Philadelphia Eagles Must Avoid Overpaying for Inconsistent DeSean Jackson

Ryan PhillipsContributor IIIFebruary 28, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 01: DeSean Jackson #10 of the Philadelphia Eagles carries the ball against the Washington Redskins at Lincoln Financial Field on January 1, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Eagles are currently figuring out what to do with wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who will likely be given the franchise tag before the March 5th deadline. Jackson was a huge disappointment in 2011 and his frustration over not having a long-term contract likely contributed to that. 

In fact, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Eagles have actually been fielding trade offers for Jackson, who may have turned off team executives with the way he performed in 2011. 

Still, the 25-year-old Cal product averaged 57 receptions, 1,041 yards and six touchdowns during his first three seasons in Philadelphia, while also adding three rushing touchdowns and four more on punt returns. He is obviously a valuable commodity and the Eagles either need to get a lot in return for him, or sign him up long term.

But thanks to an average season where Jackson only caught 58 passes for 961 yards and four touchdowns while barely contributing in the return game, his value is now in question. The Eagles simply can't risk committing a ton of money to him long term if this past season is any indication of what his future will look like. 

Jackson was a problem in the locker room and was even benched at one point during Philadelphia's 8-8 season. After seeing what happened when the New York Jets gave Santonio Holmes a big contract, clearly the Eagles don't want to make the same mistake.

Whatever happens with Jackson over the next few weeks and months, Philadelphia must be smart and not overcommit themselves to a guy who now has a history of acting against the best interests of the team. If the Eagles can work out a reasonable long-term deal, then so be it, but they can't get backed into overpaying for a guy like Jackson.