The Eagles were extremely quite in the opening few days of free agency this year as compared to last season's spending spree that snapped-up some of the biggest available players on the open market. The biggest news to come out of South Philly this week was the decision to re-sign wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a five-year deal worth an estimated $50 million after first deciding to use the team's 'franchise tag' to lock him up for next season.
I did not see this move coming as I figured that Andy Reid would want to test the waters for a year given Jackson's prima donna attitude. I guess he took a hard look at the big money that was getting thrown at some of the other premier receivers in the league this week and came to the conclusion it would be cheaper to sign Jackson to a long-term contract now as opposed to next year at this time.
A few other moves by the Birds this week included a four-year contract extension for defensive end Trent Cole and a new one-year deal for defensive tackle Antonio Dixon. They parted ways with center Jamaal Jackson and traded offensive lineman Winston Justice to Indianapolis. The Eagles also signed free agent offensive lineman Mike Gibson, who was originally drafted by Philadelphia in 2008, but signed off the team's practice squad by Seattle in 2009.
Any further moves over the next few weeks remain to be seen, but it is safe to say that Reid and Co. are taking a much more cautious approach to building this season's 'dream team' through the use of the free agent market.