Report: Eagles protected in DeSean Jackson deal

The Eagles surprised a lot of folks around the league when they committed long-term to DeSean Jackson via a five-year deal after his up-and-down 2011 campaign. Were they rewarding bad behavior?

As is so often the case with NFL contracts, things aren't as simple as they appear to be. The deal Jackson signed was very team-friendly.

ESPN's Dan Graziano notes that the Eagles can get out of Jackson's deal very easily after two years. Jackson will earn over $17 million over the next two seasons, $14.75 million of which is guaranteed, including a $10 million signing bonus.

That helps explain why Jackson signed. But keep in mind, Jackson needs to produce at a very high level or the Eagles can easily get out of the contract after two years. Jackson's salary jumps to $10.25 million in 2014, but only $250,000 of that is fully guaranteed.

The Eagles were already slated to pay Jackson $9.5 million on his franchise tag this season. With that in mind, this is a terrific deal for Philadelphia. The Eagles get him over the next two years at a cheaper average rate, even if it provides more security for Jackson.

Ultimately, the Eagles are protected. They will cut bait in 2014 if Jackson isn't playing at a Pro Bowl level.