According to a report from former Eagles linebacker and current media personality Ike Reese, Eagles head coach Chip Kelly has assured DeSean Jackson that he will not be traded this offseason. Reese's report comes one day after CSN Philly's Derrick Gunn reported that the Eagles are listening to trade offers for Jackson. Here's what Reese had to say on his radio show on Philadelphia sports station 94WIP:
"He’s [DeSean Jackson] talked to Chip [Kelly] this off-season," Reese said, citing a source close to the situation. "He’s talked to Chip and Chip told him you don’t have to worry about all the rumors that are out there. You’re here. He’s been assured, at least he’s been assured at that time [when they talked], that he wasn’t going anywhere. "
"Again, it doesn’t mean something can’t happen to where a team wants DeSean and that the Eagles—this is also Howie Roseman’s department. The personnel department," Reese said. "To me it makes sense for the Eagles, that they at least convey to DeSean that he’s fine. That he doesn’t have to believe the rumors that are out there if for no other reason, you want to keep DeSean’s mind in the right place."
As Reese mentions in the second part of that quote, this does not rule out the possibility of a Jackson trade. Kelly's assurance to Jackson could be a form of posturing.
Consider that Reese's report goes directly against what Tim McManus reported earlier in the week when he said Jackson has been kept in the dark regarding his future with the team.
Adding to the confusion/strain is the fact that the Eagles had yet to contact Jackson as of Saturday to offer assurance. This seems a little peculiar, particularly since Chip Kelly has been very careful about making sure his players know where they stand with him. For instance, he spoke with every key veteran on the roster during the draft last April immediately after picking someone at their position.
"We're in the dark like everyone else," said a source close to Jackson. "Thought [Kelly] would at least be worthy of some kind of communication."
The Jackson trade speculation originally began in early March and has seemed to pick up more traction ever since. While it doesn't seem to make very much sense for the Eagles to trade away one of their best players, it does seem more and more like there's a legitimate possibility these rumors hold weight.
[UPDATE: 4:25 pm]
Earlier today Les Bowen confirmed Ike Reese's report with his own source:
I am told @Ike58Reese is right, Chip Kelly has indeed called DeSean Jackson and told him not to worry about trade reports.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) March 19, 2014
But now he has new information that not only has Kelly not spoken to Jackson, but that Jackson has tried to get in touch with Kelly about the rumors but has been unable to do so:
I've now heard from a more "official" DeSean Jackson source. Source says contrary to what I was told earlier, and what Ike Reese reported on 94WIP, DeSean HAS NOT talked to Chip Kelly about trade speculation. Says DeSean has tried to, but Chip has been too busy with free agency, etc.
We'll keep you posted when further developments happen.