DeSean Jackson said that he was “deserving” when asked on Monday if he wanted a new contract.
Later that day, the Eagles wide receiver wrote on Instagram that he “didn’t ask for a new a contract” and that he “was tired of dumb info being twisted.”
Whether Jackson does or doesn’t want his five-year, $47 million deal restructured, the Eagles are unlikely to rework his contract, a source close to the situation said.
Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said on Monday that he wouldn’t discuss Jackson’s contract situation, but he did compliment the receiver on his season.
Jackson is slated to earn $10.25 million in 2014, but only $250,000 is guaranteed and he won’t see that money until the season starts when he’s paid on a weekly basis. When he signed his new contract in March 2012, $10 million of $15 million guaranteed came up front in a signing bonus.
(Jackson’s 2015 ($9.75 million) and 2016 ($8.25 million) base salaries are not guaranteed.)
Last season, he made $6.75 million in base salary, $4 million of which was guaranteed. But the salary cap number was $9 million and jumps to $12.5 million in 2014.
There has been speculation that the Eagles may be open to restructuring Jackson’s deal to lower the 2014 salary cap number in exchange for more guaranteed money. While that is possible, it is also unlikely to happen, the source said.
The Eagles have close to $20 million in cap space as they head in to the offseason. While Jackson put up career numbers in coach Chip Kelly’s first season, he faded in the final three games of the season.
“I think my season speaks for itself,” Jackson said Monday, two days after the Eagles’ season ended with a playoff loss to the Saints. “Hopefully, we can work something out that’s fair for the both of us. I definitely feel it’s deserving.”
Jackson gave essentially the same answer to several waves of reporters that approached him as he cleaned out his locker stall. Last spring, he changed agents, leaving Drew Rosenhaus for Joel Segal. Rosenhaus, who filed a grievance with the NFL Players Association to recoup loans from Jackson, negotiated the receiver’s contract with Roseman.
Some viewed the five-year deal as a team-friendly one. Jackson, asked then during a news conference whether he would sing a different tune once the guaranteed money ran out, said, “I’m locked up for five years and I’ll play this deal out.”
Last season, he caught 45 passes for 700 yards and two touchdowns in 11 games before suffering broken ribs and sitting out the final five games. But he put career numbers this season – 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns – and for the first time started in all 16 games.
“As far as my deal, it was a good deal,” Jackson said. “I’m going into the third year of my deal, so I feel it’s deserving. So we’ll see. My agent, I think he’s a great agent. He’s able to do what he needs to do to maybe work something out.
“I felt I proved everything on the field to do some of the things top receivers do in this league. I think I’m right there at the top.”
Jackson finished the season tied for 19th in the NFL in catches, ninth in receiving yards, tied for 14th in receiving touchdowns and sixth in yards per reception (16.2 avg.). Teammate Riley Cooper (47 catches for 835 yards) was tied for second at 17.8 yards a catch.
Jackson’s contract is the eighth-highest among NFL wide receivers, behind Calvin Johnson ($16.2 million per year), Larry Fitzgerald ($16.1), Percy Harvin ($12.8), Mike Wallace ($12.8), Dwayne Bowe ($11.2), Brandon Marshall ($11.2) and Vincent Jackson ($11.1).
After setting a career best with 10 catches for 195 yards against the Vikings, Jackson caught seven passes for 57 yards in the final two games of the regular season and was held to three catches for 53 yards in the playoff loss to the Saints.
“This year a lot of people doubted me to say that I probably couldn’t get back to where I’m at, being in top ten in stats, which really in my eyes is a personal goal,” Jackson said. “But more off just going out here and winning. We were what, 10-7 this year? We just did some great things this year. I just feel regardless of anything, from 4-12 to 10-7, that's a total turnaround.”
Later on Monday, after his contract stance became news, Jackson posted a message on Instagram.
“I didn’t ask for a new contract,” he wrote. “I’m blessed to be at the level where I feel my stats did the talking. … Don’t listen to mixed words I didn’t say. Tired of dumb info being twisted to what I didn’t say.”