Banner: 'Unlikely' DeSean, Alshon will be back in 2020

Eliot Shorr-Parks
December 01, 2019 - 6:59 am
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The Eagles have spent the majority of this season dealing with injuries to key players on offense, but the main issue has been at receiver, especially around DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffery. 

The duo expected to create one of the most dynamic receiving cores in the NFL has played just one full game together. As a result, former Eagles CEO Joe Banner recently predicted in an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer that both could be gone before the start of next season:

"My inclination is to think they’re both gone. I think they’re going to be afraid to trust either one of them and they’re going to be afraid to be back in this same situation with them next year...They’re definitely going to have to eat some cap dollars. But we saw the Steelers eat $21 million in cap money this year when they realized they were better off without a player (Antonio Brown)."

On the field, moving on from both and focusing on bringing in younger, more dependable receivers makes sense. The issue? The contracts handed out by Howie Roseman to both receivers is going to make that tough to do financially. 

Per Over the Cap, look where the Eagles find themselves with both Jeffery and Jackson. 

*** Important note on pre/post June 1st, per Jason of OTC: "For accounting purposes the NFL breaks the salary cap impact of releases into two periods with June 1 being the breakpoint. Prior to June 1 any future prorated cap dollars accelerate onto the salary cap immediately but after June 1 only the current years prorated number stays on the cap while future prorations accelerate into the following season. This gives teams the ability to defer cap costs by one year. That said the June 1 at the moment does not exist for next year. Because the CBA expires after the 2020 season teams will not have the ability to defer money to 2021. That will change if the CBA is extended but as of now no team can plan on utilizing the June 1 to their benefit." **

DeSean Jackson:

Cut, pre-June 1st: $12.5 million in dead money, costs $4 million to cut

Cut, post-June 1st: $6.7 million in dead money, $1.875 million in cap savings

Trade, pre-June 1st: $7.7 million in dead money, $1 million in cap savings 

Trade, post-June 1st: $1.94 million in dead money, $6.6 million in cap savings

Alshon Jeffery: 

Cut, pre-June 1st: $26.1 million in dead money, costs $10.6 million to cut

Cut, post-June 1st: $15.4 million in dead money, no cap savings

Trade, pre-June 1st: $16.1 million in dead money, costs $750K to cut

Trade, post-June 1st: $5.5 million in dead money, $9.9 million in cap savings 

As you can see, cutting Jackson and Jeffery before June 1st would leave the Eagles with roughly $40 million in dead money on the books without saving a single dollar of cap space.  

Trading Jackson or Jeffery might be the team’s only option when trying to move on from them, if they decide to do so. The question is can they find a team willing to make a deal, and if the CBA is extended, as the post-June 1st options with Jeffery and Jackson are far more team-friendly. 

If the Eagles can find a team willing to take on Jeffery’s $9.9 million salary, they could flip him to another team for a late-round pick and save $9.9 million in cap space. As bad as Jeffery has been, the Eagles likely have a half-decent chance of finding another team to trade for Jeffery. Jackson could also be flipped for a late-round pick and save the Eagles $6.6 million in cap space. His health issues are an obvious concern, but now that he has had surgery, it isn't crazy to think another team might have interest in giving him another shot to prove he can still be an elite deep threat. 

Together, trading both Jeffery or Jackson after June 1st would open up $16.5 million in salary cap space, while leaving roughly $7.5 million in dead cap space. If the Eagles were to trade both, they would have roughly $52.6 million in salary cap space — and that is before they make any other cap-cutting moves. 

The decisions around Jackson or Jeffery won't be cheap or easy. The new CBA will play a role in it as well. 

What Roseman does, however, will play a big role in just how much better fans expect this Eagles' offense to be in 2020 -- or if they should expect more of the same. 

You can follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks or email him at esp@94wip.com!

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