Eagles Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson is optimistic that he’ll get a long-term contract extension before the end of the season, Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.
“Sometimes it does get hard, but I think it will be worked out; it’ll be good,” Jackson said Thursday. “Without trying to say too much, I think things will work out good here. We’re after the bye week now, so there’s a lot more time for things to get done.”
The Eagles have often extended some of their young players during November, as there have been indications from sources close to Jackson that negotiations between the team and Jackson’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, have picked up.
Jackson is believed to want a deal similar to the five-year, $45 million contract ($24 million guaranteed) Jets wideout Santonio Holmes received in July.
The electrifying pass catcher has 196 receptions for 3,591 yards and 19 touchdowns during his 51-game career with the Eagles, who used the 49th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft on the former Cal Golden Bear.
The playmaker Jackson topped 60 receptions in each of his first two season in the league, has over 330 yards and three touchdowns rushing and has averaged nearly 11 yards on 106 punt returns, returning four for touchdowns.
Although hauling in only 47 balls in 2010, Jackson led the NFL with a 22.5-yard average. He also produced the only punt return for touchdown on the final play from scrimmage in the history of the NFL against the Giants last season.
On the season, DeSean has recorded 24 catches for 456 yards (19.0 yards per catch), and a pair of touchdowns.
In the final year of his rookie contract, Jackson is earning $600,000 in base salary this season. If the Eagles are unable to sign Jackson to a long-term extension, they are expected to use the franchise tag on Jackson in February.
The franchise tag for wide receivers in 2012 is projected to be around $9.3 million.
Beyond the numbers: It has been a rather disappointing campaign so far for Jackson, who has only generated one reception over 50 yards (61-yard gain vs. 49ers) this season – he had five over 50 yards last season.
In ’09, Jackson excited with eight touchdowns of over 50 yards, tying an NFL single-season record shared only by Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch and Devin Hester.