After some speculation earlier in the off-season about DeSean Jackson position in Philadelphia when he said he deserved to be paid, he was bizarrely released by the Eagles this week for no apparent reason. There were some suggestions about his character and possible gang ties after an article by NJ.com but these allegations appear to be unfounded (though he has flashed gang signs several times during games and in a music video). A couple of former team mates said they were happy he was gone which means he must have had some serious work ethic or behavioral habits as that weren’t apparent on the pitch. In a league where being a winner can get you a job regardless of character( ask Richie Incognito) it really is a unique case. While many college coachs struggle to make the transition to the NFL when it comes to control and players, just look at Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman. At the college level a player answer almost solely to the coach and the coach chooses who makes the team it can be quite different in the NFL where a GM needs convincing and players can get away with more as often the players outlast the coach. Maybe Chip Kelly didn’t feel he could take DeSean Jackson for another year but this will be a serious blow to their chances of defending the NFC North title. Jackson was their leade in yards and TDs last year with career highs of 1332yds and 9TDs. Without him Philly really is missing a true deep threat and number one receiver although Jeremy Maclin will be back next year after an ACL tear.
Several teams appear to be interested in him such as the Raiders, 49ers, Bills and Redskins. Jackson has visited the Raiders and Redskins but hasn’t reached any deal yet. Oakland fans were particularly vocal about the possible recruit with 75+K tweets about him on Twitter as the hashtag #DJaxToOakland trended. Wherever Jackson goes his absence will be felt in Philly and not just as receiver. Here’s his famous punt return to win the Miracle in the new Meadowlands
Update- DeSean Jackson has agreed to a 3 year really with the Washington Redskins, contract details to follow.