As we wait to see what the Eagles decide to do with DeSean Jackson, it's worth taking a look at the latest buzz surrounding the other wide receivers who could potentially hit the market when free agency begins on March 13.
And based on this week's reports, many of the big names are expected to stay put.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Chiefs are expected to use the franchise tag on Dwayne Bowe if the two sides can't agree to a long-term deal.
And the Patriots are prepared to do the same with Wes Welker, according to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald.
Meanwhile, the Chargers are not expected to use the tag on Vincent Jackson, but are willing to pay big money to keep him in the fold. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Chargers are prepared to offer between $10M and $11M annually on a five-year deal. But if Jackson hits free agency, he'll be able to test the market and see exactly how much a team is willing to pay for his services.
According to the Buffalo News, Stevie Johnson is likely seeking about $8M a year. Johnson told the team's Web site he's optimistic a deal will be in place with the Bills in the next week or so.
And finally, Mario Manningham is not expected back with the Giants, according to Clark Judge of CBSSports.com. Per Judge, the Bucs could make a run at Manningham.
What does all this mean for Jackson and the Eagles? The more receivers that stay put, the better the market will be for Jackson if the Birds decide to tag him and trade him. Then again, it also means there could be fewer options to replace Jackson if the Eagles deal him.
Teams have until March 5 to decide on the franchise tag.
COMBINE, DRAFT NOTES
Good column worth checking out from Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. McGinn talked to five personnel men to get their takes on 50 of the top prospects in the draft. Here are the nuggets on a couple players who have been linked to the Eagles.
First, Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly:
Three-year starter with whopping production (532 tackles, including 35½ for loss, and seven interceptions). "Kuechly has a natural nose for the ball," one scout said. "He can play all three downs." Compared by scouts to Paul Posluszny, Barrett Ruud and Sean Lee. Not as big as James Laurinaitis. "Tackle to tackle guy who can run a little bit and cover a little bit," another scout said. "He makes plays. He finds the ball. Just a solid, undersized kind of guy."
And Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox:
Started two of his three seasons, finishing with 8½ sacks. "He's probably a pure 4-3 DT who can give you reps at DE," one scout said. "He's got the athletic ability to be a better pass rusher in the future than his numbers have indicated so far." Nicknamed "The Beast." Said another scout: "Guy can run all day. He's explosive, strong hands, good hips. He's country. He's hard. He looooves football."
I recommend checking out the entire article.
And if you're wondering about the combine schedule, quarterbacks, wide receivers and running backs go through physical tests Sunday. Defensive linemen and linebackers go Monday. And defensive backs go Tuesday.
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