You’re Not Going to Believe This, But Marcus Hayes Strongly Criticized the Eagles for Releasing DeSean Jackson

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Yes, I know. This is hard to believe. ‘Tis true, though. Marcus Hayes wrote yet another odd-staccatoed screed today, this one in defense of DeSean Jackson. It is… probably the most predictable Philly sports column of the year.

Here, let’s just break it down:

YOU THOUGHT Joe Banner was harsh?

Chip Kelly makes Banner look like Mother Teresa.

The Eagles sent a clear message when they cut DeSean Jackson yesterday:

No matter how well you play, no matter how professionally you act, if we believe you are overpaid we will get rid of you.

Marcus comes out of the gate roaring with a vintage trifecta of one-sentence paragraphs, unfair assessments and wild speculation. It is truly impressive how quickly he cast Chip Kelly (and not the problem child wide receiver who throws up gang signs) as the villain and then pivoted to speculate that the Eagles’ decision was based solely or largely on money, which is an absurd conclusion when you consider the fact that they have plenty of cap space and that this move makes the team worse.

And we will do anything to protect our image in doing so.

Yes, they may cut a troublesome wide receiver to protect themselves from a potentially dangerous situation.

Just hours after a story published yesterday on that tenuously connected Jackson to the Crips gang in his hometown of Los Angeles, the Eagles saw a chance to minimize the public outrage.

So, they released the best receiver on the 2013 team and the most explosive player in team history.

Those tenuous connections include multiple associations with murder suspects, an endless stream of photos with alleged gang members, gang signs, and this photo of DeSean with his friend and purported gangster, Shakir, who was wearing an LA County Jail shirt and a Jaccpot chain upon his release from prison:

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[Shakir was acquitted of murder, but his co-defendent was sentenced to 15 years to life. A reason to celebrate, this was.]

It should be noted that a more plausible reason for cutting DeSean immediately following the story’s release was the fact that the story essentially rendered him untradable. The Eagles’ secret was out.

So what if releasing Jackson now casts him as a thug?

So what if it eliminates his chances to earn what he’s worth . . . maybe forever? He is 27, has played six seasons and looks fit enough to play six more.

Except now he’ll be the Gangbanger, forever tainted.

Two very plausible reasons for why the Eagles aren’t talking: 1) Shredding DeSean to the press would only hurt him more. 2) They know more than we do. But no. Let’s just go with Marcus’ opinion that the Eagles are the bad guys for doing what they felt was best for their organization. It’s their fault that DeSean will be cast a “gangbanger,” not, say, DeSean’s fault for using gang signs on the football field and taking pictures with murder suspects.

The Eagles could not care less.

Yeah, I’m sure they’re just thrilled with this story. There are no winners here.

They could have held on to him for a couple of weeks. They could have stood by him, could have denied any half-truths or mistruths that were published.

Instead, they cast the entire screed as gospel truth.

Actually, they didn’t. They cut him. The story just forced their hand. And yes, they could have denied any half-truths… or, maybe, just maybe what was in the report is only the tip of the iceberg. Not saying that’s the case, but it’s a very realistic possibility, one which Marcus won’t dare consider.

This isn’t family. It is never family. This is dirty, dirty business.

The rest of the team better understand that.

This team shed Brian Dawkins, Hugh Douglas and Jeremiah Trotter, but in those Banner days, it was at least honest and honorable about the moves.

Yes, it is a business. I’m guessing that most NFL players know that. Pretty sure DeSean, a business man himself from the no-Crips-killed-here-Jaccpot-double-C, knows that.

And somehow releasing DeSean and saying absolutely nothing bad about him was dishonorable. Right.

This time, they ruined a young man who has spent much of his life avoiding ruin.

I’m still trying to figure out what the Eagles did to ruin DeSean and his reputation. Surely DeSean’s Instagram, bad attitude, poor sportsmanship, gang associations and off-the-field distractions had nothing to do with the ruining of a young man’s reputation.

The Birds will save a boatload of cash by jettisoning D-Jax, and that’s all that matters to them.

