The Philadelphia Eagles cut Desean Jackson 40 minutes after NJ.com published a story about the wide receiver’s alleged connections with gang members.
Because of the timing of the announcement, the initial assumption was that the team cut Jackson as a response to the gang allegations.
But after a few days have passed, it’s clear that that is not the entire story.
For starters, the Eagles have known about Jackson’s gang connections for “years,” Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
“The Eagles employ a security detail — ‘fixers’ as they are sometimes known — whose job is almost exclusively digging up information on players. Jackson’s association with reputed Crips gang members had been commonly known for years.”
The NJ.com article doesn’t accuse Jackson of any crime.
It accuses him of being friends with one gang member who was acquitted of a 2010 murder. It also accuses him of not answering his phone when police called after a murder in 2012 outside of a Los Angeles business owned by one of his family members. He was not a suspect or a witness in either crime, police say.
The NJ.com article isn’t about Jackson doing anything illegal. It’s about him being associated with alleged gang members. And the Eagles already knew all about that, at least according to McLane.
The Eagles had been trying to trade Jackson for weeks before cutting him. The reasons why they’d trade him are the same reasons why they’d cut him.
So what are those reasons?
There are reports that Jackson is a nuisance off the field, and a bad influence on the younger players when it comes to things like work ethic.
A month ago Greg Mosher of CSN Philly pretty much predicted a Jackson-Eagles break up, writing:
“For a variety of reasons, mostly financial, Jackson’s days with the Eagles are likely numbered. His salary this year jumps to more than $US10 million and remains over $US9 million annually through 2016. His lithe body frame doesn’t really fit with coach Chip Kelly’s preference for big bullies. And despite his world-class speed, Jackson isn’t an irreplaceable piece of Kelly’s spread offence, which also features NFL leading rusher LeSean McCoy and rising tight end Zach Ertz.”
This was before the gang story (which, again, the Eagles had long known about and tolerated).
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