With nearly 1,200 yards receiving, 63 receptions, nine receiving touchdowns, two punt return touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and (tying) the single-season record for touchdowns over 50 yards with eight (and another for 47), it's clear DeSean Jackson has outplayed his contract.
Add in the fact that he became the only player in NFL history to get voted into the Pro Bowl at two different positions, and there's not a single argument that can be made to the contrary.
However, according to Jackson, it looks like he'll be underpaid once again next season.
"There has been no progress so far," Jackson said at a youth football camp he was hosting in New Jersey. "I'm looking forward to just working with them and hopefully making something happen."
So Jackson is still saying all the right things, but it's likely that will only continue through the upcoming season, if even that long. The media speak is clearly coached, as he was much more blunt about his contract earlier on in the process.
He has said previously that he believes he is well-deserving of a new deal, and there are still those who believe his absence from voluntary OTAs was at least partially a message to the Eagles that he might miss more in the future if need be.
Personally, I'm torn on what I think about players asking for new deals.
The career of an NFL player, for the most part, is short. And dangerous. Therefore, it makes sense that these guys are trying to squeeze every penny they can out of whichever team they play for.
And for all the heat a player will catch for asking for some new money, teams are never criticized for dumping the contract of a player not performing. If the players are expected to live up to their deals, then why is the same not expected of the guy signing the checks?
The NFL has shown over and over that contracts are written on toilet paper. Owners have also shown that they're not very loyal to their players.
If Jackson were to tear out his knee next season, he would have now missed an opportunity to make enough money to be set for life. He's made good money as far as the average person is concerned, but an injury would leave a young guy stranded without much of a plan.
Jeff Lurie certainly isn't going to pay Jackson after he's blown out his knee because he deserved a new contract before it happened. So with that in mind, it makes sense that guys like Jackson, Chris Johnson, and Vincent Jackson are pressing early for more money.
I don't expect Jackson to get a new deal before the season starts, but he certainly could get one during the season. The Eagles have done that before, especially with young just-budding stars they feel they can trap into a contract that will just barely pay them what they're worth when they finally hit their stride.
Just ask Sheldon Brown, Lito Sheppard, Shawn Andrews, Reggie Brown, etc.
From that list, it's clear that some of those deals panned out in their favor, and others blew up in their face.
Jackson looks to be a sure-fire superstar, so I say it's time to show him the money he's worth and move on in order to prevent what could turn into a volatile situation like it did with Sheppard, Brown towards the end, and even Brian Westbrook a couple of years ago.
But don't hold your breath on that happening any time soon.
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