DeSean Jackson and agent mum on contract

"There are bigger things . . . that I'm worried about," says DeSean Jackson, who will play in Sunday's Pro Bowl.
"There are bigger things . . . that I'm worried about," says DeSean Jackson, who will play in Sunday's Pro Bowl.
Posted: January 29, 2010

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Agent Drew Rosenhaus avoided the question as well as his top Eagles client evaded pass coverage during the season.

Asked about DeSean Jackson's contract situation, the agent said he wasn't inclined to discuss it as he continued to head upfield yesterday after the NFC squad's Pro Bowl practice at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Comcast SportsNet cited two sources as saying Rosenhaus is getting ready to approach the Eagles about an extension for the star wide receiver.

Two Eagles sources said yesterday that no discussions have taken place between Rosenhaus and the team. One of the two indicated that the team had a lot of issues to deal with and that Jackson's contract wasn't necessarily at the top of the to-do list.

Jackson just finished the second season of the four-year, $3.46 million rookie deal he signed in 2008 after the Eagles took him in the second round of the draft. In his short time with the team, he has emerged as coach Andy Reid's most dangerous weapon, which is why he is here this week as a member of the NFC's Pro Bowl squad.

"There are a lot of great players out here, and just to be with the rest of these guys is definitely an honor," said Jackson, who also declined to talk about his contract with The Inquirer. "Being the best of the best is just great for that competitive edge."

Jackson later went on WPEN-FM (97.5) and talked briefly about his contract.

"It would be great, but there are bigger things out there that I'm worried about," Jackson said. "I'm just going to train hard and work hard and enjoy myself right now. I'll let Drew be the aggressive one and I'll just sit back and handle what I can do."

He was asked if he expected a new, big contract before the start of next season.

"Hopefully, it would be nice," Jackson said. "I'm shooting for the top."

The Eagles have a long list of potential free agents as well as 11 players who will be going into the final year of their contracts next season. The latter group includes quarterbacks Donovan McNabb, Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick as well as Pro Bowl safety Quintin Mikell, Pro Bowl kicker David Akers and middle linebacker Stewart Bradley.

The list of restricted free agents includes Pro Bowl fullback Leonard Weaver, linebacker Akeem Jordan, receiver Jason Avant, and offensive lineman Nick Cole, all of whom are players the Eagles would like to keep. Contract negotiations this off-season could also be complicated by the lack of a new collective bargaining agreement and the anticipation of an uncapped 2010 season.

While it seems likely that the Eagles will want to sign Jackson to an extension, it may not happen as quickly as the receiver and his agent want it to happen.

Could that create some headaches for Reid, team president Joe Banner, and Howie Roseman, who is expected to be named general manager at some point in the near future?

Perhaps, but it seems unlikely that the turbulence will ever reach the proportion of the Terrell Owens disaster in 2005, when Rosenhaus tried and failed to get the wide receiver a new deal with the Eagles. Owens was on the second season of a seven-year deal. Jackson, at 23, is a player the Eagles want around for a long time.

Weaver, who is at the first Pro Bowl of his career, said he wants to remain with the Eagles, but the sides have not yet started talking about a new contract.

Mikell, who is also at his first Pro Bowl, said he would like an extension from the Eagles.

"Obviously, it's on my mind," Mikell said. "You play this game to win. You play this game to get a championship, but we're also professionals. Obviously, I feel like I've worked really hard and gotten better each year.

"The Eagles have continued to give me more opportunities and more responsibility - and each time I feel like I've stood up and done everything they've asked me to do. Hopefully, I've met their expectations. Obviously, I know there is a lot of stuff going on - but, hopefully, we can get something done."

Mikell, an undrafted free agent in 2003 who signed a four-year contract extension shortly after becoming a starter, has never received a huge contract. The largest base salary of his career was $1.3 million in 2009. He is the last remaining player on the Eagles' roster from the 2003 rookie class.

"Before I signed my last contract, there wasn't a whole lot of film, so there wasn't a whole lot for anyone to go on," Mikell said. "That contract was basically a special-teams contract. I'm a starter now and I've been a starter for a few years and, hopefully, something will get worked out. We haven't talked about anything . . . but I don't control that kind of stuff. All I can concentrate on is what I can control, which is getting ready for next year."


Contact staff writer Bob Brookover

at 215-854-2577 or bbrookover@phillynews.com.

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