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Eagles slap DeSean Jackson with franchise tag

03.01.12 at 5:01 pm ET
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It looks like wide receiver DeSean Jackson is headed back to Philly. (AP)

Cross one possible free-agent wide receiver off the Patriots’ wish list.

DeSean Jackson, the occasional mercural pass-catcher, was hit with the franchise tag by the Eagles on Thursday afternoon. Jackson was the first player franchised in the available window that runs between now and March 5. While it’s expected that the two sides will continue to discuss a long-term deal, the tag means the 25-year-old Jackson is now currently under a one-year contract with Philadelphia at the franchise tag rate, which is roughly $9.4 million.

“We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that,” Eagles GM Howie Roseman said of Jackson, who finished last season with 58 catches, 961 yards and four touchdowns. “DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia. It’s our understanding that he has the same desire.  We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.”

Jackson was one of several receivers who were free-agent possibilities this offseason for New England, a group that includes Reggie Wayne, Marques Colton, Dwayne Bowe, Stevie Johnson and Brandon Lloyd. (In addition, New England’s Wes Welker and Deion Branch are slated to become free agents, but it’s expected that Welker will also be slapped with the franchise tag between now and March 5.)

Read More: Brandon Lloyd, Deion Branch, DeSean Jackson, Dwayne Bowe Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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