The Eagles are going to franchise DeSean Jackson, count on it.
They will not let their Pro Bowl receiver – whose contract is set to expire – walk without getting something in return, according to NFL sources.
So that means the Eagles will do one of three things before March 5:
They will franchise Jackson and keep him for the 2012 season.
They will franchise and then trade him.
Or they will agree to a contract extension with the 25-year-old, an unlikely proposition at this point.
It’s actually a lot more complicated than those three basic things. A couple weeks ago, Sam Lynch of Iggles Blitz kind of ruined it for the rest of us writers when he penned the DeSean Jackson reference piece of the offseason. It’s absolutely worth the read in its entirety, but here’s the part that’s relevant to the news of DeSean being franchise tagged:
A few things to know (about the tag):
- The franchise tag must be applied prior to free agency. What it really physically is often gets confused. A franchise tag means that the Eagles will essentially send DeSean Jackson a contract (a “tender offer”) for his signature with $9.5 million guaranteed. If Jackson chooses to sign with another team instead, the Eagles get a high level of draft pick compensation, two first round picks, from the team he signs with. Jackson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is allowed to talk to other teams about DeSean once free agency begins.
- However, DeSean Jackson does not have to sign this tender offer. And until he does, he is a free agent and not under contract to any team. That means not only does he not have to attend minicamp or training camp until he signs the tender, he isn’t ALLOWED to attend those because he isn’t actually on the team.
- Another consequence of not actually being on the team is that he can’t be traded until he signs a contract either. Thus, the Eagles can’t trade him without his consent until he signs that offer. This gives him leverage in a trade because no deal can be made unless the acquiring team is going to give him a contract he’s happy with. The Eagles had a deal to trade Corey Simon to Baltimore in 2005, but it didn’t go through because Simon couldn’t reach a deal with the Ravens. Additionally, teams will be willing to offer less to the Eagles in a trade as their cost of signing Jackson increases.
- The $9.5 million will be paid in 1/17th installments in each week of the regular season. He gets $0 when he signs. He only gets cash in week 1. Thus, there is no financial incentive to DeSean to sign the tender offer early, because there is no bonus up-front.
- The $9.5 million is only guaranteed once the offer is signed. If the team rescinds the offer before it is signed then DeSean Jackson has no claim on that $9.5 million. We saw this happen with Corey Simon.
- I believe that the absolute deadline to sign his deal without missing the whole year is the week prior to game 11, which would allow him to officially accrue a season of playing time. I haven’t checked the new CBA, but I don’t recall a change to that rule. He will lose 1/17th of his salary for each regular season week he misses, but that is ultimately his choice.
The upshot of all of this is that if Jackson is tagged, and no other deal is worked out, there is almost no chance we will see DeSean in training camp (let alone minicamp). Reporters will cover this breathlessly as a hold out, but in reality it is a non-event. Why would this guy risk his body in minicamp or waste his time when he doesn’t get paid until Week 1 anyway. Further, it isn’t like he needs to learn the offense, and he so far hasn’t been a player who has needed to get into shape anyway.
What will matter is if he starts missing regular season weeks. That will be punishing the team and himself at the same time … but this is a guy with a history of doing just that. Oh, and by the way, once his year under the tag is up, he’s an unrestricted free agent again. The team can keep him for year two with the tag, but then it wouldn’t be able use the tag to keep Shady McCoy or Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (if he has one of his Pro Bowl quality years). And Shady’s agent is … Drew Rosenhaus. Yay.
So again, it’s a little more complicated than the perception of what the franchise tag really is.
“I know they run the wide-nine. That’s about all I know. That’s what they’re still running, right?” Kuechly asked.
Cowboys, Redskins, and Giants after the jump…
Loved Calvin’s assessment of how badly the Cowboys need help here:
Need meter (1-5): 3
For real, Calvin? 3? You’re OK a few young guys that haven’t proven yet that they can play (Phil Costa, Bill Nagy, David Arkin, Kevin Kowalski), and a bunch of older players that are either sharply in decline or little more than scrap heap bodies (Kyle Kosier, Montrae Holland, Derrick Dockery)? 3? Seriously?
Full list of every NFL team here (via PFT).
I always struggle with where to put T.O. stories. Do I put them under the Eagles or the Cowboys? T.O. recently said that if he goes to the H.O.F., he’ll go as a Cowboy. I should note players don’t actually go into the H.O.F. with a team in the NFL like they do in MLB, but whatever. Anyway, Dallas seems to be where his heart is, so you guys can have him.
This doesn’t really affect any of the NFCE teams’ fans, as they all always sell out their games (even if the Skins can’t keep opposing fans out of their stadium on occasion), but interesting nonetheless. Hey FCC, while you’re at it, go after the monopoly the NFL has with DirecTV for the NFL Sunday Ticket. Thanks.
Not much in the way of Skins news this morning.
They drafted three lineman the past three years to take out their veterans when the time comes: Will Beatty, Mitch Petrus and James Brewer. The Giants also brought in a center – David Baas – to anchor their line. These players are all in the team’s plans.
The veteran core of Chris Snee, David Diehl and Kareem McKenzie are still all workable parts. Kevin Boothe, the object of many a critic, is coming off a strong season in which he played multiple positions.
Snee and Diehl are coming back. So is Boothe. McKenzie is a free agent, who could be retained at the right price. By my count, that makes eight offensive lineman. Stacy Andrews, providing he’s healthy, makes nine.
Twice, Jerry Reese has been called out about having Diehl at LT. Twice, the Giants won Super Bowls with Big Dave at LT.
I agree that Snee is coming back, as will starters Will Beatty and David Bass. Boothe will also be back again as a reserve, and yeah, maybe McKenzie will be back at RT as well, but he’ll be 33 in May. I think the one thing I disagree with here is that David Diehl is a slam dunk to return. Diehl was horrible in 2011, and while it is indeed true that the Giants have won two titles with him at LT, I’d probably rephrase that by saying they won (this year at least) despite Diehl having to move out to LT. The Giants are only $1.06 million under the cap, and Diehl is set to make a little more than $3.8 million in 2012. A decision needs to be made there. Maybe Diehl will take a pay cut. If he doesn’t, he could very well be a goner.
Wrestling is dumb. Unless you’re 11.