Eagles release speedy but injury-prone and controversial wide receiver DeSean Jackson
DeSean Jackson's second stint with the Eagles lasted much shorter than his first, and with much poorer results.
Jackson, 34, announced on social media Friday that he will be released, and that he wants to play again in 2021. The team announced the release as well.
"Looking forward to my next chapter," Jackson wrote, along with, "The best Deep threat in NFL history !! Coming to a city near you !!" And, "Philadelphia it's always Love," with the requisite emojis.
Jackson, who has not spoken to the media since the first week of September, is one of many high-priced veterans to depart in the coming weeks. The Eagles have to cut salary to fit under the NFL's salary cap by the start of the new league year on March 17.
Jackson's release will save the Eagles $4.9 million off the cap after he signed a three-year deal worth as much as $27 million in March 2019 when the Eagles sent a sixth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for him.
But the production didn't match the salary. Jackson was often injured, playing in only 8 of 33 games. During that time, he had a total of 23 catches for 395 yards and 3 TDs.
It was a far cry from his first stint with the Eagles, when the team drafted him in the second round in 2008. Jackson set a team rookie record for yards from scrimmage with 1,008 that season.
He had three seasons of 1,000 yards receiving or more in his six seasons with the Eagles, culminating his career-best season of 1,332 yards in 2013. But the following March, former head coach Chip Kelly released Jackson after a report surfaced that Jackson had gang ties, a report Jackson denied.
Jackson was also embroiled in controversy last summer when he shared posts on social media glorifying Adolf Hitler and Louis Farrakhan. Jackson was nearly released then, but he apologized to both Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie and general manager Howie Roseman, who are Jewish.
Jackson also had to meet several conditions set forth by Lurie, including educating himself about the plight of Jews at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust and their persecution throughout history.
But when Jackson was on the field, he was still one of the best deep threats in the NFL.
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That was evident in his first game of his second stint with the Eagles, on Sept. 13, 2019, when he caught touchdown passes of 51 and 53 yards against Washington. Jackson left the next game against Atlanta in the first quarter with a core muscle injury.
He tried returning two months later, but couldn't make it through the first quarter before leaving. He then had season-ending surgery.
Jackson couldn't stay healthy last season, either. He suffered a hamstring injury in Week 3 against the Bengals and missed four games. In his first game back, against the Giants, he broke his leg on a late hit during a punt return.
Jackson returned on Dec. 27 against Dallas, and had an 81-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, again showing his ability to get behind the defense. Jackson then did a back flip in the end zone, and didn't catch another pass the rest of the game.
After the game, former Eagles coach Doug Pederson said Jackson's leg became more and more sore as the game went along, but he said the flip had nothing to do with that.
Jackson sat out the season finale the next week, a fitting end to his Eagles' tenure.
Contact Martin Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @Mfranknfl.