The Eagles’ disastrous 2020 campaign has come to an end, and to say they’ve got a pivotal offseason ahead of them would be a massive understatement. Obviously the team has to figure out their quarterback situation, but that’s far from the only issue that needs to be addressed.
They took one step forward on Monday as the team has adjusted the contracts of receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive tackle Malik Jackson, sources told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Before these moves Philly had the worst cap situation in the league, with a projected $70MM deficit against the 2021 cap. The move reduced the base salaries for both to give some immediate flexibility, but the agreed upon arrangement will force the Eagles to either cut the players or negotiate new deals with them.
As Mike Garafolo of NFL Network tweeted, the expectation is that Philly will move on from both players, so they aren’t actually going to play 2021 at these reduced salaries and the restructure is more of a procedural move. It’s a win for the Eagles and also lets the players know their futures sooner so they can plan accordingly and hit free agency with everybody else instead of being left looking for a new team closer to the start of next season.
The Eagles signed Jackson to a three-year, $30MM pact in March of 2019, and it was immediately derailed when he suffered a foot injury in the first game of that season that knocked him out for the entire year. He returned to play in 15 games this year, but only played around half the defensive snaps and not at a high enough level to warrant his hefty salary. The 2012 fifth-round pick of the Broncos had a few really good years with the Jaguars and is still only 30, so there will be interest.
Jeffery is wrapping up a four-year stint in Philadelphia and will always have a large place in franchise history for his contributions to the 2017 team that won Super Bowl LII. Jeffery started all 16 games that year, racking up 789 yards and nine touchdowns. He had another very solid 2018 campaign but his play fell off a cliff last year as he dealt with injuries that limited him to ten games.
This past season he appeared in only seven contests due to injury, catching only six passes for 115 yards. The 2012 second-round pick from South Carolina turned into a star during his early career with the Bears, and is still only 30 as well, although he does have significant health question marks. It’ll be very interesting to see what his market looks like.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.