DeSean Jackson received some advice Tuesday from someone who knows a thing or two about his situation -- Terrell Owens.
The 37-year-old free-agent wideout told Philadelphia's WPEN-FM that Jackson shouldn't take the field in the Eagles' Sunday season opener against the St. Louis Rams without a new contract.
"Absolutely not," Owens said, according to Philadelphia Sports Daily. "I would have to better myself and my family and my situation. That's ridiculous."
Jackson is in the final year of his rookie contract, which will pay him about $600,000. The fourth-year pro out of Cal is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons and hopes to receive a big raise after watching the Eagles go on a free-agent spending spree this offseason, to say nothing of the six-year, $100 million contract extension the team recently gave quarterback Michael Vick.
Owens said Jackson must have been advised "to go in there, be a man about it and play under the existing contract that he has," but added, "I guarantee you -- if he goes out and gets hurt, god forbid, he's not going to get the contract that he probably would have gotten if he held out."
Jackson did hold out for a while, reporting 11 days late to training camp.
Owens has his own problems, of course. The NFL's second all-time receiver with 15,934 yards is still looking for an offer from a team after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament during the offseason. He said he's working on rehabilitating the injury, and he told the radio station that he had regrets about his tumultuous two seasons (2004-05) in Philadelphia.
"I probably would have handled it in a more professional way," Owens said. "I still stand by the fact that I never tried to do anything out of the norm to tarnish my relationship with the Eagles. My agent tried to do the necessary things to try and do things behind closed doors to ensure I got a good contract at that time."
Owens said he would welcome another chance to play for the franchise, despite the history between them.
"Dude, of course," said Owens, who made his lone Super Bowl appearance as an Eagle. "I loved Philly. I loved playing there. I've never had a feeling like scoring a touchdown, going to the sideline and having all of Lincoln Financial Field chant my name. I had the best time of my life and my career in my years in Philadelphia."