Thoughts on DeSean Jackson’s Five-Year, $51 Million Deal

DeSean Jackson is coming back to town. And he’s here to stay.

I gotta’ tell you, I didn’t see this one coming.

The Eagles have signed yet another one of their core players to a long-term contract extension, and no, it’s still not RB LeSean McCoy.

In what has to be considered at least a bit of a shocking move, the Eagles have signed WR DeSean Jackson to a pricey 5-year, $51 million dollar contract.

Conventional wisdom suggested that Jackson would play out the 2012 season under the terms of the franchise tag and then the two sides would revisit the situation next offseason. So much for conventional wisdom.

Obviously, the Eagles weren’t kidding when they said they wanted to keep Jackson in Philadelphia for the foreseeable future.

“We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL’s top playmakers in Philadelphia,” Andy Reid said in a news release. “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.”

There’s no denying Jackson’s unique playmaking ability. The Eagles offense needs a player of Jackson’s caliber in order maximize its abilities. There are many detractors of Jackson, however, that believe the Eagles would have been best served to let the wide receiver simply walk away or dish him in return for draft compensation.

That makes no sense. There was never any way the Eagles would allow Jackson, in the prime of his career, nonetheless, to jet town without receiving anything in return.

If you want to make an argument that the Eagles would have been better off ponying up the extra cash to sign Vincent Jackson–fine. I understand that. But there was never any guarantee that the Eagles could sign the former Chargers Pro Bowler, whereas they controlled the rights to Jackson via the franchise tag.

Ultimately, if the Eagles let DeSean Jackson walk, they could have ended up with neither player. And that would have been an unmitigated disaster. In the end, the Eagles played it safe and opted for continuity on offense, something they’re banking on yielding much better results in 2012.

And, for the record, Jackson’s deal falls between that of the newly inked Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon. The deal includes a guaranteed $15 million, less than the $20.5 million guaranteed to Garcon by Washington.

Jackson has compiled 229 catches for 4,085 yards and 21 touchdowns since coming to the Eagles as a second round pick out of California in 2008.

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