Two years ago, Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson signed a long-term contract with the team. He now wants to sign a new one.
“I definitely feel it’s something deserving,” Jackson said on locker-cleanout day, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “We’ll see how that plays out, and hopefully we can work things out smoothly and not have to worry about anything out of the ordinary.”
“Anything out of the ordinary” would include Jackson staying away from voluntary offseason workouts or holding out of training camp. The former would result in the squandering of a $250,000 workout bonus; the later would carry fines in the amount of $30,000 per day, along with partial forfeiture of his $2 million signing bonus allocation for 2014.
“But I definitely feel like it’s deserving,” Jackson said. “I’m proven in this league, and after this past year, went out there, no distractions, and just really put it all in for my team and went out there and had a lot of success, so we’ll see how it goes.”
He’s due to earn a base salary of $10.25 million. Factoring in the signing bonus allocation and the workout bonus, that’s a total cap charge of $12.5 million.
Jackson has base salaries of $9.75 million and workout bonuses of $250,000 for 2015 and 2016, respectively.
A brief holdout in 2011 ended before the $30,000-per-day fines kicked in. Jackson’s current agent, Joel Segal, hasn’t been bashful about holding guys out in order to get them paid. Segal last did that in 2011, with Titans running back Chris Johnson.
After missing five games due to injury in 2012, Jackson generated career highs in receptions (82) and yardage (1,332) this season. His prior high-water mark for catches had been 62.
The Eagles have the cap space to pay Jackson. The question is whether they’d want to set the precedent of ripping up a veteran player’s deal with three seasons remaining.
“Honestly, I feel very confident that my agent will work something out,” Jackson said. “I feel like I have a great agent, that’s what he’s for, that’s what his job is, all I have to really worry about is staying out of trouble and keeping my nose clean and doing the things I need to do, working on my craft and playing football.”
As Jackson closed in on his first long-term contract, it seemed that he was at times trying to avoid injury. The Eagles now have to wonder whether the diminutive (relatively speaking) Jackson will shy away from contact until he gets his next contract.
Either way, it’ll be the first contract tug-o-war for the Chip Kelly era, a good problem to have because it means that the team is thriving.