Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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Jackson: "obvious" he wants a new contract

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- DeSean Jackson said he's back in camp to "step up and be a man about things" but declined to talk about his reasons 11 day hold out, saying he didn't want "to talk about the past."

Jackson: "obvious" he wants a new contract

DeSean Jackson on the practice field during the afternoon walkthrough on Monday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
DeSean Jackson on the practice field during the afternoon walkthrough on Monday. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- DeSean Jackson said he's back in camp to "step up and be a man about things" but declined to talk about his reasons 11 day hold out, saying he didn't want "to talk about the past."

Asked if he wants a new contract, though, he said, "I think that's obvious."

"Everything happens for a reason," he said by way of explaining his hold out. "I'm just really here to move forward."

"I think my game speaks for everything," he said. "The only thing I control is playing between the white lines. I can't control contracts I can't control anything else."

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He declined to say how far contract discussions have gone along.

Jackson spoke after joining the Eagles for an afternoon walk through. He mostly talked to coaches and did not actively participate in the light session.

His spokesman, Bobby McRae, said Jackson "believes in the team and that they're going to do the right thing."

Here are excerpts from the rest of Jackson's press conference:

ON FINALLY REPORTING TO TRAINING CAMP:
"It feels good to be back. I've been sitting around kind of itching, waiting to get back out here with my teammates. The atmosphere feels good."

WHAT WAS THE BENEFIT OF NOT BEING HERE?
"I'm not going to get into that. I'm here now, kind of just want to move forward. I think everything happens for a reason. I had to handle my business just as well. I'm just happy to be here. I want to move forward. I don't want to talk about the past. ... I felt relief from coaches and teammates accepting me with open arms. Everybody understands what's going on. I have an agent so that's what his job is to do is to talk to Howie [Roseman] and Joe [Banner]. I'm just really here to move forward and just want the best things. I want to stay positive. I don't want to make it a negative thing."

HAVE NEGOTIATIONS ON A NEW CONTRACT STARTED?
"That's not really for me to answer right now. I want to keep that private for Joe Banner and Drew [Rosenhaus]. I'm here to play football. I want to win games. I think so far free agency and the additions added ... to the team -- I just feel very happy about our chances this year. So as far as where negotiations are at ... I really can't answer too many questions cause really there's not too much going on."

WHAT KIND OF SHAPE ARE YOU IN AND WHEN CAN YOU PRACTICE?
"I'm in great shape, honestly. I've been back home just working out every day. i haven't missed a day of working out. Been just kind of thinking things like that to myself. I feel the plan that we have is great, the relationship I have [with] the team and front office, I think everything will work out. ... I love Philadelphia. I love the fans here. When I just came back here out on the field here the fans just showing me a lot of love."

WILL YOU PRACTICE OR PLAY IN A PRESEASON GAME BEFORE A NEW CONTRACT IS DONE?
"I'm here to play for the Philadelphia Eagles. I have a year left under my contract so hopefully something can work out. I think everything will, but the talks and things like that we'll just keep that [to ourselves]. But I think everything will happen in a positive way and I will play and I will practice. I just have to kind of ease my way back into as coach talked about. I'm just ready to play."

WERE YOU ANGRY OR FRUSTRATED IN THE LAST FEW WEEKS?
"It never got to a situation. It's just really about me just me wanting to step up and be man about everything. A lot of epople can say negative things, but until somebody goes through that and is really able to see how I feel, at the end of the day I had to get professional about it. I can't cry, I can't moan about it. Being a man about the situation more than anything. I've been through a lot in my life, a lot of people always said different things about, 'I was always too small.' There were a lot of negative things, but still able to go out there and prove what I'm able to do on the field. I think my games speaks enough for everything. The only thing I can really control is playing through the white lines. I can't control contracts. I can't control anything else and realizing that I just really want to let my play talk for itself. I don't have to do any of the talking.

DID SEEING THE EAGLES SPEND ON FREE AGENTS MAKE HIM MORE ANXIOUS?
I always thought of it as being a good thing. Us as a Philadelphia Eagles being so close to the Super Bowl over the past three years that I've been here, our competitive nature was so close. I always did feel if we had a couple of more big-time players to come in and help out it would always be helpful. ... It's a good thing at the end of the day because I am a part of this team. Having additions like Nnamdi [Asomugha], [Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie] -- these are guys that I'm real good friends with. They kind of always uplifted me when I was going through my situations. We just always kept it positive. Me sitting out or me holding out -- that's the past. I got to say it's kind of over and done with."

BUT YOU DO WANT A NEW CONTRACT?
"I think that's obvious. As far as how we go about getting it done -- it's the biggest thing. I just really have to kind of take advantage of what I have to do and stay out of trouble. Just do all the positive things, staying away from all the negative talks of people are saying. All I can control is control what I control. That's the people around me, the things I'm doing on an every day basis and keep working hard. I think that's the biggest thing. Me coming back and talking to Coach [Andy] Reid -- we just kept it all about football and being a better football player. Coming to work and working hard every day. There's always a point where you can get better. You never feel satisfied where you're at as a professional. I think where I'm at first three years the things that I accomplished -- it's been off the chart. But there's still always room for improvement. That's one thing I realize. Being an Eagle this year is going to be something I'll look forward to. I always wanted to be an Eagle. Because I held put a couple days -- or whatever it was -- that doesn't mean I didn't want to be an Eagle. Like I said I had to handle what I needed to handle."

DOES HE THINK HE'S FIRST IN LINE IN TERMS OF THE TEAM'S PRIORITIES?
"I can't answer that. I wish I probably could answer it. That's not for me to answer. I know what I've accomplished the last three years. The games I've helped win, the hard work I've put in here at Lehigh and back in Philadelphia, the things I've done in the community. I know a lot of people would probably wish and hope or just kind of saying that they can't wait for me to mess up. But I still haven't been that guy that everybody assumes me to be. So I just need to keep doing the right things. I'm very family-oriented. I tell you to god, I love my family. People probably misjudged a lot of things, but that's not for me to talk about."

WILL NOT HAVING A CONTRACT AFFECT HOW HE PLAYS?
"It won't be tough for me at all. I know what I'm here for and that's to play football. That's my livelihood and that's what I love to do. At the end of the day I'm just going to keep going out there with a smile on my face regardless of the ups and downs. I know where my destination is and my destiny is to be here and to be an Eagle. I just want to keep doing the right things and working hard and hopefully everything plans out."

FROM EARLIER:

DeSean Jackson was one of the last Eagles to walk out onto the field for an afternoon walkthrough, but the star wide receiver's 12-day holdout had symbolically ended with his appearance at the Lehigh University practice fields on Monday.

Jackson was greeted by teammates and coaches as he joined the rest of the team for a light practice. He spoke briefly with Eagles running backs coach Duce Staley, received a fist pound from Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and hugged it out with former Eagles wide receiver -- and frequent holdout himself -- Mike Quick.

Approximately 30 minutes later Jackson's agent, Drew Rosenhaus arrived. He parked in the team lot, entered the team locker room, but was escorted by the team to the stands to sit with fans as the Eagles continued to practice. Eagles coach Andy Reid does not allow player agents to stand on the sidelines during training camp.

Jackson was expected to talk with reporters following practice. He is believed to want a new contract. This could be the first time he publicly says so.

Back with more.

 

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