As much as this news comes as pretty much no surprise to anyone, it is interesting to hear Jackson admit it. When asked by ESPN's Lisa Salters about his perceived lack of effort at times last year due to concerns over his contract, DeSean Jackson simply fessed up.
"I let it get to me, even though I tried not to let it," Jackson admitted. "I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt -- now I'm just giving it all."
This much was clear to pretty much anyone watching last year. Whether it was Jackson's lack of interest in even trying to return a punt or some alleged cases of alligator arms, DeSean wasn't going all out. And he's hardly the first guy to do so. But for an NFL player to admit is surprising and actually refreshing. While it doesn't make it ok, I can at least appreciate that he doesn't try to insult our intelligence by acting like he was giving 100%, as almost all players will.
It's a tough thing to understand for us fans from both sides. For one, you're playing pro football for a living and already making a lot of money doing it. How could you not enjoy every second and go all out? There's thousands of people who would kill to take your place. There's millions of fans that really care investing their time and money into watching you.
But at the same time, you've got maybe one shot at getting a contract that sets you and your family up potentially for life. If you break a leg, that contract may never come. Look at Steve Smith for instance. Now, he's not going hungry or anything, but he was on the verge of life changing money with the Giants and suffered a terrible knee injury. He hasn't sniffed the kind of money he was set to get since then and very well may never again. There's no doubt, that has to mess with your head.
Either way though, the NFL and Philadelphia particularly is a "what have you done for me lately?" kind of place. Everyone knows DeSean wasn't giving it all last year and no one is going to excuse him for it. But if he does go all out this time around and has a big season, I don't think anyone is going to care anymore.