|National Football League|
Eagles, WR DeSean Jackson agree on 5-year deal
By ROB MAADDI
(AP) -- DeSean Jackson got his wish after all.
Jackson agreed to a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday. The deal is worth $51 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because terms weren't officially announced.
The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver already was tagged as the franchise player, meaning he would've earned at least $9.4 million next season. Now, he gets the long-term security he sought last year.
Jackson held out last training camp because he wanted an extension and let the contract situation affect him. He was deactivated for a game for being late for a team meeting, dropped more passes than usual and his production dropped. But the Eagles are counting on Jackson to be the dynamic player he was in 2009-10.
"We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL's top playmakers in Philadelphia," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "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."
Philadelphia stumbled to an 8-8 season last year, but closed with four consecutive victories, building momentum for 2012. The Eagles finished, despite a 4-8 start, just one game behind the New York Giants, who not only won the NFC East, but also the Super Bowl.
Jackson has career totals of 229 receptions, 4,085 yards and 21 touchdowns in four years as an Eagle after being drafted out of Cal. He also has three rushing scores and a franchise-record four punt return touchdowns, as well.
"Signing our own players was a big priority for us this offseason," Reid said. "And DeSean was certainly high on our list. We are very excited about his future as an Eagle."
Jackson, 25, was named to the Pro Bowl following the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and is one of five players in NFL history to at least 900 yards receiving in each of his four seasons.
Earlier in the day, defensive end Trent Cole and the Eagles agreed on a four-year contract extension through 2017, and on Tuesday, offensive tackle Todd Herremans agreed to a three-year contract extension through 2016.
Cole is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who ranks third on the team's all-time list for sacks with 68. He had 11 sacks in 2011, his fourth season with a double-digit total.
"Trent plays the game with a level of tenacity that's hard to replicate," Reid said. "He's one of the premier defensive ends in the league."
While Jackson's contract situation was somewhat contentious, Cole and Herremans never said a word about it.
"I think that with Todd and me, we conducted business professionally, the way it's supposed to be conducted," Cole said. "We never went out to the media and complained. We did what we had to do to keep moving and we didn't cause any problems with the team and this atmosphere."
With the key returnees, there's a feeling - inside the organization, at least - that Philadelphia will return to its status as a perennial playoff team in the NFC.
"As the season went on, we started coming together a lot more and it showed by us winning our (last four) games," Herremans said. "We really feel that we don't need any extra pieces brought to us in free agency. We feel that the team we have in the locker room can make a great run and go to the Super Bowl next year."
The Eagles spent plenty of money in free agency last year, signing several players with high pedigrees. They were expected to contend for the Super Bowl, and had to play under the "Dream Team" label that was attached to them by backup quarterback Vince Young, one of those high-priced signings that didn't pan out.
Updated March 14, 2012