INDIANAPOLIS – In a little over two weeks, DeSean Jackson will find out if the Eagles intend to franchise him on the first day they are able to do so.
The wide receiver, who attended the NFL Honors Show on Saturday, said that he did not know where he stood with the Eagles.
“It’s out of my hands,” Jackson told NBC10 during a brief red carpet interview. “So hopefully I am and I will look forward to that. I’m just anxious to see what’s going to happen.”
Jackson’s four-year contract is up, but the Eagles have the option to place a one-year franchise tag on the 25-year-old beginning Feb. 20. The deadline for franchising a player is March 5.
Jackson said immediately following the season finale that he would be fine with the franchise tag, in which he would stand to earn approximately $10 million next season. Asked again Saturday if he would be OK with the tag, Jackson said, “I’m not talking about that right now. I’m here for the Super Bowl, man.”
If the Eagles don’t choose to franchise Jackson then he would be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13. The Eagles aren’t likely to let their Pro Bowl receiver walk without getting anything in return.
While the team will probably franchise Jackson with the intent of either keeping him for one more season or trading him, there is always the possibility of the two sides agreeing on a new contract. Indications, though, are that the Eagles and Jackson, who is represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus, are far apart in their estimation of his worth.
“I have no clue,” Jackson said when he was asked if the two parties had bridge the gap. “I don’t know. Still don’t know.”
Jackson had hoped to get a contract extension last year. He held out from the beginning of training camp as a sort of statement, but he did not raise a stink through the first two months of the season.
However, with the Eagles losing and Jackson struggling, he ran afoul in November. Coach Andy Reid benched him for the Cardinals game because he missed a meeting. And then the coach pulled him from the Patriots game when the receiver short-armed two passes.
Reid said last week, though, that Jackson was “all-in” for the final month of the season. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said last month that he wanted Jackson to return, but he did indicate that there were obstacles to that happening.
Jackson has been here for much of the week attending corporate events and various parties. He avoided Super Bowl media headquarters and ever-popular “Radio Row,” even though many free agents often make the rounds.
“Honestly, it’s a good time to be here and hang around meet executive, corporate sponsorships, people like that,” Jackson said. “So I’m just here branding myself. I just want to meet people and have a great time.”
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy also attended the awards show but neither player was up for an award. Host Alec Baldwin teased the Eagles when he made light of quarterback Vince Young’s “Dream Team” statement.
“It was a dream, like a dream wear you show up at school naked, you forget to study for the test and you lose four of your first five,” said Baldwin, who then called Jackson “DeSean Johnson” and asked if he and McCoy were “laughing. I’m not looking.”