The Eagles' offseason was pretty much flying under the radar with the exception of the signing of running back Darren Sproles, but that all changed this week with the team's decision to part ways with wide receiver DeSean Jackson by giving him his outright release with no compensation in return.
Rumors had been circling for weeks concerning a falling out between Jackson and head coach Chip Kelly. It was common knowledge that the team had been actively seeking a trade for the six-year vet who had earned Pro Bowl honors three times during the course of his career. Apparently a NJ.com report that linked Jackson to a possible gang affiliation in his home town of Los Angeles was the tipping point that pushed owner Jeff Lurie into pulling the plug on one of his team's most electrifying players.
Anyone who read my previous post on this situation knows how I feel about Jackson. There is no denying that he is one of the top playmakers in the NFL, but so was Terrell Owens. I have never been a big fan of players that consistently put their needs above or at the expense of the team. Their never ending pattern of disruptive behavior when things do not go their way are not worth the headache no matter how much they bring to the table with their play on the field.
I still have vivid memories of the TO circus that featured videos of him doing sit-ups and push-ups in his New Jersey driveway instead of trying to help the Birds get back to the Super Bowl in 2005. Jackson was not nearly as flamboyant with his off-field shenanigans, but even his most die-hard fans would have to admit that he was filled with attitude and not always in a good way. To me, he was a major problem waiting to happen and something else tells me that this is not the end of the story when it comes to his alleged ties to gang members.
As far as replacing Jackson in Kelly's dynamic offense the Eagles are not nearly as bad off as some fans may think. They will get Jeremy Maclin back after missing the entire 2013 season rehabbing a knee injury and this year's college draft is loaded with some top-notch receivers that should still be on the board when Philly goes on the clock with the 22nd overall pick. The old adage that that 'there is no I in team' is alive and well in Chip Kelly's regime and that is a good thing. Just ask New England fans how that attitude has worked out for that franchise.