Washington Redskins

DeSean Jackson Can Turn Washington Redskins Around in 2014-15

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson looks across the field with pink headphones before a NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci
Tyler HornerCorrespondent IIApril 2, 2014

Less than a week removed from an ugly breakup with the Eagles, wide receiver DeSean Jackson has already signed on with the division rival Washington Redskins

Ian Rapoport reported the contract details via Twitter an hour after the signing was made official: three years and $24 million. 

With an $8 million average salary, Jackson's new contract ranks 13th among NFL receivers and two spots behind teammate Pierre Garcon. Other notable receivers in the same contract range as Jackson are Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown, 12th, and Baltimore's Steve Smith, 15th. 

On Monday, Jackson arrived in Washington, and apparently the team did not want him to leave without a contract. Quarterback Robert Griffin III spoke about the receiver to ESPN's Britt McHenry: "Very exciting player. Determined to show he is the best and hungry to win. My kinda guy." 

Teammate DeAngelo Hall was also excited about the signing, offering his congratulations to Jackson via Twitter.

The signing of Jackson should open up a Washington offense that, outside of Garcon, lacked a deep threat in the passing game. 

In 2013, the Redskins were ranked second to last in the NFL in passing plays of 20 yards and over, with only 39. Jackson accounted for 25 such plays on his own in Philadelphia last season, good for second in the league. 

Griffin struggled in 2013 before eventually succumbing to injury.
Griffin struggled in 2013 before eventually succumbing to injury.John Bazemore

This lack of ability in the deep passing game reflected itself in Griffin's play. His passer rating fell to 77.7 on passes of 11-20 yards; 43.2 on passes of 21-30 yards.  

These are huge drops from Griffin's splits in 2012, when deep passing efficiency was a strength of his. His passer rating within each range was 108.4 and 144.7, respectively.  

This clearly defined problem then begs the question: Is Jackson the remedy to Washington's ailing passing game? 

I say yes, in spite of his alleged questionable off-the-field associations

With the talent currently on the roster and Griffin back to full health, expect the Redskins offense to be far more formidable in 2014. 

With a dual-threat quarterback and two big-play threats in Garcon and Jackson, Washington will be a headache to game-plan against in the passing game. Consider that the 'Skins also had the third most efficient rushing attack in 2013, and you begin to see this offense coming together. 

Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris will keep the Redskins offense balanced.
Pro Bowl running back Alfred Morris will keep the Redskins offense balanced.Nick Wass

As far as locker room chemistry, I don't think there is anything to worry about. Several team leaders, including Garcon, were very vocal in support of bringing Jackson to the Redskins, so it should be a mutual fit. 

Jackson would be wise to stay off the radar as well—he'll be a free agent once again in three years, and don't expect another team to take a chance on him if controversy follows him to Washington.

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