DeSean Jackson signed a $24 million contract with the Redskins this offseason, just days after being released by the Philadelphia Eagles amid murky rumors of gang ties.
Against LL Cool J's advice, ESPN the Magazine went ahead and called it a comeback. Jackson must not mind, as he's pictured cradling a football on the glossy cover of the magazine's "Comeback Issue."
His story appears alongside those of Scott Kazmir and Austin Dillon, but unlike them, Jackson is hardly rebounding from disappointing performances. He recorded 82 receptions for 1,332 yards last season -- both career highs -- and has been a formidable talent since day one.
Instead of his game, Jackson is rehabbing his image. He'd been dogged by accusations of attitude problems for much of his career, but off-field chatter never jeopardized his employability until late March, when a NJ.com report implied that he associated with gang members.
The story launched league-wide speculation about Jackson's character and the Philadelphia Eagles released him within hours.
The next few days passed in a blur of meetings, phone calls and social media posts by Washington-area athletes wooing Jackson to the Redskins. It took only six days from his release for the Redskins to ink him to a three-year, $24 million contract.
ESPN the Magazine puts it this way: "From rumors to released to redeemed (by a new $24 million deal) in 6 days."