Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson returned to the team today, after holding out for more than a week. He met with the media, and he sounds genuinely happy to be back.
“Honestly man, it feels good to be back,” Jackson said, via comments distributed by the team. “I’ve been sitting around kind of itching, waiting just to get back out here with my teammates. The atmosphere, everything feels good. With the lockout being so long, and then with the lockout ending I’ve just been kind of sitting around waiting. I feel good to be back and I’m happy to be back out here with my teammates and everything like that.”
As to his desire for a new deal, Jackson made it clear that he won’t be a distraction. “I want to say positive,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to make it a negative thing. . . . At the end of the day I have to be a professional. I can’t cry, I can’t moan about it. Being a man about the situation more than anything.”
Possibly to avoid saying something negative, Jackson sidestepped questions regarding his contract status. “Well, that’s not really for me to answer right now,” Jackson said. “I’m going to keep that private for Joe Banner and Drew [Rosenhaus]. I’m here to play football. I want to win games, man. I think so far, free-agency, and the new additions added to the new people on the team, I just feel very happy about our chances this year. As far as negotiations and all that other stuff, I really can’t answer too many questions because really there’s not been too much going on. We’re just ready to come back and play football, man.”
Still, it’s equally clear that he wants a new deal. “I think that’s obvious,” Jackson said. “As far as how we go about getting it done is the biggest thing. I just really have to take advantage of what I have to do; stay out of trouble, just do all the positive things, stay away from all the negative talks of people saying whatever. All I can do is control what I can control.”
He definitely can control his attitude, and as of right now his attitude is positive. “I’m ready to play football,” Jackson said. “I’m ready to help win games. I said I love this city and everything.”
So if you’re looking forward to any shirtless driveway situps or front-lawn, next-question press conferences, keep looking. Jackson seems to be ready to go, and the question now becomes whether the Eagles will reward him for returning with the right attitude.