In "The Manchurian Candidate," everyone who served with Raymond Shaw has been brainwashed so that whenever they're asked about Shaw (who in truth is a pretty loathsome character) they all get a vacant look in their eyes and recite the same answer: "Raymond Shaw is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life."
I mention this because, the other day, Eagles GM Howie Roseman was quoted as saying, "We're excited about the future of DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia." And then today, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg was quoted as saying, "We're excited about the future going forward with DeSean Jackson as a Philadelphia Eagle."
That sure sounds like a couple of guys who got together and decided exactly what they'd say if people started asking them about DeSean Jackson's future in Philadelphia.
Now, it's possible that both of those guys are telling the truth. But since GMs and coaches very rarely tell the truth to the public at this time of the year, you can count me as skeptical. I'm much more intrigued by Adam Schefter's report that the Eagles are open to trade offers for Jackson after they used their franchise player designation on him. I think Adam's report paints a much more realistic picture of the situation than the clearly rehearsed public comments of Roseman and Mornhinweg. But I'm a skeptic, by nature and by trade, so bear that in mind as you digest my opinion on the matter.
There are several possible 2012 resolutions of the Jackson situation:
1. He plays for the Eagles on the one-year franchise tender, which would constitute about a $9 million raise over his 2011 salary. I believe Jackson would be happy and productive in this situation, even though he'd prefer a long-term deal.
2. The Eagles sign Jackson to a long-term deal. I believe this to be unlikely at this point, since Jackson wants to be among the league's highest-paid receivers, and based on the season he just had there's no incentive for the Eagles to make him that.
3. The Eagles trade Jackson after they franchise him, to a team that's in love with his talent and not as familiar as the Eagles are with the warts. I still consider this the most likely scenario, but given the way the free-agent market is likely to be saturated with receivers, I don't think you can rule out No. 1. They won't trade him for nothing.