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NFL: Eagles Re-Sign DeSean Jackson (ESPN)

March 14, 2012

ESPN- DeSean Jackson got his wish after all.

Jackson agreed to a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles on Wednesday. A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter the deal is worth $51 million.

The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver already was tagged as the franchise player, meaning he would've earned at least $9.4 million next season. Now, he gets the long-term security he sought last year.

Jackson held out last training camp because he wanted an extension and let his contract situation affect him. He was deactivated for a game after being late for a team meeting, dropped more passes than usual and his production dipped. But the Eagles are counting on Jackson to be the dynamic player he was in 2009-10.

"We are thrilled to be able to keep one of the NFL's top playmakers in Philadelphia," Eagles coach Andy Reid said. "DeSean is a gamebreaker. He has the speed and ability to score from anywhere on the field, and he has proven himself to be a big threat for our offense."

Philadelphia stumbled to 8-8 last year, but closed with four straight victories, building momentum for 2012. The Eagles finished just one game behind the New York Giants, who not only won the NFC East, but also the Super Bowl.

Jackson has career totals of 229 receptions, 4,085 yards and 21 touchdowns in four years after being drafted out of Cal. He also has three rushing scores and a franchise-record four punt return touchdowns.

"Signing our own players was a big priority for us this offseason," Reid said. "And DeSean was certainly high on our list. We are very excited about his future as an Eagle."

Jackson, 25, was named to the Pro Bowl after the 2009 and 2010 seasons, and is one of five players in NFL history to record at least 900 yards receiving in each of his four seasons.

"DJACC!!!! Congrats buddy @DeseanJackson10," Eagles tight end Brent Celek tweeted Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, defensive end Trent Cole and the Eagles agreed on a four-year contract extension through 2017, and on Tuesday, offensive tackle Todd Herremans agreed to a three-year contract extension through 2016.

A source told Schefter that Cole's extension is worth $48.525 million, including $15 million guaranteed. The deal could be worth $55.25 million if escalators in the contract are triggered.

Cole is a two-time Pro Bowl selection who ranks third on the team's all-time list for sacks with 68. He had 11 sacks in 2011, his fourth season with a double-digit total.

"Trent plays the game with a level of tenacity that's hard to replicate," Reid said. "He's one of the premier defensive ends in the league."

The Eagles also made a couple of roster moves, trading offensive lineman Winston Justice to Indianapolis and releasing former starting center Jamaal Jackson.

While Jackson's contract situation was somewhat contentious, Cole and Herremans waited patiently for their deals to materialize.

"I think that with Todd and me, we conducted business professionally, the way it's supposed to be conducted," Cole said. "We never went out to the media and complained. We did what we had to do to keep moving and we didn't cause any problems with the team and this atmosphere."

With the key returnees, there's a feeling -- inside the organization, at least -- that Philadelphia will return to its status as a perennial playoff team in the NFC.

"As the season went on, we started coming together a lot more and it showed by us winning our (last four) games," Herremans said. "We really feel that we don't need any extra pieces brought to us in free agency. We feel that the team we have in the locker room can make a great run and go to the Super Bowl next year."

The Eagles spent plenty of money in free agency last year, signing several players with high pedigrees. They were expected to contend for the Super Bowl, and had to play under the "Dream Team" label that was attached to them by backup quarterback Vince Young, one of those high-priced signings that didn't pan out.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7687266/2012-nfl-free-agency-philadelphia-eagles-sign-desean-jackson-5-years-51m-source-says

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NFL: Calvin Johnson signs $132M deal (ESPN)

March 14, 2012

ESPN- The Detroit Lions signed star receiver Calvin Johnson to a seven-year extension Wednesday, the team announced on its Twitter account.

An NFL source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the contract is worth $132 million and includes $60 million guaranteed. Johnson's contract is the richest deal ever for an NFL wide receiver, exceeding the $120 million deal Larry Fitzgerald signed with the Arizona Cardinals last year.

The extension puts Johnson under contract with the Lions through the 2019 season. The team is holding a news conference at 1 p.m. ET.

He was set to enter the final season of the deal he signed as the No. 2 pick overall in the 2007 draft.

Johnson earned All-Pro honors for the first time last season with a league-best 1,681 yards receiving. He followed up with 211 yards receiving against New Orleans in the playoffs, setting a league record for a player in his postseason debut.

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7685419/calvin-johnson-signs-7-year-extension-detroit-lions

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NFL: Josh Morgan To Redskins, Brandon Carr Visits Cowboys

March 13, 2012

The Washington Redskins are not allowing any punishment get in the way of their offseason spending as Adam Schefter is reporting that Josh Morgan, the wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, is on the verge of also signing with the Redskins. This comes just minutes after news of Pierre Garcon doing the same. The Redskins are apparently going to hope the $36 million salary cap room penalty goes away via litigation or appeal.

Morgan was one of the more underrated targets available on the open market and was making quite a mark on the 49ers offense before he was lost to injury for the season. Garcon and Morgan give the Redskins two promising targets at wideout to go with Leonard Hankerson, the second round rookie who was lost to injury for the year as well. The team might be cutting ties with Santana Moss and/or Jabar Gaffney because of these moves.

