Youth Movement: DeSean Jackson's Release Leaves Young Eagles WR Group
Quarterback isn't the only position the Eagles are making over this offseason as they seek to shave millions off the books to become compliant with the cap. Wide receiver DeSean Jackson will be released, according to the veteran wideout's Instagram post in which he indicated that he's "looking forward" to his next chapter and wrote that "the best deep threat in NFL history" would be "coming to a city near you." The team also announced the move:
According to Inside The Birds' Adam Caplan, Jackson was slated to make $8.2 million in 2021, the final year of the extension he signed after the Eagles pried him from Tampa Bay in a trade after the 2018 season.
Some dead money from Jackson's contract will linger on the books in 2021 but the Eagles will save almost $5 million in cap space by moving on from the receiver, who turned 34 last December. With the expected departure of Alshon Jeffery, the most experienced receiver on the team's roster is 30-year-old Marquise Goodwin, who opted out of last season due to Covid-19. Jalen Reagor, last year's first-round pick, is a projected starter. Other receivers include Greg Ward, Travis Fulgham, J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, John Hightower, and Quez Watkins – each entering either their second or third season. Jackson, a 2009 second-round pick by the Eagles who quickly emerged as one of the NFL's top deep threats and made three Pro Bowls in his career, didn't enjoy the same success in his second go-round with his original club. He played just eight games over the two seasons, playing just one full game in 2019 – the season opener – before suffering a core muscle injury that eventually required surgery. This past season, Jackson missed games from a hamstring strain and fractured ankle. Jackson reminded Eagles fans of his terrorizing deep-threat potential in the 2019 opener, catching touchdowns of 51 and 52 yards in an eight-catch, 153-yard effort in his first game back with the franchise that picked him 49th overall out of the University of California. His only other catch that season was a 5-yard reception. Last year, Jackson had just 10 receptions for 121 yards in the first three games before injuring his hamstring. He caught an 81-yard touchdown pass against the Cowboys in Week 16, his only catch of the game and final catch of the year. Despite playing just eight games in the past two years, only six other NFL players have caught more touchdowns of 50 or more yards than Jackson. – Geoff Mosher (@geoffmoshernfl) is co-host of the "Inside the Birds" podcast and staff writer for InsideTheBirds.com.
Listen to the latest "Inside The Birds" podcast from Geoff Mosher and Adam Caplan here: