(NEW YORK) — The Philadelphia Eagles released Pro Bowl receiver DeSean Jackson on Friday.
“After careful consideration this offseason, the Philadelphia Eagles decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today, ” the Eagles said in a statement.
It was rumored the past couple of weeks that the 27-year-old Jackson was on the trade block despite catching a career-high 82 balls, for 1332 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
A report Friday by NJ.com said Jackson may have possible ties to Los Angeles street gang members. Jackson later released a statement that refuted the report.
“First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly,” the statement read. “I would also like to thank (former) coach Andy Reid 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.”
Jackson was entering the third season of a a five-year, $51 million contract he signed with the Eagles in 2012.
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Jill Martin, CNN