Well, at least he was honest. Mercurial Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson confessed to what many observers had felt allalong—that he didn’t give his full effort last season amidst a bitter contract dispute with the team. Jackson, who played last year on a one-year franchise offer from the club, cited a fear of getting hurt and lessening his chances for making the big money as reason enough for giving less than his all.
He insists he’s all in now that the Eagles inked him to a lucrative five-year, $51 million extension—including $15 million in guaranteed money—during the offseason.
One of the NFL’s most explosive players, Jackson had sought an extension at the start of last season, holding out 11 days in the erroneous hopes of forcing Philadelphia’s hand. He returned to camp, but remained outspoken about what he perceived as a lack of respect from the Eagles for all of his past accomplishments.
Eagles Andy Reid eventually tired of his act and deactivated Jackson for a Week 10 game against the Arizona Cardinals and later benched him in a Week 12 loss to the New England Patriots.
Jackson’s 961 receiving yards last year were his lowest total since his 2008 rookie season and his 6.7 yards per punt return were a career-low.
While perhaps underpaid for NFL standards, Jackson still made roughly $600,000 last season. His fear of getting hurt and risking his future was legitimate, but Jackson’s confession of giving less than everything isn’t likely to go over well in a proud, blue-collar town like Philadelphia that has been hard hit by the recession.