NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith says his union will investigate whether the Eagles smeared DeSean Jackson before cutting him.
“We’ve been in touch with DeSean, and first and foremost he is a tremendous football player and great young man,” Smith said on Mike & Mike. “On the issue of how he was released, whether or not there were comments or leaks from the team, misinformation to the media coming from the team, that’s something that we’re going to look at. We’ve always been aggressive about protecting the integrity of our players.”
An NJ.com story published shortly before the Eagles released Jackson suggested that Jackson had gang ties and also quoted an anonymous source within the Eagles organization as suggesting Jackson could be a bad influence on young players. Smith compared the situation with Jackson in Philadelphia to the situation for Josh Freeman in Tampa, where the players’ union is investigating whether Buccaneers executives or coaches peddled defamatory information about Freeman.
“We went into a deep investigation that’s continuing about Josh Freeman, and the comments that we believe came from team management or the coaches, and that’s an investigation that’s ongoing and we’re going to aggressively pursue it,” Smith said. “If we believe that someone at the team did something impermissible we’re going to be seeking significant discipline against those individuals. We look at that situation as similar to this one.”
The NFLPA investigation may explain why the Eagles have been so tight-lipped about Jackson. At least publicly.