The Philidelphia Eagles released their prominent reciever Desean Jackson after seven years of elite play, which created a silent auction for the newest and best player on the open market.
Coincidently, a report from NJ.com said the player had connections with known gang members from Los Angeles, which may or may not have influenced his release.
With the Aaron Hernandez ordeal still in the back of everyone’s minds, teams are weary of players with questionable histories.
Lets make this clear, Jackson has a clean record and no history of crime. Sure he knows some people in gangs, but that does not mean he is affiliated with gangs.
The only thing Jackson is guilty of is being an outspoken media darling wanting a bigger contract. What NFL Wide-Reciever is not guilty of that?
For those unfamiliar with Jackson’s background he comes from Los Angeles and Long Beach Poly High School. Sure he knows gang signs, which NFL and NBA player doesn’t. Gang Signs are thrown up all the time, and that does not mean a gang affiliation so much as means a sign of respect for where he is from.
Added, Jackson does own a record label with questionable affiliations. Which professional athlete isn’t trying to crossover into the music industry which is an industry thirsty for street credibility?
Lastly, growing up in Los Angeles it is almost inevitable knowing people with gang affiliations. Being a prominent athlete does not exclude you from interacting in a gang environment. Especially as an athlete who can not get in trouble, many times you make friendships with gang members because they can protect you from other gangs who have self interest in physical or verbal altercations.
That may not even be the case with Jackson, but either way these gang ties are a non story. What do you think the 3pt sign is that NBA players throw up?
As for the Raiders, adding Jackson almost makes too much sense for it to happen. Jackson is from cali, he played at Cal, and there are even pictures of him at a Raider game as a kid.
The Raiders also have the most salary cap short and long term to give him the deal he desires. There is definitely a need for a true number one WR who can impact games everytime they touch the ball, and Jackson can do that. Matt Schaub needs playmakers around him, and adding Jackson would be a great start, not to mention it adds more flexibility to what the Raiders can do in the Draft.
Maybe he does not fit the squeaky clean mold Reggie McKenzie wants, but he does have a chip on his shoulder which is something that McKenzie values. After being released, Jackson’s asking price should come down, and by the looks of his gang affiliations I do not think he is a fan of the 49ers because of their RED (LOL JK). Plus the oppurtunity to be closer to home and play for a team he probably loved is priceless.
Football wise, Jackson can stretch the field vertically. He is young enough to give the offense an identity it has lacked for years to come. I even thought he was a fit for the Raiders out of the draft, but philly got to him first. Sure he could do more across the middle, but Streater, and Jones are both more than capable slot options. Jackson with the big targets of Rivera, Streater, and Moore are all great weapons’ for Greg Olsen’s arsinal.
Off the field, Jackson’s accomplishments and advocacy have gone unnoticed. He is a force in his community and speaks out against bullying. That is a message he could bring to the Bay Area as well as his exciting play on the field.