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Gang association causes Eagles to release DeSean Jackson
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The Philadelphia Eagles announced that they are releasing receiver DeSean James on March 27, purportedly in regards to Jackson's association with gangs based in Los Angeles that are possibly connected to two murders that took place there in 2010.
Jackson threw up Crip gang signs during a 2013 game against the Washington Redskins.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This announcement comes after the Eagles looked into trading the player, originally suspected because of issues between him and the franchise. This included a poor work ethic on the part of Jackson, disagreements with head coach Chip Kelly, locker room distractions, attitude, and Jackson's desire for a new contract just two years into his current one. It was reported that the Eagles did not want Jackson around the younger players.
The NFL has been reevaluating just how closely it has to watch its players recently due in part to the first-degree murder conviction of the New England Patriot's tight end Aaron Hernandez in June of 2013. Hernandez was convicted of the murder of Odin Lloyd, as well as numerous other gun related charges in Massachusetts.
Jackson states that he has, and has had, no affiliation with street gangs, but he has been photographed throwing up gang signs in photos, and even during a game against the Washington Redskins in 2013. He was investigated as part of a 2010 case in which two purported members of the L.A. Crips shot a 14 year old, but evidence shows that Jackson did have a personal association with at least one of the shooters.
He was also questioned about a 2012 homicide that had taken place on a property owned or leased by Jackson's family.
Jackson is coming off one of the best seasons in his six years with the Eagles. The 27 year old had 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. He is also one of the Eagles chief play makers and was expected to heavily contribute to the Eagles aggressive and fast-paced offense.
The Eagles had signed Jackson onto a five year extension for $48.5 million back in 2011, and while athletically Jackson would make a good free agent, at the moment it is unlikely that anyone in the NFL would pick him up so soon after recent media attention.
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