Philadelphia Eagles Were Savvy With The DeSean Jackson Contract

By Frank Benditt III

Several weeks back, to the surprise of many fans, the Philadelphia Eagles inked their brash, pro-bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a new contract.  The five-year deal  was reportedly worth $46.75 million, including $15 million in guarantees, with incentives that could increase the total value to $50.75 million.

In similar fashion to the 2011 preseason, the Eagles tendered the franchise tag to a player, only to turn around and negotiate a long term deal.  Last year it was quarterback Michael Vick.  This year, it was DeSean Jackson that cashed in on the benefits of an organization that was looking to spend to keep their own talent.  With the oft-injured Michael Vick, the Eagles paid out around $40 million in guaranteed money .  Unlike Michael Vick’s contact, DeSean Jackson’s new deal is a sensible ‘win’ for the organization.

DeSean Jackson’s new deal, compared with other wide receiver free agent signings, assured that the Eagles were wise about their money.  The key to a NFL contract is the guaranteed money.  Two wide receivers that signed hefty free agent deals this off-season were Vincent Jackson and Pierre Garcon.

Vincent Jackson signed a five year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will pay him reportedly $26 million in guarantees for two years, with an increase to $36 million in year three.  Vincent Jackson is good, but he is also 29 years old.

Pierre Garcon agreed to a five year deal with the Washington Redskins that will unload $20.5 million in guaranteed money.   Garcon has never had a 1000 yard season and has never caught more than six receiving touchdowns.

Both Garcon and Jackson do not possess DeSean’s big play capabilities.  At just 25 years old, DeSean Jackson is also younger than both.

The Eagles were very savvy in the structuring of DeSean’s new deal.  Much of the money is incentive layden…..Jackson will earn $250,000 each year from 2012 through 2015 for every Pro Bowl he makes, another $250,000 for every 10-receiving TD season he has, $250,000 for each 1,300-yard season and another $250,000 for every Super Bowl the Eagles win during the next four years.

The Eagles made DeSean comfortable for life, while dangling the carrot in front of him to keep him intensely focused.  Well played.


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