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Sources: Eagles to franchise DeSean

According to ESPN and the Associated Press, the Philadelphia Eagles, one year removed from a disappointing 8-8 season, will likely put the franchise tag on fourth-year wideout DeSean Jackson. It will cost them around $9.5 million, according to the new rules set in by the revamped CBA agreed on during the summer.

Following a rather rocky start to the season, in which tension over contract negotiations bubbled to the surface, the Eagles were unable (or not willing) to sign Jackson to a long-term deal, and a benching against Arizona for missing a meeting didn’t necessarily help.

Jackson after a tough loss to Seattle, in which he was criticized for "taking plays off".

Jackson’s vocalizations of his frustrations stayed pretty infrequent throughout the season, however, except for games against San Fran and Saint Louis, was not nearly as productive as came to be expected of the former Pro-Bowler. Not only did he have his first season without a returning touchdown, but he also had his worst receiving season since his rookie season in terms of yardage and touchdowns, finishing with only 961 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The franchise tag means that Jackson’s departure from Philadelphia [if he isn’t signed] is delayed by 1 year.

This comes as somewhat of a surprise, considering the fact that the Eagles management seemed fed up with Jackson’s attitude and that Jeremy Maclin has developed into the number one target Andy Reid thought he had in 2010-2011. In only 13 games, Maclin had nearly 860 yards and 6 touchdowns, putting him on pace for over 1100 yards and 8 touchdowns. In addition, his drop rate was 15% lower than that of D-Jack.

Jackson’s response to questions a month ago regarding being franchise tagged included, “Hey, it’d be all right. God’s got a plan, brother.” He told this to CSNPhilly a couple days after the Eagles defeated the Redskins in Week 17.

Jackson, known as a Giants killer, has been the most explosive Eagle since he entered the NFL.

The Eagles offense, even with Jackson and Vick having down seasons, was led by arguably the best running back in the league, former Pitt star LeSean McCoy. For three years now Jackson has been the focal point of the Eagles’ offensive scheme, and him leaving the team seemed impossible at the beginning of the season. However, yet another disappointing Eagles result leaves many calling for an uprooting of the current foundation, including Jackson, so the franchise tag could simply be a way for the Eagles to keep Jackson long enough to trade him.

Jackson is believed to have been contacted by several teams inquiring about his availability in the case that he entered free agency (via cbssports.com).

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Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Beat Writing, Eagles

Author:Manav Khandelwal

I am the founder of Khandyman Sports, and follow all Philadelphia pro sports teams religiously. I also write for the Hoop76, covering the Sixers for ESPN, and am a credentialed Flyers reporter for Main Line Media News.

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