Previewing the 2014 Philadelphia Eagles Schedule Release

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The Philadelphia Eagles bid wide receiver DeSean Jackson farewell after a career year, but after a 10-6 season that saw Philly get back to the playoffs, few will suddenly doubt head coach Chip Kelly’s judgment. That same backing will likely stick with the Eagles into the new 2014 season, as they try to build on last year’s division title.

While the NFC East is fairly mediocre, the Iggles will still have their work cut out for them inside the division, while they’ll also have to welcome the Rams, Seahawks, Panthers, Jaguars and Titans to town. Jacksonville and Tennessee should be wins on paper, while Seattle and Carolina could be two of Philly’s tougher matchups of the entire season.

The Philadelphia Eagles schedule gets even tougher on the road, as they have to take on Arizona, San Francisco, Green Bay, Houston and Indianapolis. With all but Houston winning at least 10 games or getting to the playoffs last year, the Eagles have a tough road slate to prepare for.

All 2014 Opponents

Home: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans

Away: Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts

For a look at all team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Report: Jackson Was A Huge Problem In Locker Room For Eagles

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A number of sources close to and around the Eagles, including current and former players, as well as additional sources within the Eagles revealed was that DeSean Jackson was not very well liked by his teammates, was blatantly insubordinate, with temper tantrums cussing out coach Chip Kelly several times in front of the team, pushed the NFL rookie coach the way “a child would test boundaries,” and was more concerned with his rap label than he was about winning football games, Joseph Santoliquito of CBS Philadelphia reports.

Several other sources also suggested that Jeremy Maclin may have had an issue if Jackson returned to the Eagles in 2014. He wasn’t alone, if that’s true.

“The fact is, [Jackson] was a ‘me-guy’ with an attitude problem and [Maclin] is the complete opposite, a team guy, a great character guy you go to war with,” said one source. “Funny how [Jackson] has this anti-bully thing and he thought he could push [Kelly] around; he found out otherwise. His being cut had nothing to do with the gang stuff. The team knew it. Everyone knew he had ‘ties.’ Those were his guys. That’s okay. What put him out was his selfishness. He can try and spin it all he wants how he’s ‘a team player.’ He’s not. I’ll put it this way, when it came out last Friday that [Jackson] was released, more than a few guys were happy it happened. They said ‘good riddance.’ He had no real connection with anyone.

“Yes, you can say he was the type that could catch three TDs in a loss—everyone would be down, but you had the impression he was happy, because he got his. It was all about him. A lot of guys thought that way about him. [Kelly] came in here with a plan to get this thing right, and the one major [obstacle] standing in his way was [Jackson]. If we were going to move forward as a team, he had to go. Think about it—did anyone come right out and back him publicly? Not one.”

“You see little kids and how they cry and whine when they don’t get their way, that was D-Jax,” another source said. “I don’t think [Jackson] gave [Kelly] the respect he deserved. Kelly tried to reach [Jackson] plenty of times and [Jackson] tuned him out. Then you look at team functions, when everyone is out together at charity things or social stuff. He was the one missing. It was like he was in ‘D-Jax world’ and we just happened to be there.

“With Reid, [Jackson] tried pushing boundaries there, too, but he looked at Reid, I think, much differently than he looked at [Kelly]. Reid came in with an NFL pedigree. He was the guy that drafted [Jackson]. He was the one that called him on draft day and laid the law down right then: [Reid] wouldn’t tolerate any outside interference from anyone. Now you get this college guy [Kelly] and he’s not going to tell [Jackson] what to do. [Kelly] has a vision for this team—and he is a very old-school coach in a lot of ways. But there’s only so much [a coach] can take.”

In 2012, under Reid, Eagles’ management did reward Jackson a new five-year deal worth $48 million. He did have some minor flare ups with the law. In 2009, Jackson was pulled over by police for having illegally tinted windows and it was discovered he had marijuana in the car.

