Everyone’s assuming that Chip Kelly was the one to get rid of DeSean. But there is evidence that the team was shopping DJax before Kelly even arrived.
When the going gets weird, Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz (and BGN) is a reliable source of level-headed perspective. Plowing through all the Djacc angst, I noticed an interesting cautionary note in one of Tommy’s recent columns:
As to this decision, I am curious how much of it was Kelly and how much of it was others in the organization. DeSean does not feel like a Chip Kelly type of player, but at the same time, Kelly is an offensive coach that loves playmakers. DeSean can be a dynamic playmaker. I’m sure Kelly had a hand in this decision, but I don’t know if he was the one who got the ball rolling and pushed for the move to be made.
Everyone has been assuming that this was Chip Kelly laying down the law, being the new sheriff in town. His well-publicized demotion of DeSean to the 2nd and 3rd teams in training camp fed this assumption. But it the reality may be different. There are a number of quiet hints in various articles that indicate that Chip may not have been the prime mover.
Lawlor — who writes for the Eagles‘ website — was cagey about who “others in the organization” might be, but there are only two possibilities — GM Howie Roseman and owner Jeffrey Lurie. And only Roseman makes sense. There’s no reason that Lurie would change his mind between 2012, when the team signed Jackson to his five-year contract, and now. Even if you think those “gang affiliations” influenced the team, and I’m not convinced they did, the incidents in the NJ.com article took place well before that extension was signed. There is nothing new to sway him.
It’s a little different for Howie Roseman, however. He was not in charge when the decisions to draft and extend Jackson were made, not the way he is now. When Andy Reid was fired, it was widely reported that Howie Roseman was gaining back for the GM’s office some of the extraordinary power that Reid had. He had gained ground earlier when Joe Banner was fired, too, and is widely credited with the strong drafts of the last two years. After Reid’s firing, Lurie gave a long statement which Mike Florio summed up this way: “Roseman was trying to get Reid to make other decisions in past years, and hindsight was proving Roseman to be right.”
Part of that was Reid’s acceptance of players’ misdeeds. As Tommy noted, “Andy Reid was more tolerant of bad behavior than most fans realize. Reid loved his players and tried to protect them as much as he could.” This certainly included DJax, who had a bit of a father-son relationship with