So the big news today is that the Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson. Thanks to a report by NJ.com sports writer and former Daily Local News staff Eliot Shorr-Parks, the Eagles decided to part ways with Jackson.
According to the story by Eliot, Jackson was under the microscope for weeks after it had been revealed that “a number of Jackson’s associates were either linked to or charged with two gang-related murders from 2010-2012. The investigation also revealed that Jackson was arrested in 2009 for possession of marijuana, but the charges were dropped. “
Here’s what the Eagles said:
“After careful consideration during this off-season, the Philadelphia Eagles have decided to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.
Jackson, 27, was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He recorded 356 catches for 6,117 yards in his six seasons with the team.”
Here’s Jackson’s statement:
“First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly. I would also like to thank coach Andy Reed (sic) 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. God Bless.”
So there are a lot of questions as well as a lot of emotion that goes with this decision. There are factions of society that say the Eagles did this because of money – that by cutting Jackson they are saving millions. Then there are those who say the team released him because of his alleged ties to gangs. Jackson recently reported losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and jewelry from his residence. People wondered what the hell he was doing with that kind of cash and jewelry in his residence in the first place.
There are also those people who want to make this a racial argument. It doesn’t help the Eagles organization that wide receiver Riley Cooper screamed the “N word” at an African-American security guard at a concert and then allowed him to remain on the team. Cooper was sent for some “counseling,” was forgiven by members of the team and then went on to have a career year, signing a new multi-million-dollar deal.
Then again the Eagles also signed quarterback Michael Vick whose problems were well documented.
So where does this all leave us as fans – and where does it leave the Eagles? Well, as fans we are ignorant of all of the information that the Eagles have. We can only go on what is reported by people like Eliot Shorr-Parks. On the surface it doesn’t look good for Jackson. There was Twitter talk about Jackson getting arrested himself at some point although there is no evidence of that anywhere. Off the field I didn’t care for his antics; I care about what happens on the field.
I didn’t like Riley Cooper’s behavior and really thought the Eagles should have cut him. And I never welcomed Michael Vick. His baggage was way too much for me. However, in the end both Cooper and Vick have seemed to learn their lessons and have become better citizens.
Jackson on the other hand doesn’t seem to get it. And honestly, despite all the ink, the bling, the so-so associates and the bogus record label I really doubt Jackson is much of anything except a gangster wannabe.
So in the end we let go a superb wide receiving talent and got nothing in return. Perhaps the Eagles will be vindicated in the end or perhaps Jackson will sign on with another team and win a Super Bowl. But I give Chip Kelly kudos for refusing to tolerate any more nonsense. Perhaps he never would have signed Vick and now that his contract was up he never had any plans to re-sign him. (Again, I’m not sure why Cooper was allowed to stay.)
What I don’t want to see now are more antics from any of these players. I want the Eagles to treat every player in the same manner. So if Nick Foles starts sporting gang ink and tons of bling and is hanging out in LA with gangsters, he has gotta be gone. No excuses. Consistency across the board. Put a team together with solid people as well as solid athletes. Let the other teams make headlines with the criminals they support with millions of dollars. I want my team to have some standards.
Can we please now just move on?
— Andy Hachadorian