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Can the Redskins afford to sign DeSean Jackson?

Can the Redskins afford to sign DeSean Jackson?

Can the Redskins afford to sign DeSean Jackson?

It’s a simple question with a complex answer.

The short answer is yes. Despite the fact that they have about $7 million in cap room left for the 2014 season, they could construct a contract that would meet Jackson’s contract demands, which likely would be something in the $9 to $10 million per year range.

The contract that Bruce Allen and Eric Schaffer could use as a model is the six-year, $54 million deal that the Saints gave safety Jairus Byrd earlier this month. Byrd got an $11 million signing bonus and a 2014 salary of $1.3 million. By prorating the cap hit for the signing bonus out over the first five years of the deal (the maximum allowed), the first-year cap hit comes to a manageable $3.5 million.

Of course the Saints pay for that low cap hit down the line. In fact, next year a guaranteed $6 million roster bonus boots Byrd’s 2015 cap number up to $10.3 million. It’s likely that the Saints have the option to convert that $6 million into signing bonus, which would reduce that cap hit to about $5.8 million. But that would push the cap number in each of the subsequent seasons to well over $10 million and it gets harder and harder to soften the impact.

The primary cap issue that such a deal would cause stems from the fact that the Redskins already have a high-dollar free agent wide receiver in Pierre Garçon. His contract carries cap hits in the neighborhood of $10 million in each of the next three years. Adding another receiver with high cap charges would push their wide receiver spending into somewhat dangerous territory. They already are ninth in the NFL in cap dollars spent on wide receivers. Even a modest cap hit for deal structured like Byrd’s would make them fourth.

That would not necessarily be impossible to manage but it would create a situation where they would have to squeeze spending in other areas.

But it should be noted that the NFL salary cap is expected to go up by roughly $10 million in each of the next two years. That makes it possible to put items like a roster bonus in deals the next couple of years because the increase in the cap will help absorb it.

The bottom line is that the Redskins could “afford” Jackson but there will be opportunity costs to doing so. They would be much less flexible going forward. But you can argue that you maintain flexibility for situations just like this.

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Instant analysis: Eagles outclass Redskins as Carson Wentz continues stellar year

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USA TODAY Sports

Instant analysis: Eagles outclass Redskins as Carson Wentz continues stellar year

Here are my observations made during the Redskins’ 34-24 loss to the Eagles.

First quarter

— The Redskins’ got into the red zone on their first drive with Kirk Cousins passes to Vernon Davis for 31 yards and Jamison Crowder for 20 keying the advance. But they had to settle for Nick Rose’s first NFL field goal.

—Defensively, the Redskins dominated in the first quarter. The Eagles had no official plays before having four penalties, leading to a first and 33. Quinton Dunbar ended that possession with his first interception of the year. The Eagles got their first third-down conversion of the day in the last minute of the quarter.

Second quarter

—The Redskins gifted the Eagles three points by committing consecutive facemask penalties during Carson Wentz runs. Three weeks ago against the Chiefs, a penalty-laden drive helped KC score a touchdown. Not as costly this time but the score is tied 3-3.

—Did you have a parlay bet on Vernon Davis getting two 31-yard receptions tonight? If so, you hit it. His second such catch was the key in the Redskins’ second scoring drive. This time, they got it in from the red zone when the Eagles forgot to cover Chris Thompson, giving him the easiest seven-yard TD reception you’ll see.

—After a sack, the Eagles got the equalizer with a 64-yard bomb from Wentz to Mack Hollins. The Redskins rushed only four for one of the few passing downs so far and Wentz had plenty of time to launch the long pass.

—In the first half, Cousins was 0-3 passing on third down with one or two yards to go. He was 12-13 for 167 yards in all other situations. 

—That third failure to convert on third and short eventually cost the Redskins. A few plays after taking the punt Wentz went to Zach Ertz for 41 yards to the Washington 18. That led to a four-yard touchdown pass to Ertz to put the Eagles up 17-10 at the half.

Third quarter

—Jason Peters, the Eagles’ former All-Pro tackle who is still playing well, was carted off the field early in the third quarter with a leg injury. Meanwhile, Wentz completed four passes and scrambled for 21 to set up first and goal at the six. On third and goal at the nine, Wentz escaped a heavy rush and pitched a touchdown pass to Cory Clement. The Redskins just can’t get off the field on defense and they are down 14 points.

—At that point, the Redskins had run six plays since they took a 10-3 lead. The Eagles had run 23.

—The Redskins cobbled together a drive after getting the Eagles to go three and out for the first time since the first quarter. Cousins scrambled for eight yards, and then he passed to Doctson for 17. It was goal to go after Jordan Reed went up and caught Cousins' pass for a gain of 20 to the five. On the next play, it was Cousins to Reed for the touchdown. It was Reed’s first score of the year and it made it a ballgame again at 24-17.

Fourth quarter

—The Redskins seemed to have the Eagles stopped with another three and out but somehow Carson Wentz got out of a crowd of several Redskins, avoided the sack, and converted a third and eight. That put the momentum back onto the side wearing the green jerseys and they completed the drive with a TD pass from Wentz to Nelson Agholor to restore Philly’s two-touchdown lead.

— The Redskins’ last chance at a miracle rally ended when Kirk Cousins threw a third and six pass right into the arms of Philly safety Corey Graham. Cousins was hit on the play but it still wasn’t a good pass. There was no Redskins receiver in the area. We will await an explanation from Cousins after the game.

—Washington got a cosmetic score with 3:17 on a 75-yard drive that ended with another Reed touchdown reception.

sStay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Redskins fans go crazy after refs miss unnecessary roughness call involving Brandon Scherff

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@_JakeRussell

Redskins fans go crazy after refs miss unnecessary roughness call involving Brandon Scherff

Last week vs. the 49ers, Brandon Scherff was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness after the guard pushed a San Fran defender to the ground around the same time that the whistle blown.

A week later against the Eagles, Scherff was the one who was shoved. But this time, there was no penalty.

Derek Barnett played the role of aggressor in the Week 7 matchup. On a third-and-9, Kirk Cousins was hit as he threw, and players pursued the loose ball with some thinking it was a fumble. That's when Barnett came up and laid a late hit on Scherff, sending him to the turf.

Here's what it looked like:

The refs were chucking flags left and right in the early stages of the rivalry game. This one, though, somehow wasn't called.

MORE: REDSKINS WEEKLY MVPS ON OFFENSE AND DEFENSE