The Eagles have been pretty consistent with their public statements about wanting DeSean Jackson back with the team in 2012.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, that might not represent their full take on the situation. Schefter reported Friday that the team is open to listening to trade offers for Jackson after they use the franchise tag on him.
What’s with the contradictory information?
If the Eagles do want to trade Jackson, it would make sense to say nothing but positive things about him in public to downplay any character concerns that might linger from Jackson’s sulking about his contract status. Their public statements of happiness about a continued relationship with Jackson could also be designed to solicit offers to their liking as opposed to ones for a player that other teams know you are looking to unload.
The trouble with that angle is that if the Eagles really didn’t want Jackson, they could be taking a big risk by slapping the franchise tag on him in hopes of finding a trade partner. They could then rescind the franchise tag — the Eagles have done that twice before — if Jackson didn’t sign it, but that seems like an a strange way to play things in this wide receiver market. Jackson could forestall any chance of that happening by signing the tender quickly, something that seems likely given how little chance everyone thinks there is that the two sides reach agreement on a long-term deal.
Either way, the Eagles are almost certain to tag Jackson, so there’s no reason for them not to listen to trade offers that come their way. They can always say no and keep Jackson so why rule it out before you know what someone might give up for him?