Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly managed to talk for an hour Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., without saying much of anything.
At the end of his session at the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes hotel, spectators still did not know if wide receiver DeSean Jackson would be with the Eagles this season.
"I like DeSean," Kelly told the team's website, CSNPhilly.com, NFL.com and a host of other media outlets. "DeSean did a nice job for us (last season). But we're always going to do what's best for the organization. I've talked to DeSean. We had a good conversation. He knows where we are, and I know where he is."
As of Tuesday, Jackson was encouraged enough by his chat with Kelly to think that he will remain with the Eagles for at least one more season.
The 27-year-old, who is entering his seventh NFL season, even joked on Twitter and Instagram about the various reports that have indicated the team was seeking to trade him or perhaps even release him.
"I sit back & laugh at the reports that come out!!" Jackson wrote Tuesday. "At the end of the day, it's entertainment. Gotta remember that!! Not true facts."
Jackson, a three-time Pro Bowler, is coming off his best season. He led the team with 82 receptions for 1,339 yards, both of which were career highs, to go with nine receiving touchdowns and five 100-yard games. His 1,339 yards were the second-most in franchise history, trailing the 1,409 yards Mike Quick had in 1983.
This season, Jackson is due to make $10.5 million as part of the five-year, $47 million contract he signed in 2012. After the Eagles' playoff loss to New Orleans, he indicated that he thought he deserved a new contract, but was merely responding to a reporter's question and quickly softened his stance.
There have also been suggestions that Jackson's sometimes selfish attitude has not gone over well with Kelly, who is trying to build a culture in the locker room geared toward hard-working, team-oriented players.
"I got along well with DeSean," Kelly said. "And he didn't ask for a new contract. DeSean never came to me, (Eagles general manager) Howie (Roseman), or anybody and said, 'I want a new contract.'"
But Kelly also declined to settle the issue by stating that DeSean Jackson would definitely be staying. The Eagles begin their offseason training program on April 21. Whether Jackson will be participating remains a mystery.
Jackson is among seven wide receivers currently on the roster. The team re-signed both Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin during the offseason before they were scheduled to become free agents. Arrelious Benn, Damaris Johnson, Jeff Maehl and Brad Smith are also back. In addition, newly acquired running back Darren Sproles can also be used as a receiver. And there is a strong possibility the Eagles will draft a wide receiver this year.
"I don't anticipate anybody being on the roster at that point, or I anticipate them all being on the roster," Kelly said. "I don't predict the future. We get rolling on April 21 and we'll get going."
Extra point: Reports also surfaced Wednesday that Eagles Pro Bowl/All Pro left guard Evan Mathis is looking for a new contract.
Mathis is scheduled to make $5.1 million this season as part of the five-year, $25.5 million extension he signed last year. According to CSNPhilly.com, Mathis' average salary of $5.1 million per year ranks 14th among NFL guards.
Kelly indicated he's not concerned that Mathis' salary demands will affect his approach.
"You talk about a go-to-work, lunch-pail mentality, that's Evan Mathis," Kelly said. "I don't worry about Evan from that standpoint."
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