There have been lots of rumors circulating around DeSean Jackson in the past few days. "What team will he sign with?," "why did Philadelphia release him?," "is he in a gang?" Well, as far as the Washington Redskins are concerned, the latter two questions don't matter as much as the former. Most people believe that Jackson is a very upstanding young man, and teams should have no reason to worry over signing him to a large contract. However, the worry is still there, and teams will have to take that into consideration when looking at the possibility of signing the young, talented receiver. As of right now, the Redskins are scheduled to meet with Jackson on Monday. They are considered the frontrunners to land him.
Does Jackson really want to come to Washington? Yes, and for a few important reasons:
- The money is there
- Offensive scheme fit
- He gets to play his former team twice a year
- Opportunity to win under new Head Coach Jay Gruden
- The chance to catch passes from Robert Griffin III
Okay, so maybe there are more than just a few reasons. However, there are many other teams that may hold a certain degree of interest in adding Jackson to their team as well, but the most serious of suitors include the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, Buffalo Bills, and New York Jets. Despite the previous 3-13 season the Redskins just endured, they are still in the best position to win in comparison to the other teams listed. Just a year before that, the Redskins went 10-6, won the division, and made a trip to the playoffs; and Jackson was there to witness it all firsthand.
The Redskins could not be in a better position to inject talent into their roster. It is scary to think how a great offensive mind like Head Coach Jay Gruden could use players Pierre Garcon, DeSean Jackson, Andre Roberts, and Jordan Reed together. The speed of the Redskins offense would be incredible to say the least, and they would really be fun to watch on Sundays. On top of all this, the acquisition of Jackson would eliminate the rest of the Redskins' need at Wide Receiver, giving them the opportunity to open up more possibilities in the upcoming Draft.
Of course, there is always something bad to pull from the situation. Jackson's cap hit with Philadelphia was supposed to be $12,750,000 dollars in 2014. To sum it up, the Eagles didn't want to pay Jackson all that money, so they released him. There have been other rumors that involve Jackson's possible relations to gang activity, but ultimately it all comes down to money. No team is going to release a star wide receiver in his prime purely based on suspicion of gang activity. Jackson's asking price may have come down a bit after being released, but it is certain that the Redskins are still going to have to pony up the dough if they want to secure the receiver on their roster. According to John Keim of ESPN, the Redskins are currently $7.2 million dollars under the cap. This money alone will not be enough to sign Jackson, so there may have to be some contract restructuring or even some cuts made to free up space. The team can easily free up enough cap space to pay Jackson, though. There are a few players on the team that are widely considered to be overpaid, and if the Redskins cut ties with them, it would give the team more than enough to work with if they get into contract negotiations with Jackson.
Why should Redskins fans be excited about these rumors surrounding Jackson? It isn't good to fully rely on statistics when judging a player's talent, but Jackson's stats are better than any Redskins receiver, including Pierre Garcon. Jackson's worst year came in 2012, when he had 45 catches for 700 yards and two touchdowns. Even if Jackson played at his absolute worst, he would still be making bigger contributions to the team than most other pass catchers currently on the roster. His best year came just a season ago, when he caught 82 passes for 1,332 yards and 9 touchdowns. In his six years in the National Football League, Jackson has made three Pro-Bowl appearances, the most recent being last year. Not to mention, Jackson is only 27 years old and in his prime. The Redskins would be smart to pursue a player like Jackson and they are in the perfect position to do so. Especially now that it looks like the feelings are mutual between the team and player. It is very possible that Jackson never even makes it to a meeting with another team after Monday, because by that time, Washington may have already inked him to a brand new contract.