The Philadelphia Eagles placed the franchise tag on their explosive wide receiver DeSean Jackson Thursday. By placing the franchise tag on Jackson, the Eagles have significant time to work on a long-term deal for their talented wide out…or trade him.
“We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman, according to the team’s press release. “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.”
Jackson was scheduled to hit the free agent market on March 13. When the tender is signed, Jackson will be guaranteed to make the average amount equivalent to the highest top-five wide receivers from last season. The expected amount the star receiver will command for the 2012 season will be around $9.4 million.
Selected in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft by Philly, Jackson has earned Pro Bowl berths for the 2009 and 2010 seasons, as he registered 229 passes for 4,085 yards and 21 touchdowns during that span. In addition, he has rushed for three scores during his career as well as posting a team-record of four touchdowns on punt returns.
The 5-10, 175 lbs. California native is one of five players in NFL history to total 900-or-more yards in each of his first four seasons and has the most receiving yards by any player after their first four seasons in Philadelphia in franchise history.
Last season, Jackson probably felt discouraged when the Eagles offered high paying contracts to other players. Despite his disappointment, the speedy receiver managed to accumulate 58 catches for 961 yards and four touchdowns in 15 games.
Time will tell if he gets traded before the 2012 season. There’s no question he’ll be an appealing option for teams looking for an established, dangerous receiver and one of the NFL’s most prolific game-changers, but buyer beware, his talents come with headaches.