Eagles place franchise tag on WR Jackson

Eagles place franchise tag on WR Jackson
March 1, 2012, 9:26 pm
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The Eagles on Thursday placed the franchise tag on DeSean Jackson and hope it's just another step toward securing the dynamic receiver to a multiyear extension. According to a league source, talks are continuing and have been productive, and the decision to franchise Jackson won't change the tenor of the discussions.

I am honored that the Philadelphia Eagles Organization perceives me as a franchise player," Jackson said in a statement released by EAG Sports Management, his marketing and publicity firm. I look forward to getting a long term deal done soon and being an Eagle for many years to come.

If a long-term deal isn't reached and Jackson signs the tender, he would earn 9.4 million next season -- or 552,941 per week, almost as much as he made last season. The 25-year-old Jackson earned 685,000 last year on the final year of the four-year, 3,079,840 million contract he signed when the Eagles drafted him in 2008.

The franchise tag, as soon as he signs it, would guarantee Jackson more than three times more money than hes earned in his entire career so far.

The salary under the new collective bargaining agreement is determined by taking the average cap figure over the life of the contract of the top five highest paid receivers in the league. (Previously it was the cap figure for the previous season.)

The Eagles in the past have had bad luck using the franchise tag (see Corey Simon and Jeremiah Trotter), but it seems as though this move will work out differently. General manager Howie Roseman last week at the combine was "optimistic" (see story) that a new deal would be reached and on Thursday reiterated the team's desire to do so.

We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that, Roseman said in a statement released by the team. DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia. Its our understanding that he has the same desire. We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.

A long-term deal would be more cap-friendly and unlike the one-year tender would not simply put off Jacksons contract situation for one more year.

Jackson has 230 career receptions for 4,096 yards and 21 touchdowns receiving and seven more touchdowns rushing or on punt returns. His 13 touchdowns of 60 yards or more since he entered the league in 2008 is six more than any other NFL player has during the same span.

Jackson had his least productive season in 2011, when he held out of training camp, had just four touchdown catches, failed to reach 1,000 yards for the first time since his rookie year, got suspended for a game against the Cards and dropped six touchdown passes.

But he remains one of the NFLs top deep threats (see story) and enjoys a very close relationship with quarterback Michael Vick.

Hopefully, I will be back, Jackson said when the season ended. I consider Philadelphia a home, and the fans have embraced me and things like that.
E-mail Andy Schwartz at aschwartz@comcastsportsnet.com & Reuben Frank at rfrank@comcastsportsnet.com.

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