Kelly said he had no personality conflicts with Jackson during their year together with the Eagles and that the team decided to solicit trade offers for the receiver because of their overall plans for the team. When there were no offers, the team decided to release Jackson in a move that had nothing to do with a report of Jackson’s alleged gang ties.
“We just wanted to go in a different direction. It had nothing to do with any article. Purely football,” Kelly said, via Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post. “We had no offers for DeSean. It doesn’t matter what we wanted, because we had no offers.”
Kelly wasn’t surprised by the lack of offers for Jackson under his former contract, nor should it be a surprise to anyone else. Jackson’s deal was set to pay him $10.7 million for the 2014 season, which is awfully rich even for a receiver of Jackson’s talents.
Owner Jeffrey Lurie also spoke to reporters and said that he is concerned about all players’ off-field behavior, but had no special concerns about Jackson. Lurie said Kelly came to him after the season ended and said he wanted to move in a different direction at receiver, which was enough for the owner to sign off on the move.
Both men said they had no concerns about Jackson going to a division rival. Jackson will have two chances to make them feel differently next season.