Former Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson appeared in an ESPN interview with Stephen A. Smith on Friday night in an attempt to "clear up everything" regarding Jackson's release from the team last week. Unfortunately, the interview hardly cleared up anything. Watch the interview here for yourself. These are the highlights of what was said, followed by my take on what was said.
DeSean Jackson on release from the #Eagles on ESPN: "It hurt. I was at the peak of my career."— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) April 4, 2014
In DeSean interview teaser DeSean says Skins are a great team, w/RG3 & DeAngelo Hall. Any team where Hall is 2nd player noted is not 'great'— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 4, 2014
DeSean Jackson on ESPN says Chip called him, told him "we're moving forward," says he was "sitting there waiting for a reason why."— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) April 4, 2014
DeSean knew about http://t.co/KiSS1JWwvw article before it came out. Called the article "disrespectful."— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 4, 2014
DeSean: "I'm definitely am aware of and know gang members" but am not affiliated in any way.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) April 4, 2014
DeSean said that whatever hand thing he did toward DeAngelo Hall was not a gang sign.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 4, 2014
Stephen A asks DeSean to say he doesn't hang out with gang members. "Not if they're doing negative things," DeSean says.— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) April 4, 2014
DeSean said he doesn't think Eagles leaked anything to http://t.co/fwVSpdQj6L.— Geoff Mosher (@GeoffMosherCSN) April 4, 2014
DeSean says he felt he had a good relationship with Chip Kelly, but Andy Reid was "like a father figure."— Les Bowen (@LesBowen) April 4, 2014
My personal takes:
• Jackson said Kelly informed him of his release over the phone and that Kelly didn't give him a real reason as to why he was being released. Gee, I wonder why Kelly wouldn't want to talk face to face to the guy who cussed him out and disrespected him. Jackson missed his chance to talk in person when he reportedly skipped an exit interview after the season was over. As for Jackson not getting a reason as to why he was released... if DeSean seriously needed a reason as to why he was being cut it just shows he believes his bad behavior was OK. Which is why he was cut!
• As for the gang stuff, Jackson did clarify he knew gang members and has hung out with them but he has never been in and/or been affiliated with a gang. As BGN has already written, it's hard to believe the Eagles released him for "gang affiliation." It seems more likely that it had to do with him reportedly being a bad teammate, as revealed in the CBS Philly report.
• Former Eagles reporter Jordan Raanan had some good points regarding the accusation the Eagles planted the NJ.com story:
This idea that the DeSean Jackson story was leaked out by the Eagles is ridiculous and insulting to my boy [Eliot Shorr-Parks]. The Eagles were trying to trade their star WR. Every reporter worth two cents should have been digging into why.
• Stephen A. Smith didn't seem to do a great job of controlling this interview. Many reporters noted this on Twitter:
Jimmy Kempski: This interview is awful. Stephen, DeSean is sitting right in front of you. Why are you screaming at him? I'm pretty sure Stephen A. Smith has said more in this interview than DeSean.
Les Bowen: Stephen A. is orating, which he seems to feel is tantamount to interviewing. Maybe Stephen A. will let DeSean speak at some point
Geoff Mosher: Oh, Steven A. ..
Jeff McLane: Well, that cleared up a whole bunch of nothing.
• And McLane nailed it. This interview really didn't clear up anything. What did you take away from any of this?