Days after signing struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez to back-up Nick Foles, The Philadelphia Eagles have release All-Pro wide receiver DeSean Jackson. He was set to make over $10 Million this season making a trade very difficult.
Despite the 27-year-old being trouble free while in the NFL, rumors of his affiliation with members of the Crips street gang lead to the decision by team ownership.
“They are concerned about having him around the younger players,” a source told NJ.com. ”Jackson’s continued association with reputed Los Angeles street gang members who have been connected to two homicides since 2010.”
In 2013, Jackson released a music video for his song “Diamonds on My Neck” that shows him flashing a sign many have interpreted as that of the Crips.
However, Jackson has countered these claims in a full statement:
First I would like to thank the Eagles organization, the Eagles fans and the city of Philadelphia for my time in Philly. I would also like to thank coach Andy Reed (sic) for bringing me in. Secondly, I would like to address the misleading and unfounded reports that my release has anything to do with any affiliation that has been speculated surrounding the company I keep off of the field. I would like to make it very clear that I am not and never have been part of any gang. I am not a gang member and to speculate and assume that I am involved in such activity off the field is reckless and irresponsible. I work very hard on and off the field and I am a good person with good values. I am proud of the accomplishments that I have made both on and off the field. I have worked tirelessly to give back to my community and have a positive impact on those in need. It is unfortunate that I now have to defend myself and my intentions. These reports are irresponsible and just not true. I look forward to working hard for my new team. God Bless.”
Jackson is not expected to stay unemployed for long. In 2013 he had 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. There are many teams, including The Jets, Panthers and Patriots that need help at his position and Gang Green just signed his former teammate Michael Vick.
More on this as it develops.