NFL Notebook

Jackson back with Eagles, ends holdout

Associated Press / August 9, 2011

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DeSean Jackson wants a piece of the money the Philadelphia Eagles have been throwing around. Just don’t expect him to turn into T.O.

The two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver ended his 11-day holdout and reported to training camp yesterday. He didn’t practice in the morning, but was on the field for the afternoon walkthrough at Lehigh University.

“The relationship I have with the team and the front office, I think everything will work out,’’ Jackson said. “I’m just going to keep everything positive. I don’t want to turn it into anything negative. I love Philadelphia. I love the fans here. Coming back out here onto the field, the fans showed me a lot of love and stuff. I just want to keep that positive thing going.’’

Jackson is slated to earn $565,000 this season, the final one of his four-year rookie deal. He caught 47 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns last year, and his 22.5 yard-per-catch average was best in the NFL. He also averaged 11.6 yards on 20 punt returns, including a 65-yarder for a TD that beat the New York Giants on the last play of a game in the Meadowlands Dec. 19.

Jackson has a different approach than the previous diva receiver that wanted a new contract from the Eagles. Terrell Owens ended up being kicked off the team midway through the 2005 season after a series of infractions, including criticizing management and feuding with quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Jackson has the same agent - Drew Rosenhaus - but the similarity ends there.

“I feel good to be back and I’m happy to be back out here with my teammates,’’ he said. “I have to be a professional about it.’’

Williams a Raven The Ravens signed veteran running back Ricky Williams to a two-year deal. He replaces Willis McGahee, whom the team released days before training camp. Williams, a Heisman Trophy winner, played last season with the Dolphins and if everything goes well with his physical today, he will work in tandem with Ray Rice. . . . Lions rookie running back Mikel Leshoure, second-round pick from Illinois, tore his Achilles’ tendon and is out for the year. He was injured on a hit by defensive end Cliff Avril during practice and was carted off the field. Coach Jim Schwartz says “he’ll be back, but it won’t be this season.’’ . . . The Broncos released their preseason depth chart and quarterback Tim Tebow is listed as Kyle Orton’s backup. Tebow has been in more of a contest with Brady Quinn for the No. 2 job than with Orton for the starter’s role . . . Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was taken off the physically unable to perform list after being cleared by doctors to practice following offseason thumb surgery . . . Safety Dashon Goldson agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the 49ers. Goldson said last week via Twitter that he didn’t expect to be back after watching his team sign others who play his position . . . Jaguars backup offensive lineman Kevin Haslam was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a knee injury.

Finnegan contrite Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan apologized to his bosses, teammates, fans, and even the media for leaving camp Friday night. He also said he will pay his fine willingly for missing a day of camp. And he admitted he was upset over talks for an extension, which was the personal issue he mentioned defending himself via Twitter. “I took negotiations, what they do, personally, and I shouldn’t have, and it affected everyone in the community and the team,’’ Finnegan said. “I deeply regret that.’’ . . . NFL players asked a federal judge in St. Paul to refrain from ordering them to negotiate further with retirees upset about the way their request for better benefits was handled. Attorney Barbara Berens filed the request for US District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who has a hearing scheduled tomorrow in the case. The retirees filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the current players, accusing both of conspiring to keep benefit levels and pension payments low in the new collective bargaining agreement . . . Jerry Smith, whose 26-year NFL coaching career included a stint as the Broncos interim head coach in 1971, died Saturday in San Diego. He was 80. Smith had been in declining health since suffering a heart attack in 2007.

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