When the Eagles acquired DeSean Jackson from the Rams in March, they gave him the option to retire in Philadelphia, or return to a smaller market.
He chose the latter.
“I think it’s great,” Jackson said, via the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I’m glad I’m here.
I feel like I’ve grown as a player over the last three years.
I’m glad to be here.
That’s all I really need.
I want to be able to get back out there with the guys.”
The Eagles were never going to be a championship team if they couldn’t put a player on the field.
Jackson has one year left on his contract, and the team has made him a priority this offseason.
Jackson, who was the NFL’s third-highest-paid player last year, has been a big reason the Eagles are in the playoffs this season.
The Eagles have the league’s highest payroll, and Jackson’s contract is the third-largest of all players.
If they keep him, the Eagles could have a $65 million-a-year player on their roster, per Spotrac.
That means the Eagles would save about $1.5 million annually in salary cap space.
Jackson also has three years left on a $13.9 million salary cap hit.
That number would have ballooned had he decided to retire this offseason, as it did last season when he played in just six games due to injuries.
If Jackson decided to play in 2018, that figure would have increased to about $19 million.
Jackson’s deal, however, only has one guaranteed year.
If the Eagles continue to have a surplus of salary cap dollars, they’ll be able keep Jackson around.
But if they’re going to save money on Jackson, the team will need to improve on defense and the offense.
Jackson was a strong tackler in the run game last season, and his pass-catching skills could help the Eagles improve their pass-catchers.
The team will also need to add some offensive weapons in the secondary, and if Jackson is healthy, the new-look offense could be an improvement over last year’s.
The only thing holding Jackson back from making the Eagles roster is that he’s a rookie.
That might be a reason why he opted to retire, but it also shouldn’t be a concern.
If he’s healthy, he should be back on the roster this season and the Eagles should be in the hunt for a playoff spot.