I had an opportunity to sit down with DeSean Jackson on Tuesday, just two days after Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid suspended him for a game that his teammates went on to lose to the Arizona Cardinals.
It was obvious DeSean wanted to clear the air about what led up to him being suspended, his contract situation and the Eagles' struggles.
As for the suspension, DeSean said he showed up about 20 minutes late for an 8:30 a.m. special-teams meeting Saturday because his alarm clock didn't go off. Initially, receivers coach David Culley told DeSean that he probably wouldn't start as punishment. But that evolved into Reid telling DeSean that he should think about things and he was suspended for Sunday's game.
What changed? DeSean didn't have an answer. He did take full responsibility as a man for being late and admitted it had happened once before since he's been with the Eagles, but it wasn't a chronic issue. DeSean also said he'd seen other players miss or be late for meetings and they still played the following Sunday.
This incident is the latest in a frustrating season for DeSean. There's no doubt he wants to get paid and he continues to try to make a case for why he should be the latest in a long line of players with new contracts in Philly. The fact that the team spent so aggressively in building the "Dream Team" clearly has weighed on DeSean.
DeSean revealed that he hasn't been able to be his fun-loving self this season because of the distractions over his contract. Now, we're not talking a T.O. situation here, but he sees the guys around him being taken care of, and he believes he's put in the work and it should be his turn.
DeSean made a point of saying there have been rumors about the people he associates with away from the field as being one of the reasons the Eagles haven't committed to a new deal. But he pointed out that he hasn't gotten in any trouble off the field and has been active in the community.
When it comes down to it, DeSean realizes this is a business and things might not work out for him long-term in Philadelphia. At this point, he's putting his energy toward helping the Eagles turn things around after a 3-6 start. Beyond that, we'll all just have to wait and see.
Watch more of Irvin's interview with Jackson on "Thursday Night Kickoff" at 6 p.m. ET, and see the entire sit-down Sunday on "NFL GameDay Morning," which starts at 9 a.m. ET.