The NFL is the nation’s ultimate reality show. Which perhaps makes NFL players inclined to try to have their own reality shows.
Washington receiver DeSean Jackson now does, and in the first episode of his new BET series Jackson unloaded on his former team, the Eagles.
Via John Keim of ESPN.com, Jackson accused the Eagles of launching a “smear campaign” against him in 2014, the year the team decided to move on from the player who arrived as a second-round pick in 2008.
“I was at the top of the top. And then I got released,” Jackson said early in the debut of DeSean Jackson Home Team. “It was a smear campaign. Things media said about me, I bet you could say that about the majority of people in the NFL. I got a second chance to play in the NFL and I’m proving I’m one of the best receivers in the game.”
He may have a point. On the very same day the Eagles cut Jackson, NJ.com published a story that suggested gang connections and claimed, citing unnamed sources, that the Eagles also are concerned about his “bad attitude, an inconsistent work ethic, missed meetings and a lack of chemistry with head coach Chip Kelly.”
Last April, the NFLPA said it was looking into whether the Eagles smeared Jackson, but there never was a specific finding that the Eagles did. Jackson continued to be convinced that they did.
“When I was released by the Eagles, I feel they tried to paint a picture that definitely wasn’t true,” Jackson said during the show. “It was a slap in the face, coming off one of my best seasons in the NFL. . . . The Eagles tried to blow me up. That’s cold how they did it. . . . Have I went to jail? . . . I ain’t done none of that.”
The Eagles consistently have said that Jackson was released for football reasons only. Though his numbers were down from 2013 to 2014, Jackson still had 1,169 receiving yards — and his highest yard-per-catch average (20.9) since 2010 in his first season with Washington.