Addressing the media Monday, Jackson sounded less like a man who overslept and more like a man who stayed home because he believes his paychecks are too small. From Philly.com:
"I addressed the team and coaches. Everybody was in there. I just explained to them the thing that I've been going through. Me not being myself, it's been hard to come to work and be happy just because of everything that's happened. I addressed it as a professional, as a man. [...]
"I hope everybody kind of can understand where I was coming from. Whatever happens happens and is deserving. We learn from it as an athlete and as a businessman. I just need to continue to do what I need to do to better myself."
The "everything that's happened" part is that Jackson wants a big, new contract and the Eagles haven't given it to him. That is what makes it difficult for him to come to work and be happy. When he eventually stopped talking about it in vague terms, this is what it sounded like.
"Everybody knows the contract situation. As a human being, these are just things you have to go through in life. I realize what it is and am just ready to continue and go forward. Whatever I've done in the past is over." [...]
Is it true he overslept Saturday? "It don't matter what happened. I missed the meeting and my punishment was my punishment."
That punishment was sitting out a game, and now nobody's happy, because the Jackson-less Eagles weren't good enough to beat the flippin' Arizona Cardinals.
Not that I want to paint Jackson as a clear-cut bad guy here. There are shades of gray here. It's absolutely true that he's outperformed his contract (he's playing this year for a base salary of $555,000 and a prorated portion of his signing bonus, $338,250), and it's absolutely true that he deserves a new one. The only leverage he has is withholding his services.
But "oversleeping" because he feels frowny at work doesn't necessarily help, either. He's no closer to a new contract today than he was yesterday. He made his choice, and now he's apologizing for it, and the only people better off for it were the Arizona Cardinals.
I understand your beef, DeSean, but staying home doesn't help anyone. Lesson learned.
- Arizona Cardinals
- DeSean Jackson