Eagles use franchise tag on Jackson

The Philadelphia Eagles have become the first team to use their franchise tag in the off-season, placing it on wide receiver DeSean Jackson.

Jackson would have become a free agent on March 13 when his rookie contract, signed in 2008, was due to expire.

He made the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2010, posting totals of 229 catches, 4,085 yards and 21 touchdowns along the way.

“We want DeSean to be an Eagle for the long haul and this is a step in the right direction to accomplish that,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said.

“DeSean is a talented player and a proven playmaker in this league and we look forward to him continuing his career in Philadelphia.

“It’s our understanding that he has the same desire. We will continue our efforts on getting a long-term deal done with him.”

Should Jackson and the Eagles fail to agree a longer contract, the 25-year-old will receive a 2012 salary of $9.4 million.