Looking at the details of the Philadelphia Eagles' new contract with DeSean Jackson, it looks pretty favorable for the team. As I understand it, the base value of the deal is $47 million over five years, with escalators that could push it as high as $51 million if he plays all five years and meets them all. It also includes $15 million in fully guaranteed money and an additional $3 million in injury guarantees. Of the $15 million guaranteed, he gets $14.75 million in the first two years.
Per a league source, Jackson gets a $10 million signing bonus and a $750,000 base salary in 2012. He gets a $6.75 million base salary in 2013, and $4 million of that is fully guaranteed while the rest is guaranteed only against injury. Of his $10.25 million 2014 salary, only $250,000 is fully guaranteed and $250,000 is guaranteed against injury. He's eligible for a $250,000 workout bonus in each year of the deal, and his base salaries for the final two years are not guaranteed.
The upshot is that this is a deal the Eagles can easily escape after the 2013 season if they want to. And if they don't, they can keep Jackson for salaries that likely will be well below market value in the final three years. As we have discussed already today, with the salary cap expected to jump starting in 2014 when the new TV deals kick in, the free-agent market that year is likely to be much more costly. The Eagles will have the ability to keep Jackson off of that market if they so choose.
Additionally, signing Jackson long term allows them to prorate his signing bonus over several years against the cap and buys them about $6.5 million in extra cap room this year. They were scheduled to pay him $9.5 million this year on his franchise tender.