Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
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In the midst of the Philadelphia Eagles releasing their top wide-receiver, DeSean Jackson, last Friday, the situation has become a complete three-ring circus. Many people were confused by why the Eagles would release a guy that had 82 catches for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns during the 2013 campaign. Then once information started to come out about Jackson’s gang affiliations, Philadelphia’s actions made much more sense, or did they?
There is no doubt about it that Jackson is one of the most exciting players in the National Football League today. He has lightning quick speed with the ability to break tackles and create big plays at the drop of a hat. Jackson is the kind of playmaker that every team would love to have, but why hasn’t anyone signed him yet?
I know that rumors have went around that Philadelphia’s divisional rival, the Washington Redskins, almost have a deal done with Jackson, but nothing is set in stone yet. In the past, teams have been aware of a player’s sketchy connections and as long as it didn’t make it’s way to the locker-room, they minded their own business. This was all true until the Aaron Hernandez debacle occurred.
If you don’t remember, Aaron Hernandez used to be a super-star tight end for the New England Patriots and not long after signing a huge five-year extension with the Patriots, Hernandez was convicted of murdering Odin Lloyd and is currently serving time in prison with Big Bubba. After New England signed Hernandez to his extension and all of this hit the fan, it made every other team in the NFL skeptical of signing a player with a questionable past to a big money deal. Oddly enough, big money also had a lot to do with Jackson’s release.
Jackson was looking to make about $10 million this coming season, and even though last season’s numbers proved him worthy, it was Jackson’s apparent “connections” that made the Eagles iffy on their investment. I know, none of this may be true and DeSean could have no connection with any gangs, but after pictures on Instagram, gang signs in the end zone and an investigation from the Los Angeles Police Department, it was more than enough speculation for the Eagles to move on.
I don’t know DeSean Jackson personally and probably never will. I know that the NFL is scared after Hernandez killed a guy, but we would all be naive to think that this is the first time a football player had a gang affiliation. Whether it is true or not, Jackson will not be unemployed for long. The Eagles must’ve had enough evidence to give up on one of their biggest playmakers, but just like every other team to move on from a player, there is another team ready to snatch him up at any moment. There will be a team out there to take a chance on Jackson because behind the allegations, there is one hell of a football player that now has much more to prove.
I wish only the best for DeSean Jackson in his future endeavors and whether the allegations are true or not, I still wouldn’t want to be the Eagles when Jackson and his new team come in to Philadelphia.