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Friday, March 21, 2014

Desean Jackson Rumors

Ian Rappaport has Carolina as "interested at the right price" at Philly
WR Desean Jackson, and of course with anything that controversial and
far fetched there are naturally sources suggesting it's not so.

It's a better situation than the "What if we intend on trading up for
Sammy Watkins?" scenarios. I'm normally a guy to just squash something
like this Jackson rumor as nonsense, but I'm interested to follow this
one through before doing so.

It seems like it would cost Carolina a 3rd round pick, which in the
manner of Jackson seems like a bargain. But Carolina can't afford to
give up picks, partly because it's had a habit of doing it in the past.

The Giants, the only past history we have for Dave Gettleman, didn't put
much into getting players for picks. They traded for LB Keith Rivers
before he left (a 7th), and traded for Jon Beason after he left (for a
7th). The philosophy isn't always exactly the same, but certainly
Gettleman won't stray too far from it. That third round pick could be
Jackson, a player they otherwise wouldn't get, but it could also be an
inexpensive starter on a team that desperately searches for inexpensive
starters. A world with their existing contracts plus a future contract
situation including Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly, and assumedly Greg
Hardy, is a world where having that future CB costing $500k per year
instead of $6 million per year becomes very value added, too.

Now, the cost financially. Let's assume Jackson doesn't want more money
- and I think he does. The Eagles take the loss on the proration of
guaranteed money, so that doesn't come over. At $10 million a year,
roughly, you could cut some of that 2014 money into a bonus check - $9
million of the $10.5 million becomes spreadable. His current contract
includes two more years, so that's $3 million a year obviously - a
savings of $6 million. He counts at $4.5 million this year. Great! A

That makes 2015 ($9.75 million salary + $250k roster bonus + $3 million
of that proration) = $13 million. That tightens things up a bit.

You could add two years - a Dave Gettleman special - and then the
proration becomes $1.8 million, 2014 becomes $3.3 million, and 2015
becomes $11.8 million, which is I guess improvement (it would mean
voiding 2017 and 2018 and taking a 2017 hit of $3.6 million), but the
proration isn't the problem, it's the 2015-16 salaries. And if he's
looking for more money, not less, you can't assume he'd just cut some
off. You could drop 2015's salary by a few million in exchange for
proration now - +$4 million to spread over that three years, let's say -
which in a non-voidable becomes (2014 = $5.888 million, 2015 = $11.333
million), voidable becomes (2014 = $4.1M, 2015 = $9.6M). You've
guaranteed that 2016 becomes "the tough year", I guess (do your own
math, the salary/roster bonus combo is worth $8.5 million).

So you could see some obstacles with it.

Jackson definitely covers the biggest need in a way, the archetypal #1
receiver that everyone wants. I'm not as concerned about that, but he's
a powerful player who might add some flavor to an offense that's
somewhat bland right now. It's easier than hoping a draft pick could do
it, it makes that #1 pick an OT more than likely, and it makes the
reliance on a young WR less critical.

But in the end, it's a very high price to play. An ideal situation
would be a lack of a trade that goes with Jackson coming here on a
friendly deal, because you're starting fresh. But he's being sold high.
He had a great 2013 in a very open offense, and you have to pay him
somewhat to that end. Here in Carolina, I don't know if he'd even get
enough balls for that to be worth it.
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