This morning, Chip Kelly had this to say about DeSean Jackson:
Chip asked if he wants DeSean on team. "I like DeSean....but we are gonna do what's best for the team."— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) March 26, 2014
Chip has made several positive comments about DeSean. What he hasn't done, given every opportunity, is slam dunk say DeSean will be back.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) March 26, 2014
Chip Kelly has taken about 20 minutes of DeSean Jackson. Says conversations are private. Won't commit to DeSean being on team next season— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) March 26, 2014
There are numerous indications that yesterday's vague tweets by Jackson are just a smokescreen and that the team still wants to deal him, if of course the price is right. Kelly's comments this morning didn't help quell the smoke, because he refuses to put a firm denial out there of a trade.
The big question on everybody's mind, however, is why Jackson is on the trading block in the first place? It's a fair question, considering he had over 1,300 yards last season and 9 touchdowns. Why would a team want to get rid of their best receiver? There are a few potential reasons:
The first is money. Jackson has always made it clear that he wants to get paid what he thinks he's worth, which is a top receiver. He's set to make $10.75M this season, and $10M each of the next two, which puts him among the most on the team. The Philadelphia Eagles don't have nearly as much cap space as the New York Jets do, so it's understandable that they're nervous about having to pay Jackson as much as he makes, and potentially more, down the line.
There's a thought going around that Kelly is trying to build a roster of tall wide receivers to counteract the Seattle Seahawks' tall cornerbacks. Jackson is their only receiver under 6'0" (excepting Demaris Johnson, who is mainly a punt returner). In that vein, it's thought that Jackson just doesn't fit the mold of what Kelly wants, physically, from his receivers, and he thinks he can get a better fit in the draft. There are certainly indications of this, although it's something we obviously can't be certain about.
The final thought is that Jackson isn't a personality fit. There's no indication that his teammates don't love him or that he's ever been a locker room cancer, so I think this is overblown. More likely, the beef is with Kelly himself and that he hasn't bought into the system Kelly brought from the University of Oregon. It seems that he just isn't one of "Chip's" guys, which often happens when a new head coach or general manager comes to town.