We’ve known since early January that the Philadelphia Eagles were going to release Alshon Jeffery and Malik Jackson as post-June 1 cuts. The team officially confirmed as much on Wednesday evening.
Here’s what we previously wrote on this subject:
Cut: $21 million cleared ($14 million in dead money for 2022)
The Eagles reportedly restructured contracts for Jeffery and Jackson in an effort to free up more cap space for 2021. Jason Fitzgerald from Over The Cap wrote about the maneuvering in more detail earlier this year. The TL;DR version is the Eagles clear extra space this year but take on more dead money next year. The Eagles have yet to officially announce Jeffery and Jackson as post-June 1 cuts but it’s only a matter of time before it happens. Note that only two post-June 1 designations can be performed per year.
Jeffery leaves a complicated legacy behind in Philadelphia. There was a lot of excitement when the Eagles unexpectedly signed him to a one-year contract in 2017. Jeffery heroically played through a shoulder injury during his first season with Philly en route to the team’s Super Bowl LII win. Who could forget his great touchdown catch in that game?
Jeffery’s 2018 season will ultimately be remembered for the catch he didn’t make as the ball went through his hands for a game-sealing interception in the Eagles’ 2019 divisional round loss to the New Orleans Saints. Had he caught that, there was a chance Philly could’ve gone back to the NFC Championship Game for the second year in a row.
The Eagles inexplicably guaranteed Jeffery’s 2020 salary ahead of Week 1 during the 2019 season. The move didn’t age well as he struggled to produce, (not so) anonymously criticized Carson Wentz through Josina Anderson’s reporting for the second straight year, and suffered a season-ending Lisfranc injury in December. That same injury limited a hobbled Jeffery to just six receptions in seven games in 2020. It was frustrating to see the Eagles give playing time to Jeffery at the expense of younger players such as Travis Fulgham.
As for Jackson, the Eagles were excited to sign him in March 2019 after the Jacksonville Jaguars released him. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1 and didn’t make his Eagles debut until 2020. Jackson offered some pass rush juice early last season before getting banged up again. He finished the year with zero sacks and one quarterback hit from Week 6 on.
With the team looking to get younger, it was clearly time for the Eagles to move on from both of these high-priced signings. We’ll see where they end up next in the NFL.