Brian Dawkins on why the Eagles released DeSean Jackson

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

ESPN analyst and former Eagles safety Brian Dawkins appeared on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Wednesday to discuss the Redskins’ signing of DeSean Jackson. Host Mike Missanelli opened the segment by asking Dawkins about the Eagles’ decision to release Jackson amid a report of alleged gang ties.

“Anytime a guy is about to hit free agency, all of a sudden things begin to leak out, so to speak,” Dawkins said. “I don’t like that part of it for any team. The Eagles aren’t the only team that has done that. Other teams do the same thing because they wrap that around business. This happens in business. I don’t like that part of it. But I will say this, this is not something that all of a sudden had the gang affiliation thing tied to it and that was the thing that they only looked at it — they being the Eagles — looked at to say: ‘You know what? This is the thing we’re going to allow him to walk for.’ No, it was all the other things that have happened over the time that he’s been here, and the things he has not corrected in his character, some of the things that he does when in the building with coaches and the like, that they were concerned about.”

Missanelli then asked Dawkins to elaborate on those “other things” that may have caused Jackson to fall out of favor with Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

“Chip has come in and said that we’re going to run things a specific way, the way that we do things, the way that I’m asking you to be on the football field and off the football field,” Dawkins said. “The meetings, being attentive in meetings, practicing every week, practicing every day. Even changing some of the things from a veteran’s point of view of doing practices on Saturday. That’s something completely different than even I know about. But here’s the other thing when you talk about Chip: Where did he get a lot of his talent from when he was at Oregon? It wasn’t from the suburbs. So it’s not like he hasn’t dealt with guys that, you know, may have a little chip on their shoulder, that carry themselves a little different.”

Dawkins, who played one season with Jackson before signing with the Denver Broncos in 2009, also offered some unsolicited advice for Jackson to maintain his personal brand.

“It only takes for a couple of mistakes to happen for your brand to be damaged to the point that you cannot earn, or your earning potential begins to be hurt in the capacity of being able to get outside of your neighborhood and earn a living. And so these are the type of things that I’m talking about when it comes to DeSean Jackson. We’re held up on this gang affiliation thing; it’s not just that. It’s being a professional. It’s being able to be counted on to be with your team, do what your supposed to do, not skating around the corner, not cut corners, not doing some of the things that he’s allegedly been doing while in Philadelphia.”

You can listen to Dawkins’s full interview here. Check out a roundup of reactions to the signing here.

Scott Allen writes about all things D.C. sports. Follow him on Twitter @ScottSAllen or e-mail him if you’ve got a tip to share.



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Dan Steinberg · April 3, 2014

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