Chip Kelly's power with the Philadelphia Eagles has grown noticeably.
That's what the noise around DeSean Jackson's status with the team tells me. The Eagles' silence about whether they're trying to trade Jackson says they want to move him. Kelly wants to move him. If that is indeed the case and the Eagles can find a team willing to take on Jackson's contract in exchange for a decent draft pick, Jackson likely will be traded.
Kelly might not officially have total control of Philadelphia's roster. That might belong in theory to general manager Howie Roseman. But it is clear that Kelly is in control. He has the ability to shape the Eagles roster the way he sees fit. He determines which players he wants to bring in, which incumbents he wants to keep and which veterans he wants to jettison. Roseman can execute the transactions, but Kelly determines which moves get made.
Winning the NFC East in his first season as an NFL head coach bought Kelly that clout. It bought him that status. It confirmed to owner Jeffrey Lurie that Kelly knows what he is doing, that he is to be trusted and that he is to be believed.
Working primarily with players he inherited from Andy Reid, Kelly turned a team that finished with a 4-12 record in 2012 and had gone 12-20 in the two seasons prior to his arrival into a 10-win team that nearly beat New Orleans in the playoffs.
Under Kelly's guidance, Philadelphia had the second-ranked offense in the NFL and scored more points than all but three other teams. It played an up-tempo style that often left its opponent gassed. The Eagles' defense overachieved. Their special teams were solid.
And there was a buzz around the team that had been missing in the latter part of the Reid era. The practice schedule, the food served in the cafeteria, the training regimen, the tempo with which the Eagles played, everything was different. Everything was upbeat.
This is the result. The fact that the Eagles are Kelly's program has never been more clear.
Jackson is the latest example.
On paper, Jackson is a perfect fit for Kelly's offense. He is a burner who draws attention from opposing defenses and opens up the field for his teammates. Kelly's offense is all about creating space and exposing mismatches. With his speed on the outside, Jackson helps to do just that.
Jackson had a career year last season, catching 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. With Jeremy Maclin out for the season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament early in training camp, the Eagles relied heavily on Jackson. He delivered. They also relied heavily on Riley Cooper, who also delivered with 47 receptions for 835 yards - an impressive average of 17.8 yards per catch -- and eight touchdowns.
The Eagles rewarded Cooper with a five-year, $25 million deal before he could become a free agent earlier this month.
That Jackson, who signed a five-year extension two years ago, angled for a new contract after the season ended didn't sit well. The Eagles have paid Jackson $18 million the past two seasons and are scheduled to pay him $10.5 million in 2014, a salary that makes him the fifth-highest paid receiver in the game.
Jackson should be happy. Instead, he is the subject of intense trade rumors that the Eagles have not denied.