Many figured DeSean Jackson would have to play under the franchise tag this year. Last year, despite a spending spree on free agents from elsewhere, the Eagles wouldn’t budge in contract talks with the dynamic wide receiver, and thus the two sides were expected to battle over contract terms throughout this offseason. There was even word that the team might have been shopping Jackson after tagging him in February.
But this week, Jackson agreed to a new five-year contract worth $51 million, keeping him in Philadelphia through 2016. But interestingly, he’ll only get $15 million guaranteed, which is less than $6 million more than he would have received under the tag in 2012.
DeSean Jackson joined Mike Missanelli on 97.5 the Fanatic in Philadelphia to tell the story of how things got done with his new contract. He also responded to the notion that he got a bad deal and over-extended himself for upfront money, tried to explain why this didn’t happen last year, defended his world-famous agent and discussed his expectations for next season. Oh, and naturally, he weighed in on the Peyton Manning sweepstakes.
On what was going on behind the scenes:
“Actually, Jason and Drew Rosenhaus and Howie Roseman did a good job kinda playing the role behind the scenes and keeping it quiet and really just kinda coming to a deal and working on terms for us to agree on. A lot of people could have said why’d you settle? Or, you could have got this or that? But I just feel very comfortable with the situation here in Philly, I wanted to be here. And I’m just excited about the opportunity, I’m able to go out there and just keep putting it on the line for my team and help bring a Super Bowl to the city.”
On the impression that the Eagles got him under-priced:
“Honestly, I’m not getting too caught up in that. Like I said, my deal’s worth up to $51 million so throughout my deal I know I’m able to make certain money in my deal. So that’s not my focus. I’m just happy I’m able to come and just have a guy like Andy Reid and Howie Roseman and Jeff Lurie just believe in me and just give me the opportunity. It doesn’t have to be up front, but I’d rather be here in Philadelphia. I could have done the franchise (tag) but I just felt comfortable with the situation what it is right now.”
On if he overextended himself to get money up front:
“Honestly, I just wanted to be fed. Now I’m set for life, regardless of what people think or what people say. I’m very blessed to get this opportunity. And you know honestly, this is just the start for me, and I’m not content. I still want to go out there and just do everything I’ve been doing the past couple years. And I’m just letting my talent speak for itself. I know what I’m capable of doing and this right here is just a step toward me knowing what I’m worth in my future. And I know what I’m able to bring to the table with the Eagles and I just feel this is a comfortable situation I’m happy with, and as far as what anybody says, you know, per year I feel like I’m getting what I’m worth. So regardless of me not getting my guaranteed up front, I know it’s in my contract and I know I can go out there and just play good. And that’s really all I’m worried about is just going out there and focusing and letting my game speak for itself. The money situation is gonna take care of itself but as long as I’m out there playing, the sky’s the limit on how much money I can make.”
On why this didn’t happen last year:
“I wish I had the answer, buddy, but all I can say is I’m just happy that it’s happened and it’s nothing I ever have to worry about anymore. I’m happy with it, my family’s happy. Now I can start moving forward and doing the things that I need to do in life to make my money make money for itself instead of spending. So I think I have a great plan and I have people in my corner who are going to help me out. And I’m aware of all the athletes that spent through the majority of all their money, and that’s just something I don’t wanna go down that route. So I’m just prepared for it and I have opportunities to get certain things and make my money work for itself so anything else anybody says I can’t really care less about.”
On if he ever considered changing agents:
“Well throughout the process there were a lot of different scenarios that I was gonna come out with, but sticking with Drew Rosenhaus and Jason was more key than anything. We stuck together and I was loyal to them and they were loyal to me. So I’m just happy it worked out after everybody said that they wouldn’t get a long-term deal done with the Eagles and everybody said I wasn’t going to get a deal done, period, with the Eagles. It just shows what everybody knows. I’m just happy that the Eagles stepped up and they gave me their word and I gave them my word. People might look at it and think, ‘Well, he’s not getting this’ but I’m really not worried about that. I feel I’ve got my worth and I’m able to make the money I’m comfortable with making.”
On if he’d have been comfortable playing under the franchise tag:
“Yeah, definitely I would’ve been happy, of course. Going from $600,000 to $9.5 (million) in one year, that’s–I mean for me to not be happy about that, I mean of course. But I just wanted the security more than anything, and a one-year deal is definitely not as secure as a five-year deal. So I would rather have the guarantee than have it where I can earn my money when I’m going out there and playing like I’m capable of playing. So regardless of anything else, that’s the only thing that’s going to stop me from getting my worth — is me not playing to my potential. And I know what I’m worth so I’m gonna go out there and put it on the line.”
On what his first purchase will be when he gets that $10 million in his hands:
“The first thing I’m gonna buy, I just really wanna beef it up — I wanna buy my mom a house, and then from there I’m gonna buy myself a house.”
On his expectations for 2012:
“This year, I feel like I’m almost back at my rookie year. I just feel like after everybody kind of turned their backs on me . . . and I feel like that edge is kind of on my side, and I feel almost the edge is against me. So I just wanna go out there and just have a fun year and just enjoy it with my teammates and just win, man. And as long we’re doing that and we’re having fun regardless of what my numbers come to at the end of the year, as long as we win and we get to where we need to get to, everything else is set in stone.”
On where’d go if he were Peyton Manning:
“That’s really a good question, but I’d let Tebow get a shot and go to Tennessee.”