The Philadelphia Eagles are apparently more intent on moving DeSean Jackson off their roster than anyone could have realized. With rumors swirling of the team looking to trade him sooner rather than later, there are now multiple reports that the team could decide to cut him if no suitable trade offers are made.
Now, it appears the Eagles have done the unthinkable and cut Jackson:
Despite shopping him and finding interest, Eagles have made decision to cut WR DeSean Jackson. Outright. Jackson is now a free agent.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2014
#Eagles statement: After careful consideration this offseason, Eagles decide to part ways with DeSean Jackson. Team informed him.— Jeff McLane (@Jeff_McLane) March 28, 2014
It appeared as though he may actually stay after Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly reportedly called Jackson and told him all of these rumors and reports were untrue and he wouldn't be traded or cut.
At 27, Jackson is coming off one of the best seasons of his career -- 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.
He immediately becomes the top free agent wide receiver on the market and one of the best overall players free to sign with whomever he wants. Look for the New York Jets and possibly Giants to show interest.
The problem is the amount of baggage that comes with signing him. There's a very damaging story on Jackson by Eliot Shorr-Parks of nj.com that is likely related to why the Eagles were so willing to cut on of the game's best wide receivers.
Rather, sources close to Jackson and within the Eagles' organization say, it's Jackson's off-field behavior that concerns the front office. A bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly are the reasons, sources told NJ.com. 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.
One of the issues was his supposed involvement with gang members, including a gang-related murder investigation:
This time, Jackson's name surfaced as part of an investigation into a 2012 gang-related murder that occurred outside a South Los Angeles business where a party had taken place. The building was owned or leased by a member of Jackson's family, police said.
During a search of the building, Crosson told NJ.com investigators found several documents belonging to Jackson, including a car title, a gun permit issued in New Jersey and credit-card receipts.
It sounds as though Jackson has surrounded himself with too many bad influences that it's affecting his ability to be a professional football players both on and off the field.
Whoever ultimately decides to sign him needs to make a commitment to helping him shed those influences and surround him with people who will help him become the best football player and human being as possible.