The Eagles shocked the NFL when they decided to cut bait with DeSean Jackson last week.
Philadelphia was willing to just let a three-time Pro Bowler, who has the wheels to turn any game upside down, walk without getting anything in return.
And the reason was because of Jackson’s alleged connection to gangs. The Eagles won the NFC East last year mainly because of the way first-year coach Chip Kelly utilized offensive weapons like Jackson and now they’re telling him to hit the road?
It is definitely a new age in the NFL. I’m not saying that teams will not be lining up for Jackson’s sports car speed, because Jackson will be signed, and probably at a discount, to a contender like San Francisco or Seattle.
But how many times did you see teams willing to part ways with a player and not get anything in return? And here’s the kicker: Jackson didn’t do anything wrong. He was not prosecuted legally and he wasn’t in any other trouble.
Yet, the Eagles did the right thing. After the Aaron Hernandez situation blew up in the Patriots’ faces, you can bet that teams are going to use every available resource to find out dirt about their players. New England wasted a fourth round pick on a budding superstar that may end up behind bars.
The question has been asked if the Packers should go after Jackson. I really don’t see a need. Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb are better and more consistent. The only way the Packers even think about Jackson is if they suddenly get the feeling that they cannot sign both Nelson and Cobb — which shouldn’t happen.
The Eagles sent a strong message to the rest of the NFL when they opted to just pop the pimple and move on with the risk of scarring. As opposed to throwing ailments and other things at it, hoping that it would eventually clear up.
Most teams are willing to live with questionable off-the-field behavior as long as you continue to perform on gameday. The line between winning and losing in the NFL is that razor thin that teams would rather just look the other way.
But it’s not like misbehaving is a new concept in the NFL. The San Diego Union-Tribune keeps an NFL arrest database dating back to Jan. 24, 2000. They are up to 685 arrests already.
There’s something to be said about guys coming into the league and not understanding whom they are. They have a misunderstanding just as to how much money they are making and how each decision they make can have tremendous consequences.
If this didn’t wake up Jackson, which I don’t think it will, I believe it woke up the rest of his NFL buddies. Players who associate with questionable characters should now start to look themselves in the mirror.
This past season, Forbes valued the Eagles at $1.314 billion. The NFL has always been popular. But this is a money-hungry renaissance. Players and teams are making more money than ever before in a league that might be a tad too oversaturated.
And wherever there’s money, image isn’t far behind. In order to please advertisers and other suits, teams are willing to bend over backwards. That may hurt the standings, while keeping the bottom line secure.
Let this be a warning to all college athletes with visions of grandeur. If you’re planning on getting paid to wear the shield, you better clean up your act. Identify anyone who you shouldn’t be hanging out with and hit the reset button.
Otherwise, you risk getting kicked to the curb.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn