“This is not something that all of a sudden had the gang affiliation thing tied to it and that was the thing the Eagles looked at to say, ‘You know what? This is the thing we’re allowing him to walk for.’ No, it was all the other things that have happened over the time that he’s been here and the things he has not corrected in his character, some of the things that he does within the building with coaches and the like they were concerned about,” said Dawkins during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic.
“And when you have a new coach coming in, he doesn’t have to pull punches or be as patient as Andy Reid was as someone invested in him. When you have a guy come in who is trying to build a system the way that he wants it to be run, he’s going to bring in people that are going to follow it to the letter of everything he wants to have happen. He’s not going to be as patient. So this is not something that surprised me as far as them letting him go.”
The former safety conceded that this is a move that can absolutely backfire on Chip Kelly. And he let his distaste be known for “anonymous sources” that disparage a player in the name of a public relations gain, if that is in fact what happened here. But he didn’t let Jackson off the hook, either.
“We’re hung up on this gang affiliation thing. It’s not just that. It’s being a professional. It’s being able to be counted on with your team, do what you’re supposed to do. Not skate around the corner, cut corners, not doing some of the things that he’s allegedly been doing while in Philadelphia,” said Dawkins.
“There’s things that the Philadelphia Eagles obviously know that we don’t because I just don’t see how the owner of a football team, Jeff Lurie, would okay letting his best receiver go, the guy that probably sells the most jerseys for your team from a business standpoint, and not have the information that we don’t know about that says, ‘You know what, it might be in our interests to let this guy go because he’s not learned the lessons he needs to have learned.’”
Michael Vick suggested an event like this can help trigger necessary change in a player. Dawkins is hopeful that is the case.
“In a lot of guys’ lives, sometimes you have to go through things in order for that light bulb to click, for them to understand the things that I need to change so that I can be a better person, a better player, a better teammate, a better husband…it goes down the line in life. Sometimes it takes for a guy to get released,” he said.
“I just hope that in his excitement to go to another team that he didn’t forget to check the mirror and look at himself and look at the things that he needs to change before he heads into the next chapter of his football life.”
For the full interview, click here.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Jackson addressed the media for the first time since signing his new deal.
Some thoughts on what Jackson going to Washington means for the receiver and his former team.
Jackson gets a three-year deal with $16 million guaranteed.
Sheil looks at Mark Sanchez and the battle for the backup spot.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Seattle corner Richard Sherman, a childhood friend of Jackson, says there is a difference between “gang ties” and being loyal to those in your community.
And if they’re accused of a crime, as DeSean’s friends have been, should that reflect poorly on me? Consider that for every several guys I try to help who end up dead or in jail, there’s another person I was able to rescue from a similar end. Should I give up on everybody out of fear of being dirtied by the media?
Sorry, but I was born in this dirt.
NFL teams understand that. The Seattle Seahawks get it. The Philadelphia Eagles apparently do not.
John Gonzalez believes the Jackson-Daniel Snyder marriage will be a disaster.
Yes, Jackson is coming off a season in which he had a career-best 1,332 receiving yards, tied a personal best with nine touchdowns and made his third Pro Bowl. And, yes, the Eagles will face him twice a year in what’s sure to be must-watch, drama-filed matchups. But, come on, he went to Washington. That has to assuage any fears from the woe-is-the-put-upon-fan/the-Eagles-will-rue-the-day crowd. Shy of signing with the Oakland Raiders or the Saskatchewan Roughriders (that’s a real team! Sort of!), it’s hard to imagine an organization that could render Jackson more inert than Washington.
Between Jackson’s bloated contract and his off-field concerns, it wasn’t surprising that the Eagles moved on. It also wasn’t surprising that Jackson’s first and last free-agent stop — the lack of any real market for him was telling — was Washington, where he immediately fell in with some Redskins players. And Wale. It’s the perfect union. And it’s almost certainly doomed.
We’ll put together a Twitter Mailbag and see what else hits.