While the Redskins offense would immediately improve with this signing, the organization would be welcoming a huge distraction into the locker room. And in today's media-crazed sports world where the NFL is covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the firestorm that Jackson would undoubtedly bring with him to D.C. has the potential to negate even the most spectacular on-field performance.
Plus, despite his incredible athleticism and speed, the Redskins already have a similar receiver in Pierre Garcon. Since a team can't run double go-routes every down, one of those guys would inevitably end up playing a role—at least some of the time—that they aren't totally comfortable in.
The "Jackson Distraction"
According to NJ.com's Eliot Shorr-Parks and A.J. Perez, the Philadelphia Eagles believe Jackson has gang connections. If you've followed sports, then you know how the media handles a storyline like this. Just like the bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin last season, DeSean Jackson's off-field "issues" are going to be talked about ad nauseam.
The Redskins don't need that.
Jay Gruden is a first-year head coach who is going to face intense criticism should Washington struggle out of the gate.
Robert Griffin III is a young, outspoken quarterback who will bring a media circus of his own to training camp.
Dan Snyder is an owner who many believe is to blame for the mess in Washington last season involving Mike Shanahan.
And don't even get me started on the team name controversy.
If DeSean Jackson were to enter the picture, this entire organization might implode.
The Fit (Or Lack Thereof)
Those who are questioning whether DeSean Jackson was, in fact, involved with gangs have a legitimate point.
He has no criminal record.
Stephen A. Smith, for one, seems to think the whole gang affiliation story was just the Eagles' way of justifying cutting a player they didn't really need.
During an appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show, Smith had to this say:
They didn't let him go because of that. See, he's been there for six years. If he was involved in such things, you just found out today? Let's stop the nonsense.
He went on to say that with Jeremy Maclin coming back from injury, Riley Cooper being re-signed and Darren Sproles coming in via free agency, the Eagles weren't going to need Jackson to play as big a role.
He believes they were afraid he'd become an aggravation to the team because he'd want the ball the same amount as last year and that simply wasn't going to happen.
How does this pertain to the Redskins?
Though this is just one person's opinion, and we shouldn't forget that, Smith does bring up a good point.
Will Jackson fit into Washington's offense? And if he doesn't, will he become an on-field distraction in addition to the off-field situation?
Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson are very similar receivers. Comparing their statistics from last season highlights this.
|Garcon vs. Jackson|
|Player||Receptions||Yards||TDs||20+ Yard Receptions||First Down Receptions|
Though having the two of them line up on opposite sides of the field would make Washington's offense incredibly dangerous, the Redskins might benefit a lot more by adding a possession-type receiver as opposed to adding Jackson.
Couldn't you see DeSean complaining during Week 8 that he isn't getting the opportunity to run enough deep routes? Sadly, I absolutely could.
When your top two receivers have similar skill sets, one is going to have to make an adjustment. And while it could be argued that Garcon's 113 receptions last year prove that he's as much a possession receiver as he is a deep threat, he's someone who has still spent the majority of his career as a slot receiver.
So, no, he's not a possession receiver.
Guys like Sidney Rice and Miles Austin are still available. While neither of those players would bring as much excitement as Jackson would, they might fit better.
Sometimes chemistry outweighs talent.