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Baskett Signs 1-Year Deal With Eagles


Baskett Excited to Be Back
By Lance Epstein

The Eagles have made it known in the past that you can always go home again. Today was no different as the Eagles and wide receiver Hank Baskett have agreed to a 1-year contract.

Last season, the Eagles had to released Baskett because of the numbers game. Baskett signed with the Colts but viewed the experience as a seven month vacation away from the Eagles.

"It feels good. It feels like I went on a little vacation and came back home," Baskett said. "It's good. This has been home to me and it's good to come back and be welcomed back."

The 27-year-old wideout and special teams ace spoke at length with Andy Reid about what his role on the team would be and was assured to be both a wide receiver and used on special team. Unlike his time with the Colts where he was used sparingly at wide receiver; catching only four balls for 28 yards.

"Special teams is something that's me, I'm always going to do that," said Baskett, the special teams MVP for the team in 2007. "We talked about the whole offensive role and all that and we were building up something pretty nice before I left and (coach Reid) said we're going to come in and continue that.

"We have a great receiving corps here and I felt like being a part of that nucleus since I got here and we've built something and now I'm back and I'm glad I get to go on and take this receiving corps to the next level. We have great individuals but as a group we've been proven to be very deadly."

Another reason for Baskett's willingness to return to the nest was his familiarness with the community and area. Baskett also stated that he chose the Eagles one-year deal over the possibility of a multiyear deal because of the familiarity with the Eagles. This was a huge factor in his decision because he and his wife, Kendra Wilkinson (former Playboy playmate) recently had a boy, Hank Baskett IV, in December 2009 .

"We just had the son and all that, and the fact is that if we went somewhere else I would have to go there, be gone the whole time, learn the whole system all over again, have to find doctors, hospitals and all that," Baskett said with a smile. "But yet we already have all that established here and it's a fit where Coach Reid ... wouldn't be bringing me back if he didn't want me to come in here and contribute."

However, the main reason for Baskett signing with the Eagles, who he spent four out of his five NFL years with, was that Reid and the franchise showed extreme interest in him as soon as free agency began.

"There were a couple teams who had shown some interest but my agent and I had been in contact with the Eagles pretty much since day one and that just shows that I was really wanted back here and that makes me feel good because everyone knows that I left with no hard feelings and the Eagles, the coaches, everybody let me know that they weren't releasing me on bad terms," Baskett said,. "Everybody told me that you never know when I could be back here, so it's a good feeling that they showed interest from day one."

GM Howie Rosemen spoke highly about the type of teammate and person Baskett is and his role with the team.

"Hank adds solid depth to our wide receiving group, plus is a productive special teams player," Roseman said in a statement. "He is a good teammate and obviously is a positive influence in the locker room and is a high-character person. We're excited about welcoming he and his family back to the Eagles.”

More importantly, getting the 6-foot-4, 220 pound Baskett back in the fold finally gives the Eagles the size at wide receiver that their three main wide receivers lack. Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant are good wide receivers but Baskett's size makes hi a consistent red zone threat.

Moreover, this contract could mean veteran wide receiver Kevin Curtis, who is owed a hefty roster bonus on June 1, could be on his way out of Philadelphia.

Other Notes:

While Baskett was only a teammate with new Eagle Marlin Jackson for seven months , he explained the person, teammate, hard worker and reason why Jackson is a perfect fit in Philadelphia.

"The guy has a tremendous work ethic, I'll tell you that. When he was out there rehabbing, this and that, he was one of those guys that's the first in and the last to leave. He's very professional. I remember he wrote a letter to the team about, after he got injured, just saying what kind of a leader he was and what he said in that letter just let the team know that this guy, he may not be out there on the field with us but he's definitely there with us and he's going to be pushing us. He's not a guy who gets hurt and took off. No, he was in there pushing, helping the younger guys with stuff and he's a great leader.

"He's a blue-collar guy, which definitely fits in here in Philly. This is a town and team that expects guys to be in here and ready to work. We're not the guys who are flashy and flamboyant and all that. We come in here to work and to get the job done and that's always how it's been here and that's one reason I really like being here because people here don't mind working a little."



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