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Eagles place franchise tag on Jackson

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PHILADELPHIA — DeSean Jackson is closer to a big pay day.

The Philadelphia Eagles placed the franchise tag on Jackson on Thursday, assuring the two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver at least $9.4 million next season if he signs the tender.

"I am honored that the Philadelphia Eagles organization perceives me as a franchise player. I look forward to getting a long-term deal done soon and being an Eagle for many years to come," Jackson said in a statement.

A 2008 second-round pick out of Cal, Jackson led Philadelphia with 961 yards receiving last season, and was scheduled to become a free agent on March 13.

Jackson held out of training camp last season because he wanted a new deal — he made just $600,000 — and later admitted his contract situation was a distraction. He was deactivated for one game after being late for a team meeting and seemed disgruntled much of the season.

Jackson caught just four touchdown passes and didn't have a punt return for a score for the first time in his four-year career. The 25-year-old Jackson established himself as one of the most dynamic playmakers in the NFL as a rookie.

PACKERS RAISE $67 MILLION: The Green Bay Packers say they sold more than 268,000 shares in their most recent stock offering, raising $67 million dollars to help fund stadium improvements.

The team said Thursday it added more than 250,000 new shareholders in the latest stock sale — its fifth in team history.

About half of the sales were in Wisconsin. Illinois and California tied for second, each accounting for about 8.5 percent of sales. Minnesota and Texas were next with 5 percent each.

Each share cost $250, plus handling fees of $25 in the U.S. and $35 in Canada. The shares are essentially worthless, but holders can call themselves team owners and attend the annual stockholder meeting.

The offering began Dec. 6. Most of the sales came in the first 48 hours.

CHARGERS' DIELMAN RETIRES: Four-time Pro Bowl guard Kris Dielman has retired from the San Diego Chargers, saying it's the right thing to do so after he sustained a concussion last season that led the NFL to tell game officials to watch closely for symptoms during games.

The 320-pound Dielman was staggered by the injury early in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets on Oct. 23.