So as you know by now, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson ended his holdout and reported to training camp today at Lehigh University. He also gave a news conference at which he sidestepped questions about the reasons behind his holdout and insisted that it was behind him and he's ready to practice with and play for the Eagles.
"At the end of the day, I have to be a professional," Jackson said. "I can't cry. I can't moan about it. It's being a man about the situation, more than anything. I know what I'm here for, and that's to play football. That's what I love to do, so at the end of the day, man, I'm just going to keep going out there with a smile on my face regardless of ups and downs. My destiny is to be here and to be an Eagle. So I just want to, like I said, just keep doing the right things and working hard, and hopefully everything pans out."
When players act in immature ways, we take them to task for it. So it stands to reason that we should commend Jackson for his very mature stance on this issue. He's made his point -- that he's underpaid and would like a new contract. Everybody seems to agree that he's right. He reached a point at which holding out any longer would have done him no good. (He'd have lost a year's worth of credit toward free agency if he hadn't reported by Tuesday.) So, as he said, he took it like and man and showed up for work. In the end, he may be giving up some leverage, and he may be putting himself at risk of an injury that jeopardizes his chances of getting the new deal he seeks. But he's trusting that showing up to camp and working on a new deal while he practices with his teammates will buy him enough good will that the team should eventually do the right thing. I think they will, but regardless, Jackson carried himself like a grown-up today in the middle of a difficult situation.