The Philadelphia Eagles are continuing their roster purge, with DeSean Jackson the latest victim as a cap casualty. Jackson has been released by the Eagles the team announced, and Jackson revealed Friday on his Instagram story, as the franchise saves $4.857 million with his release (per Over The Cap).
Jackson does plan on continue playing at age 34, as he'll be free to sign with any team, even prior to the free agency period.
From #Eagles WR DeSean Jackson on Instagram. No sources required here, as he’s announced he’ll be released. Was due $9 million in non-guaranteed salary this upcoming season. As he says here, he still wants to play at the age of 34. pic.twitter.com/tpubvYnjT1— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 19, 2021
Jackson's second stint with the Eagles wasn't as successful as his first, as injuries plagued one of the greatest deep-ball receivers in NFL history. He finished with just 23 catches for 395 yards and three touchdowns in just eight games with the team over the past two seasons, averaging 17.2 yards per catch. Not only did Jackson suffer a core muscle injury that kept him limited to just 65 snaps in 2019, but a hamstring strain and ankle fracture limited Jackson to just 179 snaps and 16% of the Eagles' offensive snaps in 2020. Jackson did show flashes of that deep-ball ability in his final game with the Eagles, catching an 81-yard touchdown pass from Jalen Hurts in a Week 16 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Jackson has 32 touchdown catches of 50-plus yards in his career, trailing only Jerry Rice (36) for the most in NFL history. He has the most 60-plus yard touchdowns in NFL history with 25. Jackson also is sixth in NFL history in yards per catch average (17.4, minimum 500 receptions). He is third on the Eagles' all-time receiving yardage list with 6,512, trailing only Harold Carmichael and Pete Retzlaff.
The Eagles were a projected $47.3 million over the salary cap heading into Friday -- which is counting the record-setting $33.8 million in dead cap committed to Carson Wentz for the 2021 season. More roster moves will be coming for the Eagles, who already restructured the contracts of Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson earlier this offseason, which opened up some cap relief in 2021 and allowed them a clearer path toward moving on from the two veterans. Other veterans are also in danger of getting cut as the Eagles embark on a rebuild.
Releasing Jackson is just another step toward a major youth movement on the Eagles, one that was a long time coming.