It just doesn't add up.
Everything the Philadelphia Eagles have done since naming Chip Kelly the head coach just over a year ago has had a perfectly reasonable and logical explanation. Whether it's paying Nnamdi Asomougha millions to go away, making Mike Vick compete to become the starter, or getting rid of the players' "Taco Tuesday" lunches; everything the franchise has instituted has been soundly defensible by basic logic.
"Everything that he did," said offensive lineman Evan Mathis shortly after the season. "As soon as he got here, he's the kind of guy that lets you know what you're doing (and) why you're doing it. He always has a plan and he always has a reason for the plan."
Kelly takes pride in having a reason behind everything that he does. Which is why a piece of the DeSean Jackson saga must still be missing.
Because cutting DeSean Jackson, on the surface, makes no sense.
Whispers are now spreading that D-Jacc maybe wasn't the best teammate, that he maybe missed a few meetings, that he maybe didn't fully buy-in to the program. The biggest whisper circles around the NJ.com article that details Jackson's alleged connections to LA gang members, complete with legal documentation dating before the Iggles signed Jackson to a five-year extension in 2012.
Well whatever he was doing, it was working: Jackson had a career year in 2013 with 82 catches, 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns -- all career highs.
Those are the kinds of stats coaches and organizations make exceptions for. Jackson's antics, at least publicly, weren't to the detriment that typically get players with his type of talent banished. More notably, Jackson has appeared to do nothing wrong since the season ended, if you discount one statement regarding his contract that he quickly rescinded.
So what changed? Between then and now, what made Kelly confident that his team would be better without Jackson on it?
The Philadelphia faithful are no strangers to disruptive wide receivers. The difference is everyone and their mother saw Terrell Owens doing push-ups in his driveway and was aware he needed to be sent packing. From an external perspective, Jackson never had a "next question" moment.
There's evidence to support the idea that the players won't need an explanation. If you're into reading between the lines, check out some of the player quotes from Todd Herremans Charity Event just 24 hours before D-Jacc was cut. The verbal support for the then-Eagles wideout is lukewarm at best. Fellow wideout Jeremy Maclin even makes the Owens comparison.
Perhaps the locker room had turned on Jackson, and the firing of a Pro-Bowler in his prime is received by the other 52 members of the locker room as "he had it coming." However the outside world sees a dynamic playmaker with no arrests and no legal troubles since 2009 (marijuana charge), who has seemingly only improved off the field since signing a 5-year, $51-million contract extension in 2012, and who has the playmaking ability that keeps defensive coordinators up at night.
There has to be something else, because the reason the Birds lost to New Orleans on Jan. 4 had nothing to do with the people Jackson associates with. There has to be something else, because while DeSean wasn't the perfect role model, there are numerous characters in the NFL who have committed worse actions and have remained on rosters.
There has to be something else, because logic states that the Eagle got worse this weekend. Talk of addition by subtraction all you want; the fact remains the Birds aren't as good offensively as they were a weekend ago.
It's the first thing Chip Kelly did that makes a sensible outsider scratch their head. Either the Chippah has completely lost his way just 15 months on the job, or there's something else to this story we just don't know about yet.