Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writers Randy Covitz and Terez Paylor

Eagles release DeSean Jackson, who thanks Andy Reid in farewell message

03/28/2014 1:27 PM

03/28/2014 2:06 PM

The Philadelphia Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson on Friday, and one of the first people Jackson mentioned in a statement was Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who drafted him in 2008.

“First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly,” Jackson said. “ I would also like to thank coach Andy Reid for bringing me in.”

Jackson, who was coming off his best season with the Eagles — 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns —

then addressed a report that cited his ties with Los Angeles gangs

as a factor in his release.

“I would like to address the misleading and unfounded reports that my release has anything to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the company I keep off of the field,” Jackson said. “I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible.

“I work very hard on and off the field and I am a good person with good values. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have made both on and off the field. I have worked tirelessly to give back to my community and have a positive impact on those in need. It is unfortunate that I now have to defend myself and my intentions. These reports are irresponsible and just not true. I look forward to working hard for my new team.”

Might that new team be the Chiefs, who have a crying need for a speed receiver like Jackson? Jackson’s older brother Byron spent 1992 on the Chiefs practice squad.

“ I have nothing but good things to say about the kid,” Reid said of DeSean Jackson at the NFL owners meetings this week. “I did draft him. I had a great relationship with him. …

“He was great for me when I was there.”

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