What started out looking like a lot of hearsay and misunderstanding with regard to DeSean Jackson's release from the Eagles last week is now looking a little more damning. Evidence is now stacking up that Jackson was not a pleasant guy to have around the team and not very well liked. Which is to say he was a royal pain in the ass.
The Raiders were one of the teams who reportedly were very interested in signing Jackson. And the fans were pushing hard to convince him he was wanted in Oakland with their #DJaxToOakland Twitter campaign. That movement seems now to fit squarely into the ‘be careful what you wish for' category.
Initially all the attention was being focused on some alleged gang ties. Those accusations were flimsy at best and many NFL players and others understandably shot it down. While talk of dodging that bullet was getting all the press, the real bullet was lingering - that he was a team cancer.
In a recent article on CBS Philadelphia, several sources within the Eagles organization including current and former teammates of Jackson spoke of blatant insubordination, temper tantrums, and cussing out the head coach. They also made sure they were very clear that Jackson's release was for the good of the team and they were very much glad to see him gone.
"The fact is, [Jackson] was a ‘me-guy' with an attitude problem and [Jeremy Maclin] is the complete opposite, a team guy, a great character guy you go to war with," said one source. "Funny how [Jackson] has this anti-bully thing and he thought he could push [head coach Chip Kelly] around; he found out otherwise. His being cut had nothing to do with the gang stuff. The team knew it. Everyone knew he had ‘ties.' Those were his guys. That's okay. What put him out was his selfishness. He can try and spin it all he wants how he's ‘a team player.' He's not. I'll put it this way, when it came out last Friday that [Jackson] was released, more than a few guys were happy it happened. They said ‘good riddance.' He had no real connection with anyone.
"Yes, you can say he was the type that could catch three TDs in a loss-everyone would be down, but you had the impression he was happy, because he got his. It was all about him. A lot of guys thought that way about him. [Kelly] came in here with a plan to get this thing right, and the one major [obstacle] standing in his way was [Jackson]. If we were going to move forward as a team, he had to go. Think about it-did anyone come right out and back him publicly? Not one."
"You see little kids and how they cry and whine when they don't get their way, that was D-Jax," another source said. "I don't think [Jackson] gave [Kelly] the respect he deserved. Kelly tried to reach [Jackson] plenty of times and [Jackson] tuned him out. Then you look at team functions, when everyone is out together at charity things or social stuff. He was the one missing. It was like he was in ‘D-Jax world' and we just happened to be there.
"With [former head coach, Andy] Reid, [Jackson] tried pushing boundaries there, too, but he looked at Reid, I think, much differently than he looked at [Kelly]. Reid came in with an NFL pedigree. He was the guy that drafted [Jackson]. He was the one that called him on draft day and laid the law down right then: [Reid] wouldn't tolerate any outside interference from anyone. Now you get this college guy [Kelly] and he's not going to tell [Jackson] what to do. [Kelly] has a vision for this team-and he is a very old-school coach in a lot of ways. But there's only so much [a coach] can take."
"[Reid] thought he could control [Jackson]. He could, to a degree. Kelly put up with [Jackson] behind closed doors. A lot of guys didn't like how he talked to [Kelly]. And a lot of guys just didn't like him. They thought he was too into his rap label than he was about winning games. The guy performed, there's no questioning that. But you had to keep a constant eye on him. Guys put in extra time. He didn't. It's like he never grew up."
"It wasn't just [Kelly] that wanted him gone. [Kelly] got a lot of feedback from guys that felt we were better off without [Jackson], too. [Kelly] is very much a player's coach. His office is open to anyone. Now [Jackson] is the Redskins' problem. We have something good going here and it's going to get better without [Jackson]. He had to go."
To read the entire article, click here.
Let's be honest here, while this might be pretty shocking words, it isn't all that surprising.
Remember back in his rookie season in a game against the Cowboys he prematurely began his touchdown celebration and dropped the ball before he crossed the goal line? Here's video of that to refresh your memory:
It was at that moment it occurred to many people that the first syllable of his first name sounds very much like a feminine hygiene product. This new testimony affirms that observation... with a bullet.
And with the Reggie McKenzie vision of a team of high character players, that is one bullet they very much needed to dodge.