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As NFL.com notes, the end of the Jackson saga comes in the wake of a Friday morning Newark Star-Ledger report claiming the Eagles have "serious concerns" about the wide receiver's continued association with reputed Los Angeles street gang members tied to a pair of homicides.
Jackson, 27, was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He recorded 356 catches for 6,117 yards in his six seasons with the team.
Jackson issued the following statement in response to the release: "First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly. I would also like to thank coach Andy Reed for bringing me in.
"Secondly, 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. 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. God Bless."
In addition to the gang issues, the Star-Ledger report also questioned Jackson's attitude, work ethic, chemistry with coach Chip Kelly and penchant for missing team meetings to hang out with friends. Whatever the case, it's hard to argue against NFL.com reporter Chris Wesseling's contention that whatever the Eagles' disillusionment with Jackson, it was rooted wholly in off-the-field concerns, as the 27-year-old flourished in Kelly's offense, setting career highs as across the board as one of the NFL's most dangerous offensive weapons.
"They are concerned about having him around the younger players," an Eagles source told the Star-Ledger.
Speaking at a charity event Thursday, teammate Jeremy Maclin drew a parallel between Jackson's falling out with the organization and the Terrell Owens debacle of 2005 and 2006.
The next question is where Jackson winds up?
As Profootballtalk.com's Mike Florio noted this morning, teams that definitely were interested in Jackson (although not at $10.5 million for 2014) at a time when he was merely on the trading block included the 49ers, Seahawks, and Jets. Teams like the Patriots and Raiders also could be thrown into the mix.
That said, any team interested in Jackson would be wise to find out exactly why the Eagles decided to move on from Jackson less than three months after he produced a career year.
Meanwhile, the Eagles move forward with Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin as their top wideouts. Recently-acquired Darren Sproles will also be a factor in the passing as will second-year tight end Zach Ertz. LeSean McCoy is also a capable enough receiver to help pick up the slack.
I'll be keeping a close eye on OTAs and mini-camps, reporting back as needed to give you a feel for how the pecking order is shaking out.