While DeSean Jackson’s saga with the Philadelphia Eagles continues, Chiefs coach Andy Reid — the man who drafted Jackson — was very complimentary of him Tuesday at the NFL’s annual meetings in Orlando, Fla.
“I have nothing but good things to say about the kid,” Reid said of the a veteran standout receiver. “I did draft him. I had a great relationship with him.”
Multiple outlets have reported that Jackson, 27, is not expected to return to Philadelphia next season, despite the fact he’s coming off a year in which he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.
Jackson apparently tried to tamp down those rumors Tuesday by tweeting that he had finally spoken to Eagles coach Chip Kelly, and The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Jackson called a few teammates on Tuesday morning to tell them he was staying with the Eagles.
But Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman gave a lukewarm response, at best, when asked about Jackson on Monday.
“He’s still under contract for us,” Roseman told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “And until there’s anything to report on our players, that’s where we are now.”
The Eagles are seeking a third-round pick for Jackson, according to multiple reports. With his speed and playmaking ability, he’d be a perfect fit for Reid’s offense, but the Chiefs are short on picks this year and lack the cap space to accommodate his contract via trade.
That’s why the Chiefs are unlikely to pursue him unless he gets released, which is reportedly an option if the Eagles can’t find a trade partner. The Chiefs could conceivably put together a reasonable package for Jackson, who is likely seeking more guaranteed money, but it’s hard to say whether they would do so. The Chiefs aren’t fond of troublemakers, and there have always been questions about Jackson’s character.
Reid acknowledged Tuesday that Jackson, who lost his father in 2009 to pancreatic cancer, has been through a lot.
“When his father passed away, that was a hard thing for him to go through at a young age,” Reid said. “They were best friends.”
But while it remains unclear whether Reid and the Chiefs feel comfortable enough with Jackson to pursue him — the fact they haven’t been one of the six teams linked to him may be telling — Reid had nothing but nice things to say about him Tuesday.
“I’ve experienced life things with him,” Reid said. “He was great for me when I was there.”