After 2 months of rumors in the Philadelphia media and beyond, the Eagles released WR DeSean Jackson yesterday. His release was announced 40 minutes after an NJ.com article discussed the Eagle's discomfort with his friendships with gang member, and "A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly". Attempts were made by the Eagles to trade Jackson before and during the Owners meetings this week, but his large contract and off the field question marks were considered prohibitive to other teams. Now he is available as a free agent to any of the other 31 teams in the league.
An article came out this morning with quotes from an LAPD homicide detective saying Jackson was not a suspect in any ongoing investigations, and has not been accused of being a member of a gang. Jackson has also adamantly denied being a member of a gang in his statement following his release.
"It's kind of like 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," LAPD Homicide Det. Chris Barling told the Philadelphia Daily News. "When people grow up in neighborhoods where you have gang involvement, you don't have to look too far before you find a connection to a connection. Now, how sinister that connection is, our position is that's for others to judge."
Reports have been surfacing all day about possible interest in Jackson by the Redskins. The first mention came from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
Then multiple Redskins beat reporters confirmed that the Redskins do indeed have interest in talking to Jackson, and the possibility of playing for Washington.
The latest update from NBC's Dianna Russini indicates more interest than just a phone call to an agent to gauge a price for Jackson.
Redskins sources: DeSean Jackson is expected to visit with Washington this Monday— Dianna Marie Russini (@NBCdianna) March 29, 2014
While I don't think Jackson will end up playing for the Redskins, I think they will definitely explore the option. Jackson had issues with Chip Kelly and in the locker room in Philadelphia, how will he mesh with Gruden, RGIII and the rest of the Redskins? One thing is definite, Jackson has been a thorn in the Redskins side ever since draft day when the Skins chose Fred Davis one pick before him.
A big concern besides the off the field/locker room concerns is what kind of contract DeSean Jackson is looking for. Jackson signed a 5 year, $48.5 million contract with $18 million in guaranteed money in 2012. He raised some questions earlier this year when he said "I definitely feel it's something deserving," Jackson said Monday, per CSN Philadelphia. "We'll see how that plays out, and hopefully we can work things out smoothly and not have to worry about anything out of the ordinary." The Redskins cap room is getting smaller after making several free agency signings, and it a player or two would probably have to be cut in order to sign Jackson.