DeSean Jackson is a Washington Redskin.
Let that sink in for a second.
I’ll say it again now that you have had time to ready your burgundy and gold brain for the news, DeSean Jackson is a Washington Redskin.
Late Tuesday night, the 27-year old wide receiver agreed to terms with Washington, and instantly became the Redskins’ crown jewel of the 2014 offseason. Anyone in the Redskins Nation twitterverse has been watching with bated breath for the last 24 hours, as rumors swirled, and speculation mounted, as to whether or not a deal with Jackson was, or could get done.
Ever since being released by the Eagles, Jackson has been the subject of a lot of not-so-flattering press. Gang ties… off-field distractions… questionable relationships… all very tabloid stuff. Somehow, what the guy does on the football field only made it into most of the ‘reports’ as footnotes; despite the fact that ALL of the rumors are just that. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to support that Jackson is actually gang-affiliated – just some creative writing exercises connecting mostly blurry dots, to create splashy headlines.
That isn’t to say for one second that everything comes up roses for the maligned receiver. Gang tie accusations or not, there have been questions about his dedication, and about his work ethic. And plenty of evidence of such in Philadelphia. The Redskins will have a lot of new faces in 2014, including the coach, can they afford locker room distractions?
And what about the money? Terms of the deal were not released, but the Redskins had less than $7 million in cap space, and it likely cost more than that, so a multi-year deal, with a pro-rated big signing bonus is more than likely. Will that impact future signings? Can a team whose defense still has a lot of question marks afford to be dumping another big chunk of cap into the offense?
There are legitimate causes for tempered enthusiasm, even trepidation.
But isn’t this a case of sometimes just having to take the crunchy with the smooth?
The reality is that Jackson is a playmaker. Lining him up with Pierre Garcon is a lethal combination – a combination that will prevent teams from keying on either one of them. The reality is that Jackson enters his seventh season coming off his best season, having caught 82 balls for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. The reality is, the Redskins offense just got exponentially more explosive.
As for the cap, well Peter hasn’t even started borrowing from Paul yet. Washington was in good cap shape coming into free agency, and they have done a good job of managing the considerable money that they spent. They haven’t needed creativity, and/or cap manipulation to do so. Hopefully that means that when other big contracts need to be renewed next year, there will still be lots left in the coffers.
New offensive coordinator Sean McVay was probably up all night genuflecting to the cupie doll he’s been rubbing – Jackson, Garcon, Andre Roberts, Jordan Reed, and Alfred Morris as a supporting cast for Robert Griffin III? That’s kind of fortunate…
Subsequently, having heard the news of the Jackson signing, Kyle Shanahan was seen running through downtown Cleveland naked and screaming, “It’s not fair! it’s not fair!”
There are a couple of additional caveats to Jackson landing in D.C. as well…
He’s going to have something to prove in the two head-to-head matchups between the Redskins and the Eagles this year.
He may not be able to bring Chip Kelly’s playbook, but there might be some brain picking that goes on.
He’s a lethal return man.
RGIII versus Djax in a charity cage match for the number 10.
Ok maybe not, but everything else I said is true.
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The NFC East just got real. #HTTR all day
— Stephen Bowen (@stevebo72) April 2, 2014