For much of the 2011 season, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson engaged in a Cold War of sorts with his team over a contract dispute. Jackson held out for eleven days during last year’s training camp. Once he returned to the team, analysts and onlookers noticed a very different DeSean – the brash and dynamic DeSean Eagles fans had come to love was replaced with one who was tentative and skittish on the playing field. Today, while speaking with ESPN’s Lisa Salters, Jackson admitted to letting his unhappiness over his contract get to him, which lead to him giving less than a full effort in 2011.From ESPN:
When asked about instances when his effort was questioned, Jackson said: “I let it get to me, even though I tried not to let it. I was trying to protect myself from getting hurt — now I’m just giving it all.”
After receiving the Eagles’ franchise tender, Jackson signed a five-year, $51 million extension with $15 million guaranteed in March. Jackson said he was “happy to finally get the contract. I felt with what I had done for the team, I deserved it.”
While it’s easy to harp on DeSean for not going all out at all times, you have to respect where he’s coming from on this issue. Jackson has suffered multiple concussions of varying degrees of severity during his professional career. From his standpoint, he has every right to protect himself – his most valuable commodity. The Eagles awarded Jackson with a $51 million contract this past offseason, so it’s safe to say that there were no hard feelings leftover from last year’s performance.