1:21pm: Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provides a breakdown of Jackson’s contract (via Twitter), reporting that it’s actually a four-year, $32MM deal that voids down to three years and $24MM. It includes a $5MM signing bonus and a 2014 cap number of $4.25MM. Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun adds, in a series of tweets, that the base salaries on the deal are actually fairly modest, with a significant portion of the money tied up in per-game roster bonuses in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
12:16pm: According to Mike Jones of the Washington Post (via Twitter), the cap hit on the deal for 2014 is expected to be in the neighborhood of $4MM, despite the fact that Jackson will make $8MM in ’14. We’ll have to wait for the full details, but I’d expect a signing bonus in the ballpark of $6MM. Jones adds that all the guaranteed money on the contract is in the first two seasons.
12:05pm: Less than a week after being released by the Eagles, DeSean Jackson is joining the Redskins. Jackson officially signed a three-year contract with Washington on Wednesday, according to the team (Twitter link). The three-year pact is said to be worth $24MM, with $16MM fully guaranteed, and $8MM owed in the first year.
Although those overall figures don’t look huge, the average annual value ($8MM) and overall guarantee ($16MM) are both slightly higher than what Eric Decker received from the Jets on what had been the largest receiver contract of 2014. Additionally, the fact that it’s only a three-year deal means Jackson will hit the open market again at age 30, at the latest.
It has been an interesting road for Jackson since rumors first surfaced early last month that the Eagles may be willing to trade their mercurial receiver. Jackson’s personality and occasional hotheadedness have been well-documented, and it was rumored that those attitudes ran counter to the type of culture that head coach Chip Kelly is trying to create in Philadelphia. That seemed to be just one of the reasons why the Eagles were willing to trade or release Jackson, who is a dynamic player on the field and who enjoyed the best season of his career in 2013, Kelly’s first year on the job. In 2013, the 27-year-old caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns, all career highs.
When Jackson was officially released last week, rumors flew in earnest as to what teams would have the cap space, the culture, and the desire to bring him aboard. At one point, it appeared as though the Redskins, Bills, and Raiders were the most serious suitors, although we heard late Monday night that Jackson was expected to meet with the 49ers if he left Washington without a contract. Indeed, Bill Williamson of ESPN.com tweeted that the Niners made a late run at Jackson but ultimately did not have the money to sign him.
Bringing Jackson to Washington will add an explosive weapon to new head coach Jay Gruden‘s offense and will create a potentially dynamic 1-2 punch at receiver for the Redskins, who already have Pierre Garcon on the roster and signed Andre Roberts last month. Jackson will also remain in the NFC East, meaning his old club in Philadelphia will be tasked with trying to stop him twice in 2014 — and perhaps in future seasons as well, depending on how year one of the new relationship between Jackson and the Redskins goes.
The Redskins didn’t have the cap flexibility of other rumored suitors for Jackson, such as the Raiders or Jets. However, as we’ve seen with a number of deals signed over the last few weeks, like Jairus Byrd‘s pact with the Saints or Jared Allen‘s deal with the Bears, there are ways to structure lucrative contracts so that the first-year cap hit isn’t exorbitant.
Dianna Russini of NBC Washington and ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter first reported that an agreement was in place between Jackson and the Redskins, while Mike Jones of the Washington Post (via Twitter), Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog (via Twitter), and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter) added details. PFR’s Luke Adams contributed to this post.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.