DeSean Jackson blasts Eagles, says team engaged in a ‘smear campaign’
It’s been well over a year since the Philadelphia Eagles released DeSean Jackson, but the passing of time hasn’t appeared to soothe the wide receiver’s hurt feelings over being cut loose so unceremoniously.
Jackson made some inflammatory quotes about how the Eagles cut ties with him in late March of last year during the premiere episode on Tuesday of his BET reality series, “DeSean Jackson Home Team,” in which he accuses the team of engaging in a “smear campaign” to justify his release despite being considered one of the best wideouts in the NFL.
“When I was released by the Eagles, I feel they tried to paint a picture that definitely wasn’t true. It was a slap in the face, coming off one of my best seasons in the NFL,” Jackson said in the episode, as transcribed by ESPN. He later is shown telling friends, “The Eagles tried to blow me up. That’s cold how they did it.”
Jackson arguably is referring to numerous reports that surfaced ahead of his release that the Eagles had become increasingly concerned with his personal life, including some that suggested he had long-standing gang ties, something he vehemently denied shortly after being cut. Jackson later suggested that being photographed in where he appears to be making gang signs were simply images of him making “hand gestures.” Adding fuel to the fire, a day before his release, Jackson posted a photo of himself firing a handgun.
The NFLPA announced shortly after Jackson’s release that it would be investigating whether or not the Eagles engaged in a smear campaign, making the wide receiver’s use of the same term over one year later not that surprising.
Jackson of course signed a three-year, $24 million (with $16 million guaranteed) shortly afterward with the division rival Washington Redskins, where he went on to put up solid numbers in an otherwise disappointing season for the team, making 56 receptions for 1,169 yards (a 20.9 average) and six touchdowns.
Jackson at the beginning of Tuesday’s episode also laid out his theory that the Eagles smeared him.
“I was at the top of the top. And then I got released. … It was a smear campaign. Things media said about me, I bet you could say that about the majority of people in the NFL. I got a second chance to play in the NFL and I’m proving I’m one of the best receivers in the game.”
Jackson isn’t the first former Eagle to blast the organization, as Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy created controversy when he accused Chip Kelly of getting “rid of all the good black players.”
(image via philly.com)