Meanwhile the word on Brandon Carr is that he will take his first official visit with the Dallas Cowboys. If things go well, he might leave with a contract in hand. That first visit is always the biggest for any free agent except for Peyton Manning who seems quite willing to take his time. The Chiefs will definitely miss Carr if he signs elsewhere, but already made a contingency plan with the signing of Stanford Routt.

SB NATION: http://kansascity.sbnation.com/kansas-city-chiefs/2012/3/13/2868737/nfl-free-agency-update-josh-morgan-to-redskins-brandon-carr-visits

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NFL: Pierre Garcon to join Redskins (ESPN)

March 13, 2012

Pierre Garcon has agreed to sign with the Washington Redskins, the former Colts receiver announced on his Facebook page Tuesday.

"I wanted you all to hear it from me 1st before u saw it on the news... I will be signing with the Washington Redskins and I'm very excited about the opportunity in front of me," Garcon wrote.

"I want to thank all Colts fans from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support you've shown me the past 4 years and I hope that at some level u will still follow my career, as I will continue to share my life with you on here..."

Garcon had a career year in 2011 even though quarterback Peyton Manning missed the entire season after neck surgery.

The 25-year-old receiver had 70 receptions for 947 yards and six touchdowns, catching passes from a carousel of quarterbacks.

Garcon has shown signs that he could be special. He had 11 catches for 151 yards in the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets in 2009.

The Redskins are also closing in on a deal with former 49ers receiver Josh Morgan, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

ESPN: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7682579/2012-nfl-free-agency-pierre-garcon-announces-signing-washington-redskins

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NFL Brandon Marshall Traded To Bears (ESPN)

March 13, 2012

By Adam Schefter | ESPN

The Miami Dolphins have traded receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round picks, according to league sources.

The sources said Chicago will send its third-round pick in 2012 and 2013 to Miami for the Pro Bowl wideout.

The trade reunites Bears quarterback Jay Cutler and Marshall, who played together in Denver. Jeremy Bates, who was Cutler and Marshall's offensive coordinator in Denver, is also the Bears' passing game coordinator.

The Bears were in search of a big-play target to complement Cutler. Chicago hasn't had a receiver with a 1,000-yard receiving season in nine years.

Dealing Marshall allows the Dolphins to add to its draft war chest as new coach Joe Philbin attempts to turn Miami around. However, it also deprives the Dolphins of the type of weapon that intrigued free-agent quarterback Peyton Manning.

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NFL Combine 2012: Robert Griffin III stands tall at NFL combine

February 24, 2012

ESPN- We learned something today about Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III at the NFL combine today. He really is 6 feet 2. Well, to be accurate, RG3 measured in at 6 feet 2, 3/8 inches.

He was listed at 6-2 at Baylor, but there had been talk that he was closer to 6 feet. While quarterbacks like Drew Brees and Michael Vick have overcome the lack of height, there is a stronger track record for taller quarterbacks in the NFL.

Height still matters in this league, and there's not a lot of instances where teams use draft picks on short quarterbacks, especially first-round picks.

So, RG3 passed his first test at the combine. He will interview with teams tonight, which includes a 15-minue chat with the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are in the process of determining whether RG3 is worth trading up from No. 4 in the draft. -ESPN By Jamison Hensley

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Terrell Suggs Takes On Skip Bayless (VIDEO)

January 20, 2012

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NFL Football: Jon Gruden staying with ESPN

October 18, 2011

on Gruden will remain in the ESPN "Monday Night Football" broadcast booth for another five seasons.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders coach agreed to an exclusive contract with ESPN that begins in September 2012.

"I said I want to get good at this," Gruden said while preparing for the prime-time game at the New Jersey Meadowlands between the Dolphins and Jets. "I was serious about this from the day I started it and I am serious about wanting to get good at it.

"I spent 26 or 27 years in coaching, 18 of them in the NFL. I want to focus on this and get better every day." (MORE>>>)

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NFL Football: ESPN- Bengals QB Carson Palmer will be traded to Raiders

October 18, 2011

Carson Palmer finally got what he wanted, and the Raiders may have salvaged their promising season.

Palmer, who's sat out the entire 2011 campaign in semi-retirement to date after vowing to never again play for the Bengals, will head to Oakland for a 2012 first-round draft pick and a 2013 selection that could escalate to a first-rounder.

"This deal is done," said ESPN's Chris Mortensen on SportsCenter Tuesday morning. (MORE>>>)

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NFL Football: Al Davis (R.I.P.) Did It His Own Way

October 8, 2011

The NFL stopped for a moment Saturday.

Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has died. He was 82 years old.

There is going to be a lot said and even more written about the Raiders' owner as we prepare to kick off another NFL weekend.

Soak it all in. Use any word you want to describe Davis: legend, pioneer, outlaw, renegade. Each applies. He will never be duplicated or forgotten.

Davis did it all his way. He didn’t always make friends in the NFL over the years, but he earned a lot of respect. Expect the tributes to fly in faster than a classic Raiders wide receiver.

He fought wars with the league, other owners and even some of his coaches and players. He was a difficult man to deal with for a lot of people over the years. (MORE>>>)

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