This morning I wrote at length explaining why the Eagles will be handing DeSean Jackson leverage by securing him with the franchise tag. Not much leverage, but when Drew Rosenhaus is your agent, you don’t need much.
With the injury-prone Jeremy Maclin playing opposite Jackson, the Eagles had their hand forced, and they announced Thursday afternoon that they’ve officially franchised their diminutive and often disgruntled wide receiver.
In a press release GM Howie Roseman said they’ll continue to work towards a long-term deal.
“DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia. It’s our understanding that he has the same desire. We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.”
There was a slight possibility that the Eagles could wait out the Drew Brees situation and see if those stalling talks resulted in Marques Colston becoming a free agent. But although both Colston and Jackson have similar down field ability, it’s Jackson’s explosiveness in the return game that makes him a dynamic talent.
The Eagles now have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term deal with their receiver who can be both incredibly talented and incredibly stubborn, and therefore he’s often inconsistent. They’ve now chosen to tolerate his antics, and if they can’t finally agree to a longer contract by that mid-July date, they’ll be paying him the lofty sum of $9.4 million fuly guaranteed, the price of this year’s franchise tag for wide receivers.
That’s nearly three times more than what he made in 2011 during the final year of his rookie contract. Jackson may have had a poor year by his standards when he finished with only 1,015 all-purpose yards between receiving and punt returns, along with four touchdowns. That’s a steep decline from his 1,608 yards two years ago, but Jackson’s production was still a dirt cheap bargain for the Eagles, who paid him $893,250.
They’ll be paying significantly more than that next year, and since the franchise tag has now declared that Jackson is a top five receiver, the Eagles have made it known that he’s important, and that he should feel special.
And when a Rosenhaus client feels special, he wants a lot of money for a very long time.
UPDATE: Jackson plans to sign the franchise tender ASAP, according to Tim McManus.