Maybe the Eagles’ decision to release DeSean Jackson had nothing to do with alleged gang ties or the player being bigger than the team or Jackson not buying in to Chip Kelly’s program.
In fact, says former NFL executive and agent Andrew Brandt in an article on MMQB.com, it’s likely that it had nothing to do with any of that.
It was strictly business.
Why is Brandt confident that the Eagles’ let Jackson go for financial reasons? Because the other issues are nothing new. “The Eagles have known everything about Jackson for years. They had questions about his associations and work ethic when he signed a $50 million contract, but those questions were brushed aside due to the need factor. The actual reason for Jackson’s release was not gang ties or selfishness or a poor work ethic; he was a victim of the business of the NFL and NFL contracts. Anything else is just pushing a storyline to hide the truth.”
It was a matter of the leverage in the deal flipping from the player to the team. The guaranteed money in the five-year, $50 million deal he signed with the Eagles two years ago was gone. They did have to eat $6 million in dead money but that was a sunk cost. Since the guaranteed money had been paid Jackson’s release resulted in a net cap savings of around $4 million for the Eagles.
The Eagles built themselves some additional leverage by re-signing receivers Riley Cooper and Jeremy Maclin. Those two players plus a possible pick in a draft that is deep at receiver gives them a chance to rebuild their receiver corps on the fly at a much lower cost.
The Redskins’ contract with Jackson gives the player the leverage for two years with virtually all of the money going to him guaranteed. But after those two years the leverage flips back to the team. If they choose to do so they can release him while eating just $2.5 million in dead cap with a net cap savings of $6.75 million.