DeSean Jackson can relate to LeSean McCoy.
Both were second-round picks. Both became Pro Bowl pieces of the Eagles offense while still on modest, by NFL standards, rookie deals.
But while Jackson held out of training camp last summer before playing out the final year of his contract, he urged McCoy to take a different approach as he enters the last year of his deal this offseason.
"I think it would be in his best interest to come" to offseason practices and camp, Jackson said Friday. "Looking back now it really hurt me more than I thought it helped me. Hopefully he saw everything I went through, and hopefully [agent] Drew [Rosenhaus] won't have him go through the same thing."
Jackson, also represented by Rosenhaus, said taking his contract dispute public damaged talks with the Eagles.
"Them feeling like me holding out was more of a statement and trying to prove something," Jackson said. "I just hope he doesn't take it there with the team because the Eagles are a team you don't want to try force anything with them or strong-arm them, because you know Joe Banner, Howie Roseman, Coach [Andy] Reid, they're not the easiest people to force to get things with."
Jackson learned that the hard way and played last season under a cloud of uncertainty that disrupted his play and focus. On Friday, though, promoting a health fair his foundation is sponsoring in Philadelphia on Saturday, he finally seemed at ease.
"One hundred pounds of stress relieved off my shoulders," he said, smiling.
While it might seem ironic that Jackson is advising McCoy to take a different route, the young receiver said he had to learn how to handle the difficult situation by struggling through it last year.
"It's really hard," Jackson said. "He's just going to have to go through it. Hopefully he can manage and not . . . let it distract him like how it kind of distracted me."
Reid said Jackson is mentally "in a good place" and spoke optimistically about McCoy's future with the team.
"I know Howie and Drew have a good relationship, so they're working through things, and I think something positive will come out of that," Reid said. "We sure like LeSean and would love to have him here."
But does a deal need to be done before training camp?
"You want to make it right, so that's the primary thing," Reid said. "I don't think you worry as much about the other things."
Jackson on Saturday is hosting a free health fair at Triumph Baptist Church, 1648-52 West Hunting Park Ave., from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fair, will include vision and dental screenings, mammograms, and tests for prostate cancer. There will also be seminars on pancreatic cancer, which is not routinely screened, and other forms of cancer. The event is through Jackson's foundation, which honors his late father William, who died of pancreatic cancer.
"I just want to help any way I can," Jackson said.
Celek doing well. Tight end Brent Celek will take part in some full-team offseason practices that begin May 22, Reid said, but he would not say whether Celek will be a full participant. He said he expects Celek to be ready for the start of the season.