PHILADELPHIA - A day after agreeing to trade Carson Wentz to the Indianapolis Colts, the Eagles are saying goodbye to another former star in 34-year-old receiver DeSean Jackson.
An NFL source told SI.com's Eagle Maven that Philadelphia is releasing the aging speedster and Jackson himself alluded to the move on Instagram.
"Looking forward to my next chapter," Jackson wrote. "The best Deep threat in NFL history!! Coming to a city near you!! Philadelphia it's always Love."
Jackson's release was expected. He was set to cost the Eagles $10.659M in 2021 and the organization will add another $5.802M in dead-cap money to the unprecedented amount of $33.8M it incurred by dealing Wentz. That's the bad news.
The good news is releasing Jackson will create $4,857,000 in space for the cap-strapped Eagles.
With the NFL setting its salary cap floor at $180M earlier in the week, the Eagles were expected to be about $49M over that number. So, releasing Jackson brings that number down to about $45M.
Still, there is a way to go to get into cap compliance, so more moves are expected before the NFL's new league year begins on March 17.
Jackson's second tenure in Philadelphia was an injury-plagued one. The veteran played in just eight of a potential 32 regular-season games and managed a mere 23 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns.
That's a far cry from his first go-round in Philadelphia as a second-round pick out of California in 2008 when he developed into one of the best home-run hitters in league history.
A three-time Pro Bowl selection with the Eagles, Jackson is third in team history with 6,512 receiving yards, trailing only Hall of Famers Harold Carmichael (8,978 yards) and Pete Retzlaff (7,412 yards).
Including his stints with Washington and Tampa between his tours with the Eagles, Jackson has scored an NFL-record 25 touchdowns of 60-yards or more, two ahead of the legendary Jerry Rice.
Although his second tenure in Philadelphia never lived up to expectations, all three of his TDs over the past two seasons were over 50 yards — two in his first game back from Wentz against Washington in the 2019 season opener (51 and 53 yards) and an 81-yarder from Jalen Hurts against Dallas in his final game this past December.
John McMullen contributes Eagles coverage for SI.com's EagleMaven and is the NFL Insider for JAKIB Media. You can listen to John every Monday and Friday on SIRIUSXM’s Tony Bruno Show with Harry Mayes, and every Tuesday and Thursday with Eytan Shander on SBNation Radio. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen
Ed Kracz is the publisher of SI.com’s EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.