Eagles Cut Pro Bowl Receiver DeSean Jackson Gang Ties
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DeSean Jackson, one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL, was released by the Philadelphia Eagles, a stunning move that is about more than football.According to ESPN, the Eagles cut ties with one of the most electrifying players in club history. This comes after they uncovered their own information on Jackson’s off-field connections and activities. In addition, they decided to release Jackson, rather than trade him to another team that might be unaware.“After careful consideration over this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today,” the team said in a statement.Earlier Friday, a report by NJ.com stated the Eagles had become increasingly concerned about Jackson’s off-the-field issues and his reputed ties to Los Angeles street gang members.NFL teams have become more cautious since last summer when former New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez, who also reportedly had gang ties, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.Jackson was due to make $10.5 million in 2014 and was owed $30.5 million over the remainder of his deal, but none of that money was guaranteed.Recent reports surfaced that the Eagles were looking to trade Jackson. There also had been rumors that Jackson was not a fit in the locker room culture that coach Chip Kelly was trying to cultivate.At the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday, Kelly said he liked Jackson, but would not commit to him for 2014, saying the Eagles would do “what’s best for the football team.”There may have been warning signs earlier this season that the Eagles may have been looking to move on from Jackson. The team moved quickly in free agency to get new deals done with wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper.Jackson, 27, excelled in Kelly’s fast-paced offense, setting career highs in receptions (82) and yards (1,332), while also amassing nine touchdowns. His 6,177 receiving yards are second in franchise history and his four punt-return scores are tops in club history.