Breaking Down the DeSean Jackson Signing and the Future of the Redskins


DeSean Jackson signed a three-year contract worth $24 million with the Washington Redskins today.


via Jason—Jackson received a $5 million signing bonus and his 2014 and 2015 base salaries and workout bonuses are guaranteed. In addition, Jackson can earn up to $1.5 million in 2014 and $3.75 million in roster bonuses in 2015 and 2016 that are paid out as long as he is on any of the roster lists besides suspended or non-football injury. The 2017 season is a “dummy year” that is strictly in place to reduce the salary cap charges in the contract. That season automatically voids following the Super Bowl that year. Base salaries of the contract are $1,000,000(2014), $3,750,000(2015), and $3,750,000(2016).

Most media reports have Jackson receiving $16 million in guaranteed money. This $16 million figure comes from his $5 million signing bonus, $5.75 million combined in ’14-’15 base salaries and workout bonuses, $1.5 million 2014 roster bonus and $3.75 million 2015 roster bonus. I am not sure if those roster bonuses are officially full guarantees (as Jason has not yet received the paperwork), but for all intents and purposes they are.

What this means for DeSean:

Look at this deal as a two-year contract worth $16 million dollars. Jackson receives his second signing bonus in the past three offseason’s, and is now guaranteed to make $34 million over a span of four-years  ($18 million in 2012 & 2013 with Philadelphia and $16 million in 2014 & 2015 with Washington).

Looking at other wide receivers around the league, there aren’t many who have averaged $8.5 million over a four-year period. The list of guys who have recently accomplished this (or undoubtedly will in the next year or two based on the structure of their contact) includes just six names: Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Johnson, Percy Harvin, Brandon Marshall and Roddy White. There are other young guys–such as AJ Green and Julio Jones–who will likely get there (or beyond), but of course you never know.

So for somebody who’s seemingly overly-consumed by the amount of money he makes, DeSean has done pretty well.

What this means for the Redskins:

It means DJax is locked into the Nation’s Capital for both 2014 and 2015, carrying respective cap hits of $4.25 million & $9.25 million. After 2015, the Redskins will have to quickly decide (by the beginning of the 2016 league year) if Jackson is worth a $9.25 million cap hit in a season where he’ll turn 30. If they decide he isn’t they’ll, be forced to eat $2.5 million in dead money.

It also means that Washington’s top three receivers—Jackson, Pierre Garcon and Andre Roberts—will count for $22.7 million against the 2015 cap. While this is quite a large cap number for a team’s receiving core to assume, this shouldn’t have long-term cap implications for the Redskins; all three players can be released with minimal cap damage after 2015.

However, some tough roster decisions may still lie ahead for Washington. The Redskins now have over $117 million in 2015 cap commitments, which of course doesn’t include a salary for Brian Orakpo, who was recently franchised and has not yet been signed to a long-term deal. RG3 should also be in line for a monstrous extension at some point in the near future (he’s eligible after this coming season). This is definitely a situation to pay close attention to in the future…