Still, Jackson stayed.

“That was all [Reid’s] doing,” opined someone close to the situation that asked that his name not be used. “[Reid] thought he could control [Jackson]. He could, to a degree. Kelly put up with [Jackson] behind closed doors. A lot of guys didn’t like how he talked to [Kelly]. And a lot of guys just didn’t like him. They thought he was too into his rap label than he was about winning games. The guy performed, there’s no questioning that. But you had to keep a constant eye on him. Guys put in extra time. He didn’t. It’s like he never grew up.”

Asked why the Eagles have been reluctant to go public with how difficult Jackson was to deal with, sources said Kelly likes to keep in-house dirt in-house.

“That’s [Kelly’s] way,” said one source. “It pisses me off that [Kelly] comes off looking like the bad guy here. It wasn’t just [Kelly] that wanted him gone. [Kelly] got a lot of feedback from guys that felt we were better off without [Jackson], too. [Kelly] is very much a player’s coach. His office is open to anyone. Now [Jackson] is the Redskins’ problem. We have something good going here and it’s going to get better without [Jackson]. He had to go.”

Are The Eagles Willing To Listen To Offers For WR Jackson?

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The Eagles aren’t shopping wide receiver DeSean Jackson. however, if another team came calling, the Eagles certainly wouldn’t laugh and hang up, Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com reports.

“There’s an opinion among some in the Eagles organization that Jackson’s personality is not a great fit with the locker room culture that Chip Kelly is trying to cultivate, and the Eagles could be open to trading him.

If the Eagles were to deal Jackson, they would be left with a pair of wide receivers who have question marks. Maclin is of course returning from a torn ACL, and there are concerns that Cooper’s production last season was a product of Chip Kelly’s offensive scheme.

DeSean Jackson will be 28 during the 2014 season. Jackson just turned in the best season of his career, making this an inopportune time to begin forecasting his decline. However, at some point, Jackson is going to lose a step. Determining when that will happen is obviously not an exact science. However, when Jackson no longer becomes a serious threat to stretch the defense, he does not possess a versatile skill set that will easily allow him to continue to be an effective receiver when he loses his elite speed.

Through six seasons with the organization, DeSean Jackson has provided the Eagles a very good return on investment. However, there is ample evidence that would suggest that now could be the time that the Eagles try to maximize their return on the back end of his tenure with the team, especially if indeed they have tired of his personality.

Cooper Says It’s A Good Rule To Ban The N-Word In The NFL

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There’s been some discussion recently about the NFL’s trying to ban use of the N-word on the field. Riley Cooper addressed the topic on Thursday, John Gonzalez of CSN Philadelphia reports.

“I think it’s a good rule,” Cooper said when asked for his opinion on the subject.

The NFL’s attempt to police the N-word would potentially carry a 15-yard penalty against players who use it on the field. The second violation could result in ejection.

Last summer, video surfaced of the Eagles’ wide receiver using the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert. Cooper later apologized and took a brief leave of absence from the team.

“It was tough, everyone knows that,” Cooper said about the controversy.

“I dealt with a lot of adversity. Since I was little, it was a dream to play in the NFL. But does anyone ever dream about getting a multi-million contract and getting paid as a stater? That’s something that I don’t know that I ever thought about. But it’s upon me now and it’s here, and I’m extremely fortunate.

I have a lot of people to thank for that — my parents for always being there and supporting me and stuff. My agent, Joe Segal, for helping me through this whole process. So, it’s cool, man. It’s a cool feeling. I’m proud of myself.”

Eagles And WR Riley Cooper Agree To Four-Year Deal

New Orleans Saints  v Philadephia Eagles

The Eagles entered the offseason needing to find a way to get deals done with two big name wide outs on the roster.

They are officially half-way to their goal.

Early Thursday news broke that the Eagles agreed in principle to a four-year deal worth $25 million with Riley Cooper, who had a very solid 2014 season which didn’t start so well after off the field issues in the summer.