Highly doubtful. Recklessly doubtful, actually.

They also will lose the NFL’s most dangerous receiver, one who froze safeties in their boots, one who gave defensive coordinators sweaty nightmares in team hotels.

False. Calvin Johnson would like a word.

Jackson’s presence opened up huge holes for teammates to run into and through. His presence meant an extra beat for the team’s quarterbacks – a beat that young Nick Foles needed quite a bit.

Very true. Which is why there was likely much more to this story than money. DeSean made the Eagles better. They cut him for other reasons. He was a net negative to them.

Still, Jackson’s 5-10 and 178 pounds of surly narcissism never was the perfect fit for this team.

He didn’t fit the prototype for Kelly’s perfect NFL receiver; and, like many NFL receivers, he was high maintenance.

Jackson required a preseason meeting with Kelly to assuage his ego.

He was involved in a sideline dustup with an assistant coach during the season.

After the season, he agreed with a questioner that, yes, he deserved a reworked contract with more guaranteed money, and he intimated that he might hold out of training camp.

And this was a quiet year for Jackson.

The report cited missed meetings, a poor relationship with Kelly and laziness as reasons why the Eagles let him go. Additionally, the report said the Eagles were troubled by Jackson’s alleged association with the Crips.

Here’s where the hypocrisy in just delicious. Marcus skims the top of DeSean’s risk pyramid and cites legitimate reasons why an NFL team may not want to bother with a player… all in an article that crucifies the team for not wanting to bother with a player. Yet this is the same Marcus who crusaded against Riley Cooper, saying in September: “We’re not talking about football at all. Riley Cooper is no longer a football player, he’s a symbol for something that’s terrible, and the Eagles chose to keep him on the roster, so they have to deal with it every iteration all year long.”

That was Marcus implying that the Eagles made the wrong decision to keep Cooper, a white guy, a bad seed and a distraction, around. Yet when it’s DeSean, a black guy, a bad seed and a distraction, it just comes with the territory. Got it.

Kelly said Wednesday during the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla., that he had no issues with Jackson’s professionalism this season.

Typically, and sadly, Jackson offered an awkward rebuttal to the report that denied any gang ties.

Yes, because we should always believe NFL coaches and agent-written statements from diva wide receivers.

If the Eagles had a problem with Jackson’s loyalties and associations, they weren’t worried enough to cut ties with him earlier, when the blood was still fresh on the pavement.

Instead, the Eagles paid him $18 million in 2012 and 2013, $15 million of which essentially was guaranteed.

This was after two incidents tenuously associated Jackson with assumed gang-related violence in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Is it possible that maybe, just maybe the sum of DeSean’s myriad problems became too much for the Eagles and that the alleged burglary at his home in January was the final straw? Is it possible that then, for the first time, DeSean’s off-the-field issues hit too close to home with a mysterious crime that seems like it was anything but random?

Yes, the Eagles were being run by Joe Banner and Andy Reid when Jackson signed his deal. Both were gone before the 2013 season, but cutting Jackson in 2013 would have been a $12 million salary-cap hit: $4 million in guaranteed salary and $8 million in accelerated signing bonus.

Besides, before the 2013 season the Eagles, had no idea all that they had at receiver. Jeremy Maclin and Jackson were returning as starters, and when Maclin was lost for the season after an ACL injury in training camp, they had only untested Riley Cooper and aging Jason Avant. Cooper became embroiled in his own controversy, when he was caught on video using a racial slur in reference to a black security guard at Kenny Chesney concert.

Cooper shined in his first season as a starter and earned a new contract.

Avant is gone, but Maclin has recovered.

Rambling. Please cut.

The cap hit is a straight $6 million, with a cap savings of $6.5 million and a cash savings of Jackson’s $10.5 million salary and workout bonus.

The draft is rich in receivers.

Now, so is the free-agent market.

As long as you don’t mind a player who occasionally throws up gang signs and has a couple of questionable buddies.

So long as you don’t mind those things when paying someone $10 million.

