The Eagles, according to multiple media reports last week, plan to use their franchise tag on DeSean Jackson. If they do so, they'll be showing once again why their fans have lost all trust in them. It's moves like this that are the reason the Eagles haven't won a championship since 1960.
First of all, Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy are clearly the Eagles' franchise players, and it's a slap in the face to both to give that designation to Jackson.
Secondly, after Jackson spent the entire 2011 season sulking, complaining about his contract and not producing, it's wrong for them to reward that behavior with a huge raise to the franchise number, which is expected to be around $9 million.
Of course, some reports say the Eagles franchised D-Jax with the intention of trading him. This, too, is completely unacceptable. I mean, do you want him suiting up for the Cowboys, Giants or Patriots and coming back to haunt his former team? I sure don't.
If the Eagles are serious about wanting Jackson on their team, they should man up and sign him long-term. But clearly, they won't do that - they're too cheap.
Look back over the years of the Lurie/Banner/Reid regime: There's a long list of ex-Eagles who the team unceremoniously put out to pasture when they got too old and/or expensive: Brian Westbrook, Jeremiah Trotter, Bobby Taylor, Jon Runyan, Corey Simon, Hugh Douglas, Tra Thomas, Lito Sheppard... need I go on?
Now granted, most of these guys never did a thing in the league after leaving Philadelphia. But this is about loyalty, not about money, a lesson the Eagles still have yet to learn.
So here's what the Eagles should do: Sign Jackson to an extension. Plaxico Burress has expressed interest in signing with the Eagles - sign him, too. Randy Moss is coming out of retirement? Him too. You can never have too many big-time wide receivers, and besides - the team's biggest problem in 2011 was not enough star power.
So, in conclusion: Jackson has behaved inappropriately and is unworthy of the franchise tag. But he's such an important player that the Eagles should spare no expense in signing him long-term. It would be classless, and an insult to the fan base, not to.
Other Philly sports takes:
- The Phillies' pitchers and catchers reported this week. If the rumors are true about the Phillies getting a super-lucrative new TV deal, they'll never have an excuse about not signing a free agent ever again.
- Now that the Sixers have lost three in a row, is it time to panic yet? Because I'm already panicking about the Flyers, Eagles and Phillies.
- I'm sorry that Ilya Bryzgalov still has yet to "try to find peace in my soul to play in this city." But luckily, he's got eight and a half more years to figure it out.
- First Lenny Dykstra goes broke, then Terrell Owens, and now Allen Iverson. The lesson is clear to all Philadelphia athletes: If you're controversial and do things that middle-aged sportswriters aren't comfortable with, things will turn out bad for you.
- Rest in peace, Gary Carter. I'm still mad at the Phillies for never trading for you.