It’s never good to trash someone on his/her way out of a workplace. And as the Philadelphia Eagles were about to release wide receiver DeSean Jackson, stories were leaked about his alleged gang ties and describing him as a bad influence on young players.

The National Football League Players Association says it plans to investigate the Eagles to determine if the team waged a smear campaign on Jackson before he signed with Washington. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike: “.. whether or not there were comments or leaks from the team, misinformation to the media coming from the team, that’s something we’re going to look at.”

Smith cited similarities between the Jackson release to Josh Freeman and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where the NFLPA is also investigating whether the team leaked negative stories about the quarterback before his release.

For his part, Jackson has denied any gang ties and has called any insinuation “reckless and irresponsible.

While teams are wary of character flaws similar to former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez, they also have to be careful in conducting character assassinations as they could come to backfire in the long run.

[Pro Football Talk]

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.