[Marcus then goes on to regurgitate the story. He points to all of the details in the supposedly reckless story that work in DeSean’s favor, including the fact that he was never convicted of any serious crimes and that the team or league never investigated a disturbing the peace charge from 2009.]

Legal issues aside, there is a perception that Jackson’s aloof, dismissive personality might infect other players on the team. That is a misperception, and it rings laughably hollow.

Anyone who has spent time in the Eagles’ locker room understood that Jackson operated in his own, little diva bubble. He was not taken seriously as a leader or as a role model. Petulant and shallow, he was employed for his talents, not his character.

There are plenty of character guys: Connor BarwinJason KelceEvan Mathis, DeMeco Ryans, Brent Celek. They police the room. Young quarterback Nick Foles might be added to that list, eventually.

Jackson did no harm.

My guess is that Marcus would not have written this portion of his column about the Cooper situation.

For that matter, in 2013 we saw D-Jax 2.0, a more fit and more functional player, eager to toe the company line as the company’s structure changed.

The old version held out in 2011, quit on the team during games that season and was suspended one game for missing meetings. The team was worse for his actions, but the team hardly was infected by them.

Consider: Maclin, entering the final year of his rookie contract, could have held out in 2013. He probably should have; as it turns out, the worst happened. He was injured and rendered unable to prepare for the free-agent market.

But Maclin did not hold out. It is not in his makeup to do such a thing.

Cutting Jackson was not nothing but saving money on a player who the team believes does not fit the salary structure – a move that would be wildly unpopular if not justified by some other distracting news.

This timing was deviously perfect.

WILD SPECULATION. Somehow Marcus, after listing dozens of reasons why the Eagles would want to cut DeSean, concludes that it was all about money.

You know, I’m beginning to think Marcus Hayes is a racist.


32 Responses

  1. So what? Is it any different than the odd, staccatoed screed written by Mike Sielski that was predictably a-ok with what the eagles did? Sielski’s writing style is, to put it mildly, so distractingly overloaded – albeit deliberately – with over use of clauses and thoughts that are linked, via commas, and dashes – to accentuate points, cobbled into ostensible, yet somewhat complete, sentences.

    I’m glad someone in the media is calling out the team rather than tripping over themselves to carry the company line.

  2. The Eagles must have more information about DeSean than we are privy to. It’s the only thing that makes sense.
    On the field, Jackson is the perfect Chip Kellly weapon.
    So for him to release him there has to be more than flashing some gang signs and being late for some meetings.

  3. I am shocked….SCHOCKED, I SAY…that Hayes wrote a column defending Jackson and ripping the Eagles. And he hinted at race, and brought up Cooper. I would have never imagined.

    The Eagles are straight up racist for cutting Jackson, and I have to put my white hood on because I agree with it.


    And go fuck yourself.

    Is Cooper a moron?? Yes. Should he have been suspended?? Yes.

    Is Jackson a one dimensional, immature, piss poor attitude, midget? YES.

    Go Away!

    1. Your rant was as coherent as Marcus’ was. Do us all a favor and YOU go away.

      1. Fuck you nick. I thought we ran your annoying ass out of here you little shit.


  4. How can anyone insinuate that the Eagles are racist? THEY EMPLOYED MIKE VICK FOR 5 YEARS! Amid all the controversy, people boycotting the team, and protesters shoving pictures of dead dogs in kid’s faces at games, they stuck with vick. They made a convicted African American felon the starting QB of their team and gave him a 100 million dollar contract. They bent over backwards for Jackson too, who repeatedly acted like an ass. Being a diva and a bit of a pain in the ass is wildly different and less volatile than PUBLICALLY ASSOCIATING WITH GANGS AND KNOWN MURDERERS! If you cant see that then I dont know what to say.

    1. It’s not the Eagles that are racist. It’s Chip Kelly they are implying is racist.

  5. Every time I read one of Hayes’ articles or see him on Daily News Live (or whatever its called now), I am in awe that he is still some how employed. Maybe his race card would carry more weight if he didn’t play it every hand. Furthermore, this was not a racist move by the eagles, it makes the team worst. You really think they would cut him for nothing (and take a cap hit) if their hand was not forced?…Sidenote: I’m calling a Andy & DJac reunion next year (if KC can make the money work).

