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Eagles reward WR Jackson with long-term deal

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Posted March 14, 2012 @ 4:37 p.m. ET
By PFW staff

Updated March 14, 2012 @ 9:24 p.m. ET

On March 2, the Eagles placed the franchise tag on WR DeSean Jackson to prevent him from hitting free agency. Less than two weeks later, they reached a long-term deal with the explosive playmaker.

On Wednesday, the team and Jackson agreed to a five-year contract extension. According to Jason La Canfora of NFL.com, the deal is worth $48.5 million.

The 25-year old Jackson has been a dynamic player on the field and a controversial figure off it for the Eagles since being drafted in the second round of 2008. He has started 59 of the 60 games in which he has played since entering the league, gaining 17.8 yards per reception and scoring 28 touchdowns combined on receiving, rushing and returns.

However, he has had difficulties with the Eagles' coaching staff, missing a game last season because of a suspension for oversleeping a meeting. There were some doubts the team was willing to commit to him long term, but those doubts have been silenced with this move.

"We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL's top playmakers in Philadelphia," head coach Andy Reid said in a statement.

 

Fantasy spin

DeSean Jackson finally saw his payday, signing a five-year, $51 million deal, with $15 million reportedly guaranteed. At only 25 and entering his fifth season, he's in a perfect position to maximize his talent the next few years. His only obstacle is his attitude.

Jackson created a negative locker-room atmosphere that backfired last season as teammates chastised him, fans turned against him and the team even suspended him. I don't believe in players who put themselves above the team and teammates when already under contract. Those players are the ones I believe are likely to drop their elite production once they see their payday. However, in this case, I believe Jackson won't be allowed to slack off, considering his teammates, the coaching staff and the fans will be watching him closely.  

Expectations were high for Jackson in 2011, but he disappointed with 58-961-4 receiving on 104 targets. That's an average of 3.9 catches for 64.1 yards and 0.27 TDs in 15 games, but despite the disappointment, those numbers are not far off his career average. Remember, he's been a starter since entering the NFL and has a per-game average of 3.8 catches for 68.1 yards and 0.35 TDs in 60 games.

He may be overvalued going into the season, especially if the inconsistent QB play from last season rears its head in 2012. Michael Vick's style of play makes him prone to injury. Although Jackson is a valuable receiver, his attitude and true numbers, as opposed to his perceived value, give him some risk on draft day. Understand what you're drafting.

— William Del Pilar

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