Did the Eagles
intentionally release damaging info on DeSean Jackson
? The NFLPA plans to find out. (Carlos M. Saavedra/SI)
Shortly before the Philadelphia Eagles released DeSean Jackson, a NJ.com report surfaced suggesting the team was unhappy with potential gang ties between the wide receiver and members of the Los Angeles Crips.
Jackson has heavily denied those reports, and now NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith says that the union will look into the report to see if anyone intentionally leaked information to smear Jackson prior to his release.
“We’ve been in touch with DeSean, and first and foremost he is a tremendous football player and great young man,” Smith said on ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning, via PFT.
“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.”
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Like the NFLPA did with the investigation into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers handling of Josh Freeman, it plans to leave no stone unturned in the Eagles-Jackson situation.
"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.”
If the Eagles intentionally released the information about Jackson to keep the fan base from giving them heat for their decision, it could spell trouble for the franchise.