  6. I bet the field of 64 vote numbers were down yesterday due to all this d Jac shit

  7. Racial Hatred is taught, handed down generation to generation.

    same as it ever was.

    ps: Jerome Brown carried an Uzi in his gym bag.

  8. I was thinking of a new DeSean Jackson commercial with Beats headphones. He pulls into the Linc in a bus with his new team, hopefully it’s the Redskins. You have Lurie, Roseman, and Kelly out there screaming along with the Bloods wearing bandannas and other fans holding signs up deriding record label. Jackson puts on his headphones with the Aloe Blacc “The Man” song playing out. Don’t laugh, it’s probably going to happen.

  9. Ever since djax dropped that ball off before the solid 10″ line I became a racist. Loved the excitement he brought to my team – but never wore the damned Jersey my wife bought of him ’cause of his character. . Just saying.

    1. Funny how that memory comes to mind more than the Meadowlands return, isn’t it? I’m the same way. DeSean has been a moron his whole life, and occasionally decides to play to his full capabilities.

  10. We’d like to apologize to Philadelphia. You wouldn’t know it from reading our son’s pieces, but he grew up in a loving bi-racial home, and not once was forced to pick cotton or had a fire hose turned on him. But we knew there were going to be issues after we caught him masturbating to the live coverage of the MOVE bombing. Don’t worry; his paper will be dead within two years, and you won’t be hearing from him anymore unless you actually choose to hold conversations with telemarketers.

    1. Apology accepted. It isn’t your fault your son is a douche bag. Imagine working in the same newsroom or crappy cable tv show with him.

  11. This article was written by an a-hole supporting what you are told. Desean Jackson has never even been in trouble in 6 years of professional ball has never had a run in with the law not so much as a speeding ticket…how is he a problem receiver ? Like get your life this racism in America is sickening !

    1. Hey guess what take away the gang signs, fraternizing with murderers, living off of Drew Rosenhaus’ credit cards and apparently being hated in his own locker room, and he’s still an undersized WR who is one hard hit away from missing serious time and who also takes plays & games off on a regular basis. Stop crying about racism you fucking jabubu.

    2. This wasn’t about race it was about character, which Jackson doesn’t have. He was a detriment to the team and played out his own demise with his me attitude, I for one am glad to see him gone. Bad attitude, disregard for team rules, fighting with the coaching staff, sniveling like a little sissy in 2011 on the sidelines during a game, (my coach would have kicked me of the team for that one) all acts of insubordination and grounds for dismissal. It just took the Eagles some time to do it!

    3. Jay-Z should start his own airline. Think about all the new talent he could
      represent when flights disappear into Moochelle’s black hole.

  12. Marcus Haynes ( he hates when he is called that) is the reason an old geezer like me stopped getting the DN. He is terrible at what he does..from the cuse…that explains it.

  13. You can’t read Hayes’ slop and take it seriously. He’s the print version of Stephen A. Smith. He enjoys being a contrarian and an instigator. You just have to laugh at him and lift your leg to piss all over his brush fires. His opinions are completely meaningless – he does this on purpose because he doesn’t know what else to write.

    Kyle, you should just ignore him, also. He no doubt loves stirring up the pot like this and seeing what reaction he evokes on blogs such as this. Don’t give him credence.

    Now, David Murphy, on the other hand….there’s some REAL talent there.

  14. Hey guys, I staged the robbery at DeSean’s and photoshopped all those instagram pictures of him throwing out Crip signs. Don’t tell Marcus.

  15. Marcus Hayes, like DeSean, is a Jaccoff. And I don’t fucking care if either one of them is black, purple or green.

  16. I’m glad to see Jackson’s lazy shiftless ass go. This team doesn’t need a me-first player who only plays when he wants to.

    At least Riley Cooper has a work ethic!

  17. Is it me, or does he look like The Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man, dipped in light mocha?

  18. I LOVE the Eagles message! These athletes get paid big bucks. Start acting like pros and not thugs…..

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