DeSean Jackson has already made waves during his short NFL career. He hears adulation for being one of the league's most explosive players, while listening to criticism for being an excessive showboat. And for the better part of two years now, there has been another story lurking beneath the water, just waiting to emerge as a big problem for the Eagles: Jackson's salary.
Jackson's contract has been prevalent in the news since November 2009, when the young wide receiver switched his representation to Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus, as we're sure you recall, is the famous super agent who orchestrated one of the messiest break-ups in Philly sports history between the Birds and Terrell Owens--so when DJac did not receive an extension last year, plenty of observers were expecting the worst.
Thankfully it hasn't come to that yet, but what's different this time around?
Rosenhaus joined PFT Live on Tuesday, and he revealed what many Eagles fans already know about the local football club: they do things on their terms.
“One of the things I realized with the Eagles is that there’s an approach that works with them and an approach that doesn’t work. And the approach that doesn’t work is to try and strongarm them and allow it to become public and take them on.”
Rosenhaus had to find out the hard way Birds' management doesn't cave easily. Through the years, they've lost high profile players such Jeremiah Trotter, Corey Simon, and Brian Dawkins to free agency over contract disputes. They also traded away corners Sheldon Brown and another Rosenhaus client, Lito Sheppard, in consecutive years.
On the flip side, few players who made a stink in the media have been rewarded with new contracts, just arguably the two most important players for the franchise in the last decade, Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook.
Jackson, on the other hand, has been remarkably cool throughout the process, this while seemingly every interview last season focused on the money. He's made it perfectly clear he expects to be paid, but has done little to demonstrate his displeasure. He did skip a voluntary camp last off-season, but otherwise there was nothing overt.
The fact is, they will have to do something for their Pro Bowl receiver and returner once the new league year begins, or risk some serious backlash. DJac is in the final year of his contract, the time when an extension would normally be done, and he is scheduled to make just $565,000 in base salary, which is criminal in comparison to his peers. If he's not extended or traded, a holdout seems almost assured.
As always, the Eagles have done an excellent job managing the salary cap, and there is plenty of money lying around to lock up Jackson for a long time if that's what they choose to do. While he will always have his critics as long as he dances in end zones, Jackson will have earned some respect for handling a difficult and unfair contract situation like a professional.
And amazingly, that might have something to do with Rosenhaus.
>> Rosenhaus remembers lessons of T.O. [PFT]