January 26, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Team Sanders receiver DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles (10) is defended by Team Rice cornerback Brandon Flowers of the Kansas City Chiefs (24) in the fourth quarter during the 2014 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Team Rice defeated Team Sanders 22-21. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Raider Nation has taken to Twitter once again to make something happen. This time, it’s the recruiting of ex-Eagles wide receiver Desean Jackson. Anyone who has read my work or has listened to the Just Blog Baby podcast knows I have been very critical of Jackson and I stand by that criticism, however given the circumstances and the possibility of acquiring him for no trade compensation, the idea of signing him is much more appealing to me. In this article I am going to talk about how the Raiders can get this signing done in terms of money and their current cap situation.

Examining the Competition

The threat of Washington signing Jackson is absolutely legitimate and could happen. As of now the Redskins have approximately seven million dollars in cap space, but next year they only have about 106 million in salary with plenty of fat to cut if they choose to. Also considering the overall salary cap will likely increase to around 145 million dollars, the Redskins could easily have a second year balloon payment that would cover the necessary salary demands while making the first year entirely based on bonus. In short, do not sleep on Dan Snyder’s obsession with overpaying.

The only downside for the Redskins is their current cap situation. Yes they can make the first year entirely based on bonus money that can be prorated over the life of the contract, but they will have some issues fitting even a veteran minimum salary under this cap. This year they have very few contract with large amounts of salary available to cut and few with bonus money they can restructure. They can cut offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus to save 2.5 million dollars this season, but their best bet is to resign Orakpo to a long term contract that is front loaded to minimize his cap impact from a high salary. They could also restructure Trent William’s contract and move much of this year’s salary to next year in the form of bonus. All in all, it would be very doable to meet Jackson’s demands.

What Are Jackson’s Demands?

Likely he will want something similar to his last contract and the contract Mike Wallace received last year. That would mean something around the lines of five years 50 million dollars with 25 guaranteed, to 6 years 72 million with 30 guaranteed is most likely. Of course a team could get creative with the terms of a contract and do something with five years 30 million with 25 guaranteed and incentives to make the total value closer to 60 million if they choose.

What Can the Raiders Offer?

Firstly, the Raiders have one distinct advantage in the sense that Desean Jackson’s camp reportedly reached out to the Raiders before he was released with significant interest in joining the team. Most likely the Raiders knew this ahead of time and began to look into him doing their due diligence. What the Redskins intend to do with this visit is unknown, but it could simply be a leverage play by Jackson’s agent. The question is can the Raiders meet the Redskins offer or beat it?

As of now before the Maurice Jones Drew contract and CJ Wilson contracts have been add, the Raiders have about 14.6 million dollars in cap space. Assuming the contracts only take up around five million dollars the Raiders would have about 9.4 left while about seven million would have to go towards signing rookies. For clarity, the Redskins would have considerably less in rookie wages to pay and would likely pay around four million due to their lack of a first round pick.

This means as of now the Raiders should have around two million dollars they can use to sign Jackson. In order to create more cap space the Raiders could restructure or cut Kevin Burnett who is die 3.5 million dollars this year, they could cut or restructure Mike Brisiel’s contract which would save at a minimum of 1.4 million dollars, and lastly they can also restructure Janikowski’s contract to create some cap space as well. What the Raiders could offer is around five million in actual cash salary this season which could be highly attractive to Jackson. The Raiders of course will have no trouble fitting him into next year’s cap since they only have 80.1 million dollars in cap taken up next season. This will of course rise with the Jones-Drew and Wilson contracts, but they could meet or beat any long term offer if they wish.

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Tags: 2014 Free Agency DeSean Jackson Oakland Raiders

  • Hot One Recordz

    Everything I have read has the Raiders rooks owed 3.4 and that’s if they don’t trade back. Where do you get the 7 mill figure from?

  • Chris Schroeder

    Raiders or Redskins? Hmm… Seems like a no brainer. In Oakland he will be the center of attention while bringing the team he grew up rooting for back to the glory days with a proven pro bowl caliber QB in Matt Schaub, and in silver and black…. Look good doing it. In Washington he will constantly have to look at Chip Kelly’s ugly mug twice a year laughing at him every time Mr. Hobble a lot (#RG3NOUT) throws a bad pass that he can’t catch. He needs to stop playing around and come home. Hope Big Reg makes the call. Revenge motivation for signing in Washington only further makes him look like a thug. A sensible person would be working out a deal with Oakland instead of even entertaining the idea of Washington.

  • stucktrader

    in your argument you mentioned seeing Chip Kelly twice a year… That might actually be an incentive… beat his old team…

    like you said though, he will get more star-power on this Raider team…. all the vets(Woodson, Tuck, Woodley, Shaub, etc) on this team will be a good thing for him.

    and if he considers the possible weapons that OAK has for the upcoming season… WR: James, Denarius, Streater, Holmes; RB McFad, MJD; FB: Reece; TE: draft pick?…. He would get a lot of open looks… with an experienced Shaub @QB.

    And who knows… maybe in a year, the raiders are back in L.A.

  • James Schroeder

    Very valid points. In the argument for seeing chip Kelly twice a year I was just trying to shed some light on the flipside of that coin if things don’t go his way. Remember the saying. “If you seek revenge dig 2 graves. One for them and one for yourself”

  • Brutus

    One thing nobody has mentioned is that KC backing out may have actually been a bad break for Raiders’ fans. RM may have been willing to take a bigger risk, pay more and do whatever it took to keep him out of the division. Once KC backed out, the urgency may not be there to take that risk. Ideally, I don’t think DA or RM want to put up with a vet who isn’t a team player setting an example for the young guys by showing up timely to team meetings and putting in the time in the film room. With that said, I hope we sign him – because if we do, we are confident he will do those things. I am much less concerned about all the other crap they are talking about. Its the locker room that matters….and what we have been building the past two years.