Thursday, February 11, 2016

Source: Chip told DeSean not to worry, get ready for camp

DeSean Jackson's late-night tweet about having spoken with Eagles coach Chip Kelly adds another chapter to this tangled story, but it's unlikely to signal a change of heart for the Birds.

Source: Chip told DeSean not to worry, get ready for camp

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly jokes with wide receiver DeSean Jackson during a game on November 10, 2013. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly jokes with wide receiver DeSean Jackson during a game on November 10, 2013. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

ORLANDO, Fla. --- On Day 789 of the DeSean Jackson trade watch, harried reporters rushing to the NFL meetings for the 7:15 media breakfast with AFC coaches found that Jackson had tweeted early Tuesday morning about a conversation with Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

"Good to Talk to Big Chip Today!! Say or hear what ya want!! The Picture speaks for itself!! Winner"

The attached Instagram photo was from training camp, Kelly seeming to chase Jackson with a yellow foam paddle.

("True Detective" fans will understand immediately what this means: Chip is the Yellow King!)

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Fans eager to keep No. 10 in green immediately inferred that somehow the Eagles' attempts to trade Jackson had ended, that Kelly had assured Jackson he would remain with the team. Of course, Jackson didn't say that, and such an assurance from Kelly would be absolutely stunning at this point, after the Eagles remained silent through more than three weeks of speculation.

A source close to Jackson said Kelly told his star wideout "don't worry about anything and keep working hard and be ready for camp."

It was about 12 hours before Jackson's tweet that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman stood on a Ritz-Carlton balcony and spent 33 minutes talking with Philly-area reporters, Roseman refusing to discuss Jackson, most pointedly refraining from any sort of denial of trade talks.

But the Eagles have been taking heat over stressing the importance of communication while not communicating with Jackson, so the chat between Kelly and Jackson, however belated, was necessary. It also could signal that they've assessed the field thoroughly at these meetings, don't see a trade offer they like, and need to mend fences, either until the May draft when teams get more motivated, or beyond that.

If the Eagles somehow tried to put the whole thing back together and move forward with their most explosive offensive weapon, you'd have to wonder how they blundered into this mess in the first place, whether the people in charge really know what they want. Kelly does not give the appearance of someone who does not know what he wants.

Former Eagles quarterback Michael Vick clearly doesn't see  a reconciliation happening. Vick, asked about Jackson during an ESPN Radio appearance Tuesday, said: "Chip is a leader ... and certain organizations want things done in a certain way."

Vick also said that Jackson is "not a bad person," but he called the situation "something he may have to learn from."

Vick's current team, the New York Jets, has been mentioned as a possible landing spot for Jackson; in fact, Jets owner Woody Johnson acknowledged their interest when he spoke with reporters Sunday. At the coaches' breakfast Tuesday, Jets coach Rex Ryan said he wouldn't discuss players on other teams' rosters. But he said the Jets probably are not done at the wideout position, though he seemed to be referring more to the wideout-deep draft than to Jackson when he made that assessment.

Staff Writer
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