM

    He needed to be gone… that is reason enough.

  21. ara35 says: Mar 29, 2014 4:25 AM

    Being an Eagles fan, Desean was one of my favorites. However, I trust that the Eagles have enough evidence/reason to cut a 27 year old Pro bowler. It’s tiring reading comments of all the defensive folks. At the end of the day, he was a cancer in the locker room, took half the plays off, fought with coaches and had questionable off field activities. With Vick and Avant being out of town, who would keep him in check when he goes a half without a catch? I’m not sure we need anymore of an explanation from the Eagles organization.

  22. dolphins4 says: Mar 29, 2014 5:11 AM

    This will be another of a long list of Eagles personnel blunders like cutting Chris Carter and not drafting Earl Thomas.

  23. gpete1962 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:10 AM

    I really hated the Eagles being a Giant Fan but I have to applaud Chip Kelly’s decision not to put up with a talented troublemaker in the Ultimate team sport.

    In Hindsight, maybe chip will do for Jackson what Belichick did for Moss and what Buddy Ryan did for chris Carter, That’s make him a better teammate and a better person.

    Good for you Chip!

  24. kingbattle says: Mar 29, 2014 6:28 AM

    There’s a reasons why the eagles haven’t won a championship and them not willing to pay their star players is one of them. The gang affiliation is just a smoke screen…

  25. stevenray72 says: Mar 29, 2014 6:57 AM

    Poor organizational decisions are why the a Eagles do not have a Super Bowl ring !

  26. bizzmoneyb says: Mar 29, 2014 7:08 AM

    they knew that once this article became public that there was no way they would get anything back in a trade. who just cuts a big play receiver coming off of a career year?! you have to assume that the team knows alot more than we do. something is there that really spooked them.

  27. thetroofishere says: Mar 29, 2014 7:16 AM

    Carolina Panthers should have already signed him by now.

  28. operations666 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:18 AM

    Why were the Eagles so eager to get rid of their 2nd best offensive player (after McCoy)? Jackson is damn good, and the Eagles will be worse off without him.

    Oh well, as a Redskins fan I’m not complaining! :)

  29. tndiver says: Mar 29, 2014 7:18 AM

    It’s addition by subtraction. Lesser teams have won Super Bowls because they played as a team and not a bunch of egomaniacs. The team with the most talent on paper rarely wins Super Bowls. It is the team that buys in and plays together as one unit.

  30. thadamntruth says: Mar 29, 2014 7:26 AM

    “And with the fifth pick in the NFL 2014 Draft the Eagles pick (via trade….drum roll): Sammy Watkins from Clemson”

  31. greymares says: Mar 29, 2014 7:36 AM

    I disagree the timing is what it is. they tried to trade this guy for 2 years without a taker because of his money. I can’t believe they released him because he and the coaches couldn’t get on the same page. I’m guessing the Eagles have done their own investigation into this guys activities and it has to be worse than whats being reported at this time. When not a single teammate has stepped up to take his back, there is more to this than a fan could understand. the timing doesn’t matter and if he goes to a new team and becomes Jerry Rice so be it. He is not what the Eagles want him to be and they don’t think he will so goodbye.

  32. jagsfan1 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:45 AM

    Bottom line though – is that if he truly IS a punk…then they have every right to dump him and cut losses.

    These “trouble” guys – some of them might have talent – but the talent is NEVER worth the trouble.

    Since it is a team game – 1 player will not consistently have an impact. They all can be shut down.

    If Aaron Rogers or Peyton were troublemakers – that is the exception – everyone else? dump them and let them be someone else’s problem.

  33. chc4 says: Mar 29, 2014 7:52 AM

    Or what if Jackson tears HIS achilles working out? They wanted to sever the relationship immediately. It’s that simple.

  34. fissels says: Mar 29, 2014 8:17 AM

    I think they just decided that it was time to move on.

  35. officialgame says: Mar 29, 2014 8:28 AM

    Do you think the Pats would have wanted to cut Hernandez a week sooner? Who knows what they knew.

  36. opiedamus says: Mar 29, 2014 8:32 AM

    And if they kept him, you’d be criticizing them for creating a distraction by keeping him around without sufficiently letting him know where he stands. Or criticize them for keeping him around and causing a distraction to his teammates and divide in the locker room.

    They cut him to move on. Bold and strong move – statement has been received. Players love playing for them, but don’t go being respectful. Novel idea in today’s society…

  37. robbieboston says: Mar 29, 2014 8:44 AM

    The Eagles will face heavy scrutiny and criticism for their decision, if Jackson’s new team has a better season in 2014 than his old team. Regardless of how it all turns out, it’ll be another intriguing wrinkle for the 2014 season.

    If he’s a jet there is nothing to worry about!

  38. gustwo says: Mar 29, 2014 9:07 AM

    On the one hand, teams are constantly criticized for not taking the moral high ground when a player is found to be less than wanting ( alcohol/drug problems, spousal abuse, outright criminal activity, etc. ). Teams are accused of ignoring heinous faults of players because of the bottom line, winning. So the Eagles, however questionably it was done, takes the moral high ground, and is still chastised in half a dozen ways. I was and will remain a Jackson fan, and will miss him, but have to be pleased with the team making a decision based on what they perceive as a right/wrong situation, and not just his importance in the won/loss column.

  39. nfloracle says: Mar 29, 2014 9:34 AM

    I hope to God the Panthers don’t sign this guy… imagine swapping out a proven leader with a tremendous work ethic like Steve Smith for this chap. Though Jackson’s a talented athlete, the Cats don’t need a locker room lump and egocentric team mate… after all, it took them three years to get Cam to stop pouting and to start acting like an NFL quarterback who can actually lead a team.

  40. adderal says: Mar 29, 2014 9:55 AM

    I just hope the stuff thats been put out there about him is true cause if its not then they really railroaded that kid. Guys like Chip Kelly had not trouble going into to places like Compton and Watts to recruit some of these kids. Its should be no surprise that some of these guys from those areas are gonna know some unseemly people.

  41. babygaga19 says: Mar 29, 2014 10:58 AM

    Men, I’m thinking JD will be our greatest RB since T Wheat! What do you think?

  42. edavidberg says: Mar 29, 2014 12:14 PM

    (1) Jackson’s trade value was non-existent considering how big his contract was and how he was already complaining about it.
    (2) Wasn’t Jackson the guy who was flat broke and borrowing from his agent before he signed his last contract? I understand its common for guys to go broke when they’re out of the league, but what kind of an idiot goes broke when he is still in it.

    Eagles were smart to break ties with this guy before he held out and caused more distractions.

  43. shlort says: Mar 29, 2014 12:37 PM

    Rumor has it that Oakland wants him. Perfect place I guess?

    I don’t know why there is so much hype over a player who is average at best. He wasn'[t worth his contract or someone would have traded something for him. The Eagles couldn’t give him away. That says something about the player.

  44. bensstinkyfingers says: Mar 29, 2014 7:06 PM

    He will soon drift into irrelevance when the raiders pick him up.

  45. myfriendbobsacamano says: Mar 29, 2014 9:55 PM

    stupid analysis, Eagles right to nip it in the bud,,,I guess Florio never heard of Aaron Hernandez, wait for the whole story.

  46. babygaga19 says: Mar 29, 2014 11:00 PM

    Newsflash, he is visiting Skins and Chiefs. Raiders have yet to make the list. With your HC, QB, offensive line, running game………………..good luck snagging him.

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