A day after agreeing on a 5-year deal reported to be worth as much as $51 million, Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson met the media Thursday afternoon.
DeSean thanked just about everyone including God, the fans, the city, owner Jeffrey Lurie and Eagles head coach Andy Reid, who DeSean said was a father-like figure to him.
"To the city of Philadelphia I couldn't see playing anywhere else," DeSean said. "This is home to me."
As he graciously met the media on Thursday to talk about his new contract with the Eagles, the wide receiver was quick to point out that the tumultuous 2011 campaign -- for both the Eagles as well as himself -- is over.
“Last year was last year. Regardless of the stats and the numbers I put up, I still felt I wasn't too far off with my average per year and all that,” Jackson said. “Even when everyone else can say it's a bad year, I was still 40 yards from 1,000. I don't really like to get caught up in that stuff. I still want to go out and play with the edge that I'm still the best receiver in the NFL.”
The new deal comes after a season in which DeSean held out of training camp because he wanted an extension and let the contract situation affect him. He was deactivated for a game for being late for a team meeting, dropped more passes than usual and his production dropped.
He finished with 961 yards and four touchdowns.
“I live my life to be prepared for any given situation that it is at any given time. I never thought once that I might be here because I've always felt confident in my skills and what I can do,” Jackson said. “I just really wanted to tighten up and not necessarily prove to everybody but just show them what I can do.”
The Eagles stumbled out of the gate last season, opening 4-8. They rallied with four consecutive wins to close the year, but even in the mediocre NFC East, where the New York Giants won the division at 9-7, the flurry wasn't enough to save Philadelphia's season.
But it did build some momentum for 2012, and the Eagles have tried to maintain that through the offseason. Earlier this week, Philadelphia signed defensive end Trent Cole to a four-year contract extension through 2017, as well as offensive tackle Todd Herremans to a three-year contract extension through 2016.
“It's good to see players stick with the team,” Jackson said. “Trent's a great player and Todd's a great player. Any time you see players like that get extended, it's really a great thing. It shows the Eagles' front office is appreciative of the players who've been here and we've been through the ups and downs. That's really the only thing I can take out of that.
“I see the future and I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and that's the Super Bowl.”