|Jackson was shocked he was benched for missing a special-teams meeting. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
Maybe it was an attempt to distract us from the train wreck that has become the Eagles' 2011 season. Or maybe head coach Andy Reid thought so little of the Arizona Cardinals, last Sunday's opponent, that he didn't think Philly would need DeSean Jackson. Or maybe Reid really did bench Jackson to send him a message after he overslept for a special teams meeting.
Whatever the reason, the bottom line is that Jackson was caught off guard by the decision, and more than that, it's clear that the Eagles' most dynamic player, who happens to be in the last year of his rookie deal, wants a new contract. And that's really the underlying theme to all this.
In an interview that aired Sunday morning, Jackson spoke with NFL Network's Michael Irvin about the last seven days, as well as his future in Philly.
"Being late to a meeting is unacceptable, of course," Jackson said. "I understand that but I've never been a problem, never been a distraction."
Irvin asked Jackson if it was customary for a player to sit out a game for missing a team meeting. "I've never seen coach Reid do anything like that. I've never seen him bench anybody for missing a meeting. … But I'm one of the star players on this team so I'm held accountable more than others."
Jackson is making $600,000 this season and it's no secret that he'd like a new contract. There was some speculation that last week's benching could mean that the Eagles might be willing to let him walk in the offseason.
"Hopefully, (the benching) doesn't have too many (implications for a new contract). The punishment was what it was, I accepted it, me and coach Reid talked as men so I think that in his mind and my mind we're moving on."
So given that guys like Larry Fitzgerald average $15 million a season, and Calvin Johnson makes almost $9 million this season, what does DeSean Jackson think he's worth?
"I think right in that range," he said. "Maybe top-5 in the NFL. ...My playmaking skills and abilities, my punt returns, and the ability to get the ball and score on any play. I mean, Fitzgerald, he's a special receiver -- don't get me wrong -- but he doesn't play special teams so that adds an extra edge to it."
That's a fair point, but similar to Peyton Hillis' contract situation in Cleveland, Jackson could've gone about this differently.
"Showing up to any meeting late is definitely not a good way to handle (things) when you want money from a team," NFL Network's Marshall Faulk said Sunday morning.
And you really can't put it any simpler than that.
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