As CSNPhilly.com Eagles insider Geoff Mosher explained Monday, the NJ.com report that detailed DeSean Jackson's ties to Los Angeles gang members was not the reason the team cut their Pro Bowl receiver.
The decision came long before and Jackson's fate was doomed before that. Jackson rubbed head coach Chip Kelly the wrong way and didn't fit into the culture Kelly sought to bring to the Eagles.
A new report has emerged from CBSPhilly's Joe Santoliquito with strong quotes from anonymous sources close to and around the Eagles -- including current and former players -- who describe why Jackson's dismissal was due directly to his behavior. The report cites several sources that suggest Jeremy Maclin may not have wanted Jackson to return. The Eagles re-signed Maclin and Riley Cooper this offseason.
"The fact is, [Jackson] was a 'me-guy' with an attitude problem and [Maclin] is the complete opposite, a team guy, a great character guy you go to war with,” a source told Santoliquito. "Funny how [Jackson] has this anti-bully thing (Jackson has campaigned against bullying) and he thought he could push [Kelly] around; he found out otherwise.
"His being cut had nothing to do with the gang stuff. The team knew it. Everyone knew he had ‘ties.’ Those were his guys. That’s OK. What put him out was his selfishness. He can try and spin it all he wants how he’s 'a team player.' He’s not. I’ll put it this way, when it came out last Friday that [Jackson] was released, more than a few guys were happy it happened. They said 'good riddance.' He had no real connection with anyone."
And that's why Jackson was released despite his career 2013 season in which he set career highs in receptions, yards receiving and touchdown catches.
"Yes, you can say [Jackson] was the type that could catch three TDs in a loss," a source told CBSPhilly. "Everyone would be down, but you had the impression he was happy, because he got his. It was all about him. A lot of guys thought that way about him. [Kelly] came in here with a plan to get this thing right, and the one major [obstacle] standing in his way was [Jackson]. If we were going to move forward as a team, he had to go. Think about it -- did anyone come right out and back him publicly? Not one."
There's more ...
"You see little kids and how they cry and whine when they don’t get their way, that was D-Jax,” another source told the site. "I don’t think [Jackson] gave [Kelly] the respect he deserved. Kelly tried to reach [Jackson] plenty of times and [Jackson] tuned him out. Then you look at team functions, when everyone is out together at charity things or social stuff. He was the one missing. It was like he was in 'D-Jax world' and we just happened to be there.
"With [Andy] Reid, [Jackson] tried pushing boundaries there, too, but he looked at Reid, I think, much differently than he looked at [Kelly]. Reid came in with an NFL pedigree. He was the guy that drafted [Jackson]. He was the one that called him on draft day and laid the law down right then: He wouldn’t tolerate any outside interference from anyone. Now you get this college guy and he’s not going to tell [Jackson] what to do. [Kelly] has a vision for this team and he is a very old-school coach in a lot of ways. But there’s only so much [a coach] can take.”
The sources cited are strongly on Kelly's side and seemed to be intent on clearing the coach's name. Kelly has taken some heat locally for cutting a playmaking receiver in his prime. It was an unprecedented move. But from the sounds of it, Kelly had no choice.
"It pisses me off that [Kelly] comes off looking like the bad guy here," a source told Santoliquito. "It wasn’t just [Kelly] that wanted him gone. [Kelly] got a lot of feedback from guys that felt we were better off without [Jackson], too. [Kelly] is very much a player’s coach. His office is open to anyone. Now [Jackson] is the Redskins’ problem. We have something good going here and it’s going to get better without [Jackson]. He had to go."