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Eagles nowhere near out of the woods with Jackson release

Jackson discusses his release as controversy deepens
Jackson discusses his release as controversy deepens
Photo by Michael Loccisano

The Philadelphia Eagles had yet another busy day involving DeSean Jackson on April 4. Jackson isn't even with the Eagles anymore and is already with the Washington Redskins, but the circumstances beforehand still won't fade away. Jackson finally talked about it with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on April 4, right as the NFLPA vowed a further investigation and more accusations leaked about the former Eagle's alleged locker room misbehavior.

The timing of Jackson's release, hours after a debatable story leaked about his supposed gang ties, continues to raise suspicion, ire and charges of misconduct on Philadelphia's part. As such, the NFLPA will "look into the circumstances" of how and why he was released, according to executive director DeMaurice Smith on April 4.

This came out as Jackson's first in-depth interview since his release aired on ESPN. He told Stephen A. Smith that the NJ.com story about his supposed gang ties was "very disrespectful" and that the Eagles' organization already knew about these allegations for years. However, he doesn't believe -- at least in public -- that the Eagles leaked the story themselves in order to justify cutting him, whether it was due to contract disputes, Jackson's behavior or anything else.

Before anything came out about his alleged ties to Los Angeles gang members, Jackson's biggest image problem was as an alleged distraction in the locker room. More allegations about his supposed disruptive behavior came out on April 4, as CBS Philly reported that Jackson "was not very well liked" by teammates, frequently cursed out coach Chip Kelly and pushed him "the way a child would test boundaries."

Although Jackson has long had a questionable relationship with teammates, coaches and the organization, it would have had to be that toxic to justify cutting him after a career season -- and justify why no one was willing to trade for him. If this kind of report had leaked hours before he was released, perhaps the blowback wouldn't have been that bad for the Eagles.

But because of the gang rumors, the timing of their release -- and how easy it is to make racial implications from this ordeal -- Philadelphia is nowhere near clear from this mess. Since the Redskins now have Jackson as a result, it could take years for all of this to go away.