When the Philadelphia Eagles released DeSean Jackson on March 28, rumors and reports that the move was triggered by Jackson’s alleged gang ties started flying out of the City of Brotherly Love.
The Eagles did their best to quiet those rumors Monday.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Jackson’s release, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly insisted to reporters that the team’s choice to release the three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver was “purely a football decision.”
“It has nothing to do with anything that was ever written in a newspaper or any off-field behavior from him,” Kelly said.
While his production on the field is hard to dispute, Jackson didn’t exactly see eye-to-eye with the first-year coach in 2013. Jackson reportedly cussed out Kelly and was “blatantly insubordinate” on many occasions, throwing temper tantrums directed at Kelly in front of his teammates.
Kelly denied that he had any personal issue with Jackson.
“DeSean was great the year I was with him,” Kelly said. “We wish him nothing but the best in terms of where he’s going to be. It’s a decision that we made as a team that a lot of teams make at that point and time.”
Jackson was signed by the Washington Redskins on April 2 and will join another first-year head coach in Jay Gruden, who most recently served as offensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals.