Lambs to the Slaughter

Julian Dorey, Senior Writer

The Eagles really messed this one up.

For almost a month, the Eagles took the league by storm with their drawn-out, painfully brutal public campaign against their own star receiver, DeSean Jackson. Story after story, worse and worse each time, brutally dug the knife deeper and deeper into Jackson until the team (who was most likely the source of all those stories in an effort to politically back their outlandish decision to unload their Pro Bowl wideout) finally released him on March 28.

And, oh yeah, amidst the release of all those “stories,” they were trying to trade Jackson. Yeah. Get value for the kid.

During those weeks of swirling stories, the team made no effort to reach out to Jackson and he grew increasingly frustrated and dumbfounded that he couldn’t even buy a little communication. To make matters worse and more awkward, three days before his release, Coach Chip Kelly finally reached out and told D-Jacc to “be ready for OTA’s.”

OTA’s are scheduled for April 21. Honesty in this business seems to be fading more and more every day.

The worst part of the entire story was the ridiculous nature with which the Jackson-Eagles saga came to an end. NJ.com released an exclusive story on its website shortly before the Eagles officially released Jackson that speculated from multiple angles that Jackson was potentially a member of the infamous Crips gang—or at least a serious associate.

To anyone who has even the slightest clue, this story was particularly stomach-turning because it was so obviously leaked by the same Eagles organization that was facing serious fan backlash at cutting Jackson because of his occasional bad demeanor and the size of his contract.

In Philly, the fans are too smart and passionate for that rationale to suffice. So the Eagles front office planted the mother story of them all: Jackson, the gangster.

One thing that makes this theory even more obvious is the source that ran with it: NJ.com. Anyone in the Philadelphia area will tell you that the reporters at NJ.com are on the periphery (at best) of the inner-workings of the Philadelphia media. Lead writers Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez have literally never broken a story of any consequence to any of the major four sports teams in Philly.

To the cunning Eagles brass, they were ripe for the picking. So, of course, they didn’t turn down the opportunity to write a giant hearsay article on information from the Eagles in order to get massive NJ.com circulation for a few weeks online.

Bravo, gentlemen. And touché, Eagles, nice touch.

The truth is that, had the Birds approached any of the major sources in the Philly sports media, the reporters they contacted would have seen right through their farce—and they might have even turned it back around on the Eagles. So they went to “the little sisters of the poor” to get their low-blow out to the public.

And now, Jackson is a Redskin. Yes. One of the three teams that the Eagles must face twice a year. He joins a receiver corp that already includes Pierre Garcon, and his presence gives quarterback Robert Griffin III enough ammunition to once again hide his many flaws and rely on talent (much like he did his rookie season).

What we do know is that the Eagles wronged Jackson who, by the way, is more than involved in Philadelphia area charities and even sports some of his very own. Not bad for a gangster. We also know that he will be out for blood next year when he faces us. And we also know that the Redskins just got a whole lot better.

What remains to be seen is just how bad this can get. Right now, the Eagles are hoping it can’t get any worse. They’re gonna need all the hope they can get.

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