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NFL believes DeSean Jackson cut for 'football reasons'

DeSean Jackson's release from the Philadelphia Eagles last month came amid whispers that the field-stretching wideout held ties to reputed gang members.

After the Eagles failed to provide an immediate, clear-cut reason for Jackson's release, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said earlier this month that the union planned to look into "whether or not there were comments or leaks from the team" or "misinformation to the media coming from the team."

The NFL said that isn't the case. Adolpho Birch, the league's senior vice president of labor policy and government affairs, said Thursday the NFL believes the Eagles released Jackson because of "football reasons" based on "discussions and review of the situation."

Birch added: "I think it's fair to say that there is no indication that was the case -- with respect to him -- that he had any of those sorts of (gang) ties. ... I think we are comfortable that the decisions made on both ends were football decisions."

Upon his release, Jackson vehemently denied any connection to gang activity, saying in a statement: "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."

The Redskins, of course, did their homework on Jackson before signing him -- coming to the same conclusions as the NFL.

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