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SBD/March 31, 2014/Franchises
Eagles Release Of DeSean Jackson Raises Questions, Signals Shift In NFL Culture
Published March 31, 2014
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WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE: ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert wrote two "competing thoughts emerged" in the moments after the Eagles released Jackson. Is this "the new NFL, one so chastened by last summer's situation" with former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez that its teams "can't stomach the mere perception that trouble could be brewing?" Or is Jackson "simply a bad character, an outlier even in an industry that takes plenty of character-based risks when the potential reward could be so substantial?" Seifert: "We are unlikely to receive a full accounting of the Eagles' motives, but make no mistake: Their decision Friday was extraordinary in the context of player valuation and projection." The big question is "whether Jackson would still be with the Eagles if Hernandez had not been arrested last summer." Within the NFL, the "most unnerving part of the Hernandez arrest was that the alleged activity took place under the nose of the Patriots' presumably watchful eye." Seifert: "You can bet the other 31 teams took notice and redoubled their efforts to know and understand what their players were up to when away from the practice facility" (ESPN.com, 3/28). ESPN's Andrew Brandt, who previously served in the Packers' front office, said, “A few years ago I remember being in a meeting where gang issues were discussed. The symbols, the imagery, the language, even a phone call we listened in on. An FBI agent presented to these owners meetings, ‘Watch out for these things. Make sure if you see these symbols let us know,’ all kinds of security issues. This is not a new issue” (“OTL,” ESPN, 3/28).