Donovan McNabb asked for L.J. to be brought back, and the Eagles granted his wishes by designating L.J. Smith as their franchise player.
This move is really no surprise at all, as many have already speculated this would happen. The “non exclusive” franchise tag they used means that the Eagles can match any offer L.J. signs, or a team would have to give up two first rounds picks to the Eagles as compensation.
If L.J. signs the one year franchise tender then he will earn the average of the top five highest paid Tight Ends in the NFL. That number is actually very reasonable at $4.52 million.
L.J. says he is OK with being franchised, but I find that hard to believe. Most players hate getting franchised, because they would much prefer to hit the open market and get a long term contract. Other than Dallas Clark, there really were no great free agent TEs on the market, which means Little John would have probably gotten a huge pay day.