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Contract Forecast: DeSean Jackson

Contract Forecast: DeSean Jackson
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Contract Forecast: DeSean Jackson

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The release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson added an uber-talented player to the open market, and came with no shortage of drama and speculation. All rumors aside, we'll take a look at the on-the-field production from Jackson with the Eagles over the past 3 seasons to assess his value financially as he continues to visit with interested franchises this week.

Jackson was released out of a 5 year $48.5 million contract that contained $29.25 million in cash remaining, and cap figures of $12.75M, $12M and $10.5M from 2014-16 respectively. He suffered season-ending broken ribs late in the 2012 season, but has otherwise been a healthy and outstanding weapon.

We'll run DeSean Jackson through our contract forecast formula to process a value prediction for the free agent deal he'll soon sign elsewhere.

Comparable Wide Receivers
Now 27 years old, Jackson is a bit older in comparison to many star receivers who sign extensions with their respective teams. We've collected a new list of variable wide receivers to stack Jackson up against. To determine a more likely starting point for our numbers, we'll perform a linear regression of each contract breakdown listed below.
Player Length Value Avg. Salary Age When Signed
Golden Tate 5 $31,000,000 $6,200,000 25
Percy Harvin 6 $64,245,000 $10,707,500 24
Victor Cruz 5 $43,000,000 $8,600,000 26
Mike Wallace 5 $60,000,000 $12,000,000 26
Averages 5.25 $49,561,250 $9,376,875 25

Note: A linear regression is a formula that plots the provided points of data for Length and Value of the contracts, and then generates the best-fit line for those points, resulting in a "slope" value that translates to an average annual salary.

View the list of Top Average Paid Wide Receivers in the NFL

Because Jackson (27) is older than a few of our variables at the times of their signings, we'll adjust the above contracts up to his age by subtracting from the overall years to make each variable player 27 years old. Once a linear regression is performed on these new numbers we're given the following terms to begin with:

Length Value Avg. Salary (slope)
5 $48,176,750 $9,635,350

Statistical Analyzations, Prime Percentage
Now let's analyze these players statistically in the year prior to signing their second contract by showing Games Played, Receptions/Year, Receiving Yards, Receiving Yards/Game, and Receiving TD.
Golden Tate (2012-13, SEA) 15.5 54.5 793 51 6
Percy Harvin (2011-12, MIN) 12.5 74.5 822 67.8 4.5
Victor Cruz (2011-12, NYG) 16 84 1314 82.15 9.5
Mike Wallace (2011-12, PIT) 15.5 68 987.5 65.45 8
Averages 14.875 70.25 979 65.45 7
DeSean Jackson (2012-13, PHI) 13.5 63.5 1016 73.45 5.5
% Difference -5.88% -12.17% 3.77% 10.29% -21.43%
*DeSean Jackson (2012-13, PHI) 16 73.5 1175 73.45 6
% Difference 7.56% 4.63% 20.01% 10.29% -14.29%
ACTUAL PRIME %: -5.25%

*We've projected out Jackson's statistics as if he had played the entire 2012 season.

While the overall numbers show a bit of a deficiency in comparison, Jackson actually had a great 2013 season, catching 82 balls for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. His 2012 numbers saw a considerable dip after hitting the IR in late november with broken ribs. It's feasible to assume that a full 2012 season might have drawn our percentages even across the board. We'll factor in both the Average and Median percentages to show a range projection below.

Guaranteed Money
We'll factor in our variable wide receiver's guaranteed dollars to forecast what Jackson could expect.
Player Value True Guarantees % Guaranteed
Golden Tate $31,000,000 $13,250,000 42.7%
Percy Harvin $64,245,000 $14,500,000 22.6%
Mike Wallace $60,000,000 $27,000,000 45%
Victor Cruz $43,000,000 $15,629,000 36.3%
Adjusted Regression: 26.8%

Length of the Contract
Our variable receiver contracts averaged out to 5.25 years, a figure we'll round down for projection purposes (especially with Jackson already 27 years of age).

Value of the Contract
Outside of the rib injury in 2012 - and the widely reported off-the-field concerns of late, Jackson has been a reliable asset to the Eagles' offense since 2008. He has breakaway speed, above average hands, and a nose for the endzone and will upgrade ANY wide receiving core in the NFL immediately. Our initial base terms brought forth an average annual salary just over $9.6M, just under the $9.7M contract he was released from last week. We'll provide a low and high projection based on the ACTUAL (w injury) 2012-13 statistics, and the PROJECTED( w/o injury) 2012-13 statistics as explained above.

Low Value (Actual Statistics)
Utilizing our Actual Prime Percentage (-5.25%), we're forecasting Jackson as the 8th highest average paid WR:
5 years, $45,647,471 | $9,129,494 per year | $13,348,995 guaranteed
High Value (Projected Statistics)
Utilizing our Projected Prime Percentage (5.64%), we're forecasting Jackson as the 7th highest average paid WR:
5 years, $50,893,919 | $10,178,784 per year | $16,593,841 guaranteed

We'll split the difference to offer the best-value forecast for Jackson's next contract (which just happens to be almost identical to the contract he was just released out of).
Spotrac's Prediction: 5 years, $48,270,695

Average Salary: $9,654,139

Guaranteed Money: $14,971,418

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