More veterans than usual will probably be on the free-agent market this offseason.
The NFL said the salary cap will be at least $180 million in 2021, but that’s still a 9 percent drop from last year. Most teams weren’t planning on the cap going down, but a pandemic happened.
Some teams aren’t in terrible shape, but other teams are going to have to make hard decisions just to get under the cap. A few moves were made Friday, long before the league year starts. They included the Philadelphia Eagles cutting a longtime star and the Green Bay Packers releasing two starters.
Receiver DeSean Jackson, one of the best deep threats in league history, announced on Instagram that he had been released by the Philadelphia Eagles. Jackson is 34 but can still beat a defense deep, and said he still wants to play.
From #Eagles WR DeSean Jackson on Instagram. No sources required here, as he’s announced he’ll be released. Was due $9 million in non-guaranteed salary this upcoming season. As he says here, he still wants to play at the age of 34. pic.twitter.com/tpubvYnjT1
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 19, 2021
Jackson is part of what will be an offseason makeover in Philadelphia. The Eagles traded quarterback Carson Wentz to Indianapolis, Several other veterans will have to restructure contracts or be released for the Eagles to get under the salary cap. Philadelphia is second to New Orleans in terms of teams that are the most over the projected 2021 cap.
Jackson played eight of his 13 NFL seasons with the Eagles, with two different stints. He scored 56 touchdowns with the team but couldn’t stay healthy the past two seasons.
Packers let go two veterans
The Packers are another team that needs to get under the cap, and that started Friday.
Linebacker Christian Kirksey, whose promise has been stalled by multiple injuries, and offensive tackle Rick Wagner were cut by Green Bay. Kirksey signed a two-year, $13 million deal last year after six seasons with the Browns and started all 11 games he played in. Wagner, who was with the Baltimore Ravens and Detroit Lions before joining the Packers last year, started nine games last season. He signed a two-year, $11 million deal last year.
The Packers made the NFC championship game last season, but it will be a challenging offseason to maintain depth while managing the cap.
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