DeSean Jackson knows what he's worth, knows that he's probably underpaid, but the Eagles wide receiver said today that he's going to "patiently wait" for a new contract.
"I'm not going to panic," Jackson said today at Franklin Field, where he and teammates Brent Celek and Stewart Bradley were on hand for the unveiling of plans to honor the 50th anniversary of the 1960 championship Eagles team. "I'm not going to sit here and be a crybaby about it. I definitely know what I'm worth."
After two seasons in the NFL, Jackson has cemented himself as one of the top wide receivers in the game. Last season, he caught 62 passes for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns. He also led the league in punt returns, averaging 15.2 yards a return and running back two for scores.
Jackson, though, was drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft and therefore didn't get a large rookie contract. He's due to earn $805,000 ($470,000 base salary, $335,000 roster bonus) this coming season.
The Eagles more than likely would prefer to lock Jackson into a long-term deal. But a new rule in the expiring collective bargaining agreement limits increase in base salary to 30 percent in each successive year.
"It's unfortunate, but you can't get frustrated because it's not going to change until the [union] makes a deal with the NFL," Jackson said about the 30-percent rule. "You just have to deal with it and hopefully something will work out."
Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb recently had his deal restructured even though he was curtailed by the 30-percent rule. Kolb, though, was in the last year of his deal. Jackson has two years left on his rookie contract.
Kolb also only received a one-year extension. More than $10 million of the guaranteed $12.26 million came in the form of a signing bonus. It may be in Jackson's best interest to wait a year, see how the tenuous labor situation unfolds, and then try for a long-term deal.
"Whatever it is I'd be happy with that," Jackson said. "I'm not here to make a big issue out of it or complain about it because that's not what I do. I feel my relationship that I have with the Eagles and the front office is a [good] one and I'm patiently waiting. Hopefully, it will be done sooner than later."