The Philadelphia Eagles have disappointed their fans once again, but this time it has nothing to do with their performance on the field.
Wide receiver Desean Jackson was released from the team yesterday, even after coming off a career-best season. According to the Huffington Post, the announcement came shortly after a report published by NJ.com in which Eliot-Shorr Parks and A.J. Perez outline alleged connections between Jackson and suspected Los Angeles gang members connected to two homicides stemming from 2010. Apparently the Eagles franchise considered Jackson’s personal ties more important than his performance.
ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter expressed that the Eagles chose to release Jackson instead of trading him out of good conscience:
“Even in a cut-throat business where you’re always trying to come out ahead and come out with a victory, the Eagles in their good conscience, could not fathom the idea of trading DeSean Jackson knowing he has some of the issues he does right now.”
Despite recording 82 receptions and nine touchdowns during the 2013 season, the team had reportedly been exploring trading Jackson even before his release. He was due $10.25 million for the 2014 season with a contract that extended through 2016. But the team has remained silent as to why exactly they released the player, although a former Eagles quarterback and ESPN analyst referred to Jackson as a “toxic commodity” and said the development wasn’t all that surprising.
Former NFL wide receiver Dante Stallworth said the decision is just further proof of the NFL’s low tolerance of players’ off-field behavior and referenced New England Patriots Aaron Hernandez 2013 first degree murder charge in the death of former semi-pro player, Odin Lloyd.
We don’t kow if we stand behind the Eagles’ decision, but if Desean Jackson and Allen Iverson are any indications, professional athletes need to consider the representation of their brand both on and off the field, if only for the fact that it directly affects their income.
Do you think the Eagles made the best decision for the team?