Possibly getting lost in the whirlwind of excitement over the past few days are two significant moves the Eagles have not gotten done yet: Extending DeSean Jackson and signing first round pick Danny Watkins.
These two moves are just as important as the signings of Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin, and Cullen Jenkins.
Jackson needs to be at camp with his bank account satisfied. We all know what he brings to the offense in terms of his explosive play-making skills. Figuring out his worth could be a tricky endeavor for the Eagles’ front office though.
I wrote a piece a while back analyzing Jackson’s value, you can view it here.
What might complicate matters is the contract that Santonio Holmes just signed with the Jets. His deal is for five years, $50 million with $24 million guaranteed.
Holmes’ 52 catches for 746 and six TDs last season were not as good as Jackson’s 47 catches for 1,056 yards and six TDs. That’s also not to mention Jackson’s punt return prowess.
Jackson is clearly the more explosive player so he will certainly be looking at Holmes’ deal as a starting point in negotiations. Will the Eagles feel he is valued as such?
Since it appears the Eagles are going all in this year, they need to make Jackson happy. They cannot afford to have a star player of his caliber be distracted and/or be a distraction to the team.
If you didn’t realize it, there is a new rule under the new CBA where players that hold out and don’t report to camp by August 9th will lose a year of accrued service. So in essence, if he doesn’t show up by then, he’ll be in the same exact boat next year if he doesn’t get a new deal.
So expect Jackson at camp at least by then. Let’s just hope he’s a happy little guy.
As for Danny Watkins, I can’t fathom what the hold up is with his contract. The new CBA rules with the rookie wage scale should make things much easier to negotiate and agree.
Many first rounders have already signed, including the #20 and #25 pick. Watkins, at pick #23, is right in the middle of those two. What gives? Is he waiting to see what picks 22 and 24 get? If so, that sounds ridiculous.
Details of what could be holding up a deal aren’t clear although Adam Caplan tweeted that he heard it could have something to do with the number of guaranteed years (three vs. four).
The Eagles have stated they have offered Watkins a four year deal that is in line with other draft picks around him (presumably picks 20 and 25).
Again, with the Eagles going all in this year and Watkins being slated as the starting right guard, he needs all the practice time he can get. He’s already at a disadvantage due to the Lockout.
He is the main upgrade to a porous offensive line so we need to have him be the best he can possibly be. And that means getting into camp now.
I just hope that these two issues don’t drag on too long in what is already a historic offseason for the Eagles.