It was Cooper who was in the news for all the wrong reasons in July when he was on video at a Kenny Chesney concert making racial slurs.

It was a story early in camp, but then after an injury to Jeremy Maclin, Cooper started to make the right headlines, coming on for the best season of his career.

With Nick Foles finding him down field often, Cooper put up his best season, finishing the regular season with 47 receptions for 835 yards and eight touchdowns.

Now he’s in Philly for good, and it’s up to the team if they are going to try to get something done with Maclin, who is free agent number two the team wants to lock up.

Eagles Will Favor Jeremy Maclin Over Riley Cooper

The Philadelphia Ealgles have two wide receivers that could end up testing the market in 2014. Jeremy Maclin, who missed the entire 2013 season with a torn ACL he suffered in training camp, and Riley Cooper, who played the entire season but did not come along until later in the year after creating big problems in the preseason with a racial slur.

When Maclin is healthy, he is effective. The 26-year-old Maclin has registered 258 receptions for 3,458 yards and 26 touchdowns in four seasons with the Eagles.

Cooper on the other hand, has come along much slower. Cooper has 93 receptions for 1,514 yards and 13 touchdowns in his four seasons in Philadelphia. Cooper’s most productive season coming in 2013 when recording 47 catches and eight touchdowns.

The Eagles are more focused on keeping Maclin over Cooper — meaning the team will most likely be parting ways with him in free agency.

Many teams seem interested in Maclin already before free agency, like the Jets. However, Maclin has spoken out about how he would like to stay with the Eagles. The team would like to get Maclin under contract for a one-year deal after tearing his ACL and find another receiver in either free agency or the draft, but for Cooper, it looks like his days with the Eagles are over.

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

WR Jeremy Maclin Hopeful He Can Stay In Philadelphia

Jeremy Maclin

With free agency just three weeks away, Eagles free agent receiver Jeremy Maclin remains hopeful that he can reach a deal to stay in Philadelphia, Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“I’ve always stated, this is where I want to be. The Eagles have stated the same thing,” Maclin said Saturday morning at the NovaCare Complex before the Philadelphia Soul tryouts. “We’ll continue to get on the same page with all that and get something done.”

Maclin spoke to prospective Soul players before the tryout. He was walking without issue and is “very pleased” with the rehab of his right knee.

Maclin missed all of last season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in July. He will not be fully healed by the time he signs a contract somewhere in March, but Maclin is optimistic about his participation come the spring and summer.

“Training camp is no question,” Maclin said. “OTAs I’ll be able to run around and stuff, probably just without contact. I’m in a very good place at this stage of my rehab.”

Maclin has remained in Philadelphia and has been around the team facility. The team has remained supportive of their former first-round pick, whom they were bullish about entering last season.

Maclin and Riley Cooper are the two Eagles receivers about to hit free agency. General manager Howie Roseman hinted last month that the Eagles could potentially sign both. They have around $18 million to potentially spend this offseason when accounting for draft pick salary allocation and before any adjustments of other players’ deals.

“I wouldn’t say it would be a nonstarter that we couldn’t have both back,” Roseman said after the season. “Certainly, the door is open to having both.”

“With the way this thing is set up, I can’t really talk to anybody and anybody can’t talk to you,” Maclin said. “I’m just taking it day-by-day.”

Eagles Spokesman Say Sam’s Sexual Orientation Not An Issue

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Count the Eagles as one NFL team that says Michael Sam’s decision to publicly reveal his homosexuality will not affect the franchise’s willingness or unwillingness to draft him, Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“Why would it change anything?” a team spokesman said Monday morning.

General manager Howie Roseman was not immediately available for comment.

A defensive lineman at Missouri and the 2013 defensive player of the year in the Southeastern Conference, Sam acknowledged that he was gay Sunday in interviews with the New York Times, ESPN, and Outsports. He would become the first openly gay player in NFL history.