Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is scheduled to hit the free agent market as an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but it doesn't sound like the Philadelphia Eagles are going to let Jackson get there. If the Eagles cannot come to a long term agreement with Jackson, the team is expected to place the franchise tag on Jackson, according to a report by Jeff McClain of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Eagles are going to franchise DeSean Jackson, count on it. They will not let their Pro Bowl receiver - whose contract is set to expire - walk without getting something in return, according to NFL sources. So that means the Eagles will do one of three things before March 5:
They will franchise Jackson and keep him for the 2012 season.
They will franchise and then trade him.
Or they will agree to a contract extension with the 25-year-old, an unlikely proposition at this point.
Jackson has been playing on the 4-year $3 million deal he signed as a rookie when he was drafted in the second round by the Eagles in 2008. Jackson was expected to be one of the top free agent receivers in what's expected to be a deep receiver market, but the Eagles do not plan to let Jackson hit the open market. If Jackson is hit with the franchise tag, he's due to make $9.5 million guaranteed if he plays under the tag during the 2012 NFL season.
In Jackson's first few seasons in the NFL, he's proven to be an explosive playmaker who can score with the ball in his hands in a variety of different ways and from any point on the field. In four seasons, Jackson has over 4,000 receiving yards and 21 touchdown receptions, averaging nearly 18 yards per catch. Jackson is also a threat returning punts for the Eagles, bringing back four kicks for touchdowns in his career and averaging just over 10 yards per return.
While Jackson has been a headache at times for the Eagles with his attitude, it's clear the team doesn't want to lose his playmaking ability on the field.