DeSean Jackson gets the big pay day

DeSean Jackson didn’t have to wear the franchise tag very long.

One day into the start of the new league year, the wide receiver has the kind of shiny, new contract he’s been seeking for some time. The Philadelphia Eagles reached terms with Jackson on a five-year contract that is worth a maximum value of $51 million.

It’s a long ways from the $9.4 million he was going to receive with the franchise tag. The contract will ease any issues that had developed for Jackson, who had been vocal at times about his frustration with his contract. It probably affected his performance on the field last season, too, when he said his primary goal was not to be injured.

“We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL’s top playmakers in Philadelphia,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said in a statement released by the team. “DeSean is a game breaker, he has the speed and ability to score from anywhere on the field, and he has proven himself to be a big threat for our offense. Signing our own players was a big priority for us this offseason and DeSean was certainly high on our list. We are very excited about his future as an Eagle.”

Jackson, 25, was a second-round draft pick in 2008. He is a two-time Pro Bowl performer. He has been a big playmaker in the offense and the Eagles need him to return to form. Philadelphia was pressed up against the salary cap last year after signing Michael Vick to a long-term contract. The next big challenge for the organization will be a deal for running back LeSean McCoy, arguably more valuable to the offense than Jackson.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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