On the 11th day, the first franchise tag rested. On the shoulders of No. 10.
The Eagles announced on Thursday afternoon the placement of their franchise tender on receiver DeSean Jackson.
“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 G.M. Howie Roseman said. “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.”
The move comes as no surprise. The Eagles weren’t going to let Jackson walk away without compensation. Now, they can try to trade him to a team that would be willing to give Jackson a long-term deal. Or the Eagles can sign him to an acceptable long-term deal.
Jackson’s size and history of injuries (specifically concussions) continue to complicate the assessment of his value. If/when he’s signed to a multi-year deal with significant guaranteed money, the injury risk shifts to the team. Until then, the risk remains with Jackson.
With or without a long-term deal, Jackson will be eligible for a one-year, guaranteed contract that will pay him roughly $9.4 million in 2012. The Eagles can rescind the offer at any time before Jackson signs it — a fact worth keeping in mind, given that the Eagles in the past have stripped the tag from linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and defensive tackle Corey Simon.
Given that Jackson made only $600,000 in 2011, the final season of a four-year slotted rookie deal for a second-round pick, he should run even faster to sign the tender than he did when he returned that punt against the Giants. The only problem is that, once he signs the tender, he loses his leverage. If he doesn’t sign he’s not under contract and he can hold out. If he signs, he’d be subject to stiff daily penalties if he skips mandatory offseason workouts and/or training camp practices.
Of course, with a guaranteed salary of $9.4 million coming, he can more easily afford the fines.