DeSean Jackson has stayed relatively quiet about the days leading up to his controversial release from the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2014 offseason even after returning to the team that drafted him last year. For those who didn't follow the narrative, former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly surprisingly released Jackson, a season after he posted a career-high 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns. The reason? Jackson's alleged gang ties -- which doesn't sit well with the Eagles wideout, who has never had any off-field issues pertaining to his behavior.
"The past is the past, but I will say when I was released by the Eagles it was definitely a shove in my face, you know?" Jackson told Eagles teammate Lane Johnson on his "Outside The Lane" podcast. "The story that was made up and the reason behind it was hard for me to respect.
"I would have respected it a lot more if they would have just came to me and just told me basically it's a money issue or we're going a different route. But no, you want to come up and say I'm a hoodlum and I'm doing all this crazy (stuff)? That (stuff) was personal to me."
Jackson was released in March of 2014, only to sign with the Washington Redskins to a three-year contract just days later. He made his mark during his first six seasons in Philadelphia, catching 356 passes for 6,117 yards and 32 touchdowns, averaging an astonishing 17.2 yards per reception (fourth all-time in receiving yards and yards per catch in franchise history).
Not included in those numbers were Jackson's 7,813 return yards and four touchdowns with the Eagles, along with his three rushing touchdowns. Jackson finished his first stint with the Eagles with 13,930 total yards and 39 touchdowns, earning three Pro Bowl appearances, five Player of the Week honors, and one All-Pro selection (2009).
Jackson was in the prime of his career when Kelly cut him, a decision that haunted the Eagles -- and was the beginning of the end of Kelly's career in Philadelphia.
"I just wanted to go play against y'all twice a year. I'm staying in the division because I want them to see me twice a year," Jackson said on why the Redskins were so appealing to him. "I was going to let them see what they were missing out on."
Jackson had 24 catches for 569 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 23.7 yards per catch in six games against the Eagles (the second-highest mark against any team) -- with his teams going 5-1 against Philadelphia.