NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The Eagles have released dynamic wide receiver DeSean Jackson.
The team had reportedly been attempting to trade him.
NJ.com released an explosive report Friday that said the Eagles were worried about Jackson’s ties to reputed Los Angeles gang members.
“They are concerned about having him around the younger players,” an Eagles source told NJ.com.
His agent told the website, “DeSean Jackson is not a gang member … He’s far, far from it.”
In a statement, Jackson called the report “reckless and irresponsible.”
“First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly. I would also like to thank coach Andy Reed for bringing me in,” Jackson said. “Secondly, I would like to address the misleading and unfounded reports that my release has anything to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the company I keep off of the field. I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang.”
He added: “I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible. I work very hard on and off the field and I am a good person with good values. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have made both on and off the field. I have worked tirelessly to give back to my community and have a positive impact on those in need. It is unfortunate that I now have to defend myself and my intentions. These reports are irresponsible and just not true. I look forward to working hard for my new team. God Bless.”
WFAN’s Mike Francesa weighed in on Jackson on Friday afternoon:
The Jets, who need another wide receiver, have been linked to the three-time Pro Bowler for weeks, though it was reported they were not interested in trading for his massive contract. The team has been “looking at a number of players, including DeSean,” owner Woody Johnson said Sunday.
According to the New York Daily News, “people in the Jets organization” are interested in Jackson, but there was no immediate word on whether Johnson or general manager John Idzik are among the men interested.
Jackson, who was signed through 2016 prior to his release, had been due $10.25 million this season. Now that he’s available on the open market the Jets could get aggressive within reason, considering they are around $30 million under the salary cap.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, at least six teams contacted Jackson’s agents in the first hour-plus following his release.
Jackson was coming off a career-best season in Philadelphia, leading the team with 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.
He has 356 career receptions for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns. The 27-year-old Jackson is entering his seventh season.
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