The Philadelphia Eagles shocked the football world by cutting ties with star receiver DeSean Jackson. “After careful consideration this offseason,” the team tweeted this morning, “Eagles decide to part ways with DeSean Jackson. The team informed him of his release today.”
The wideout enjoyed his best season in 2013, catching 82 balls for 1,332 yards. But his persistent demands for more money and more balls made his the face of a malcontent both on and off the field. Trade rumors followed Jackson this offseason, but in his prime at 27 few anticipated today’s outright release.
And the reasons appear equally shocking. NJ.com reports that the Eagles organization feared another Aaron Hernandez situation because of Jackson’s alleged ties to the Crips street gang. “A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly are the reasons,” NJ.com reports. “And when the Eagles looked more deeply into why Jackson was missing meetings, they found that his friends were becoming a more powerful–and negative–influence in his life.”
The publication reports that the receiver’s name came up in two murder investigations of rapper associates signed to his Jaccpot Records, spelled incorrectly less because of any educational deficiency but because of the Crips’ supposed taboo on the letters “c” and “k”–standing for “cop killer”–appearing in sequence. During the offseason, robbers made off with more than six-figures worth of guns, jewelry, and cash from Jackson’s home.
“You don’t want to see anybody throwing up gang signs like he did in the Redskins game last year,” LAPD detective Eric Crosson said of an incident involving Jackson. “Those were neighborhood Crip gang signs and he flashed them during a game. He may not be affiliated with the gang, but they don’t [ordinarily] take kindly to those not in the gang throwing up those gang signs.”