Recently DeSean Jackson finally received the long term contract he deserved from the Eagles. Jackson was slapped with the franchise tag earlier in the month back on March 2nd. Under the franchise tag he would have received a 1 year deal for 9.5 million in 2012. But the possibility of that deal is a thing of the past as Jackson was awarded with a 5 year deal good through 2016. The deal pays DeSean approximately $51 million with $18 million of it guaranteed.
Jackson was looking for a pay day from the Eagles since the beginning of last season when he briefly held out of training camp. The deal in my opinion is well deserved and just right for Jackson and the Eagles. Number 10 will have long term security going into next season and a substantial increase in his paychecks which will make him happy. The Eagles will have the speed and outstanding playmaking ability of Jackson at their disposal until 2016. DeSean will be in Eagle green during the prime of his career. By the time the deal is up he’ll be 30 which is usually right around the time the Eagles let a guy walk if they feel that player is on the downside of his career. This great for Eagle fans everywhere. For those of you out there who did nothing but hate on DeSean all last season the time is now to change your mind about him.
Andy Reid had the following to say about DeSean: “We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL’s top playmakers in Philadelphia. DeSean is a game-breaker, he has the speed and ability to score from anywhere on the field, and he has proven himself to be a big threat for our offense. Signing our own players was a big priority for us this offseason and DeSean was certainly high on our list. We are very excited about his future as an Eagle”. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Andy Reid is largely responsible for the Eagles underachieving so badly in 2011 but he’s absolutely correct about DeSean Jackson. His ability to score from anyplace on the field is something special and that combined with his game-breaking speed is why the Eagles needed to keep Jackson and not allow another team to use that speed against them.
Jackson will go into 2012 with 230 career receptions for 4,096 yards and 21 touchdowns receiving and 7 more touchdowns rushing or on punt returns. He has 13 touchdowns of 60 yards or more since entering the league in 2008 which is 6 more than any other NFL player during the same span. Jackson is one of five players in NFL history to post at least 900 yards in each of his first 4 seasons and has the most receiving yards by an Eagle after four seasons.
DeSean doesn’t have the size to take on the big hit from linebackers and safeties looking to punish receivers over the middle of the field. But the Eagles realize this and know a deep threat is a must in this league. Andy Reid knows DeSean better than anyone and realizes his strengths. DeSean is a deep threat and will continue to make cornerbacks and safeties play deep against the Eagles offense opening up space for guys like Jeremy Maclin, Brent Celek, and LeSean McCoy.
According to some of you out there DeSean is a punk. His attitude is all wrong and he’s bad for the locker room. I see nothing wrong with him being a punk or having some swagger. This team needs players who are confident and cocky on the field. They underachieved in a major way in 2011 and will need all the confidence they can get to climb back into the playoff picture in 2012. I see DeSean’s attitude only improving over time now that he finally was paid. The guy had to sit their last season and watch free agent after free agent come in and collect monster paychecks from the team while he was over looked. I’m pretty sure some of you out there would have felt slighted as well if the company you work for decided to hire new employees and award them with salaries significantly higher than yours after you’ve been with the company in a major role for a few years already. DeSean’s punk attitude last year was justified and in my opinion for the most part he did a great job at playing the good soldier role. He played with a lot on his mind in 2011 and still went over 1,000 yards receiving. Just imagine what he can do now with a clear mind and a sense of value from the franchise.
Maybe the Eagles learned from their past mistakes finally. During the past decade they had another wide receiver named Terrell Owens who sulked about his contract. They let that situation ruin the entire team. I firmly believe if the Eagles took care of T.O. years ago the way they took care of DeSean we all would have been celebrating a Superbowl by now. T.O. most likely would have lost his attitude and a happy T.O. could have been the difference for this team back then…
Now it’s time for DeSean Jackson to step up and show he’s worth every penny of his contract. I expect a huge season from DeSean in 2012 to backup his worth. Now that the contract situation is finally settled he can begin focusing on his game and what he needs to do to help make this offense the best in the league. DeSean will finally be happy once again and a happy DeSean will be a better DeSean on the field.