File this under "Not a Donovan McNabb story."
When DeSean Jackson switched representation in November, choosing vilified super agent Drew Rosenhaus, it became immediately clear he did not intend to wait very long before capitalizing on his staggering success. As it turns out, not very long may be just a few short weeks after the season's conclusion. Comcast's Derrick Gunn reports the wide receiver is ready to negotiate a four- or five-year extension with the Eagles. Hold on to your butts.
This should come as great news. Jackson was arguably the most valuable player on the club in '09, a breakout season during which he became the NFL's most dangerous playmaker. The idea he could be wearing midnight green for the next decade is unmistakably comforting. Reaching an agreement along the way is an entirely different discussion however.
Saying some of the past negotiations between the Eagles and Rosenhaus were contentious would be putting it mildly. Their greatest hits together include the Terrell Owens standoff, a tour-de-force of bizarre that ultimately ended when the team handed down a suspension for the final nine games in '05, and most recently he went to bat for Lito Sheppard, who most experts see the Jets releasing after a disappointing year in New York.
Of course, simply because some of their previous talks weren't resolved amicably doesn't mean these will end badly as well. Owens was one season into a seven-year contract and a known malcontent, and Sheppard's play had begun slipping already. These aren't among the easiest situations to settle.
And to be fair, the Eagles are not a bunch of dopes. Anybody can see Jackson is the real deal, and has far exceeded the base salaries of $470,000 and $555,000 he's due over the course of the next two seasons. It's also long been the standard operating procedure to extend young players well before their rookie contracts expire. This one is a no-brainer.
Still, the player and the team must meet halfway somewhere. The process is just getting underway, and Jackson's demands remain to be seen. While a new deal makes sense for both sides, history suggests we should be skeptical negotiations will go down without the circus coming to town.