Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson reportedly wants to get paid before his 170-pound body takes many more hits from much bigger men. The team plans to pay him, eventually. And Jackson claims that he is fine with that.
Reuben Frank and Andy Schwartz of CSNPhilly.com report that the Eagles will reward Jackson “when the time is right.” Per the report, the Eagles want to wait until a new labor deal has been finalized, in part because the current rules of the uncapped year subject any contract extensions to the so-called 30-percent rule.
Meanwhile, Jackson claims that he’s fine with his contract, despite reports that he isn’t. “To me, I’m the happiest person doing it,” Jackson told CSNPhilly.com. “I have a bright future. Right now might not be so great, but as far as the picture down the road, it will be great for me. The biggest thing is, we’re winning. I’m in the NFL. I’m happy. I’m 24 years old. I just had a birthday yesterday. I’m happy. Just blessed.”
But he could be more blessed, as his “[r]ight now might not be so great” comment confirms.
The Eagles could still sign Jackson to a new deal right now, if the Eagles really wanted to sign him to a new deal right now. Signing bonus money doesn’t count toward the 30-percent rule. And since signing bonus money represents the only truly guaranteed money in an NFL player’s contract, Jackson surely would accept a huge signing bonus that, combined with base salaries that comply with the 30-percent rule, would pay Jackson fairly.
The fair inference? The Eagles don’t want to give Jackson a large pile of money now, possibly due to the same concerns regarding Jackson’s size and concussion history that have reportedly made him more anxious about getting that pile of money.
In the end, the reality is that the Eagles have the leverage, just as the Titans had leverage over running back Chris Johnson, because Jackson remains under contract through 2011. And since Jackson and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, presumably hope to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing T.O. episode of five years ago (my Favre has it been that long?), Jackson isn’t prepared to engage in the same kind of rhetoric and/or posturing that got Chris Johnson paid.
That said, Jackson only have to make it through four more regular-season games and however many postseason contests for which the Eagles qualify, and he’ll most likely be paid before the next time he takes the field with a body better suited to racing horses than catching passes.