DeSean Jackson's return this week to Philadelphia after five years away is almost a perfect storybook ending to his career.
"I could only imagine what it would be like if I was to come back here and win a Super Bowl," Jackson said on Thursday morning.
Jackson is 32 now. He spent five seasons elsewhere before finally getting his chance to return to Philadelphia in a trade this week. But he always kept one eye on the team that drafted him out of Cal in the second round of the 2008.
He watched the Eagles win Super Bowl LII to cap the same 2017 season where he went 5-11 in his first of two personally disappointing seasons in Tampa Bay. So he'd like to put up big numbers in his second stint here, no doubt. But he really wants to be a part of something special.
He had no shortage of diamonds on his person Thursday, but Jackson wants the type of bling you can't just buy.
At the end of the day, we want to win. I want to be able to put some jewelry on my finger. I sat back and watched them. I wasn't bitter; I was happy for them. But at the same time, I know what I started and where my career was at when I was here.
Jackson was unceremoniously cut by Chip Kelly on Mar. 28, 2014. He was coming off his third Pro Bowl nod and career-highs in catches, yards and touchdowns.
And then he was gone.
"We all know how I was released and out of here," Jackson said on Thursday, never mentioning Kelly by name. "Like I said, we're just moving forward."
Jackson did admit, however, that joining Washington as a free agent that offseason was personal. He played for the division rival Redskins for three seasons, relishing every opportunity he got to play against his former team.
But the Eagles' franchise he returns to now is a lot different than the one he left. Really, the building feels a lot more like it did under Andy Reid, back when Jackson felt like he was a part of the family at the NovaCare Complex. Kelly got fired during the 2015 season and was replaced by Doug Pederson, with whom Jackson has a great relationship. There's a reason the whispers about a possible return really began to pick up with the new regime in place.
On Mar. 3, Jackson was back in the area at the Valley Forge Casino for an autograph signing, where Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham were also featured. They asked Jackson if he was coming back to Philly.
"I was like, ‘hopefully I can get back,'" Jackson said.
Well, he's back. Now it's time to see if Jackson can give his story the type of ending he so desperately wants.
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