DeSean Jackson is portrayed as a “blatantly insubordinate,” me-first character that needed to be removed from the equation in a recent story by Joseph Santoloquito for CBS Philly.
The report cites sources “close to and around the team, including current and former players, as well as additional sources within the Eagles.” There are several quotes that paint the former Eagles receiver in a negative light, but zero come with a name attached. Some examples:
“Funny how [Jackson] has this anti-bully thing and he thought he could push [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…
“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…
“It pisses me off that [Kelly] comes off looking like the bad guy here. 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.”
The Eagles have declined to speak publicly on Jackson since his release. They sent out a 25-word press release announcing the decision, but have otherwise been silent on the matter. That release was issued less than an hour after an NJ.com story was posted exploring Jackson's alleged gang ties.
On Friday morning, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told ESPN Radio that the union will investigate whether the Eagles smeared Jackson on his way out the door.
“On the issue of how he was released, whether or not there were comments or leaks from the team, misinformation to the media coming from the team, that’s something that we’re going to look at," he said. "We’ve always been aggressive about protecting the integrity of our players.”
Few of Jackson's former teammates have spoken about the receiver on the record since his release. So far, the most notable reaction came from center Jason Kelce.
We just made an extremely unpopular decision, but I couldn't be more excited and happy with where this organization is going!! #FlyEaglesFly
— Jason Kelce (@Jkelce) March 28, 2014
LeSean McCoy offered some thoughts Friday as part of an interview with Fox Sports.
“I heard the rumors, but I was surprised for sure,” McCoy said. “I mean, he’s probably one of our biggest playmakers that we had. He can make plays at any given time. He can control the game. He’s probably the biggest deep threat in the NFL. To lose a guy like that is definitely tough. He’ll definitely be missed. Obviously every move is made for a reason.
“The guys upstairs made the decision for a reason. When you do things like that, you have backup plans in your mind. You don’t let one of the top wide receivers go and then not have anything to back it up. I’m sure coach (Chip) Kelly and (general manager) Howie (Roseman), they’ll be able to take care of it.”