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Three options for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson in 2016


Three options for the Redskins and DeSean Jackson in 2016

DeSean Jackson is back from his hamstring injury, one that cost him most of the first seven games of the season. He caught a 63-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to open the scoring in the Redskins’ key win over the Giants last Sunday. The eighth-year veteran also caught a 42-yard pass in the early going against the Saints and a 56-yard touchdown pass against the Panthers.

Those are some impressive and important plays. But the problem is that Jackson has not done much besides making those three big plays. Outside of those plays, Jackson has nine receptions for 51 yards. That’s an average of 5.7 yards per catch. In case you’re wondering, that’s not good.

For his production this year he is costing the Redskins a salary cap charge of $9.25 million. That makes him the ninth highest paid wide receiver in the league in terms of 2015 cap dollars. Certainly the Redskins have the right to expect more bang for their buck than a maximum of nine games (not counting the season opener in which he was injured early) and maybe 600 yards receiving and four or five touchdowns.

Sure the injury is a huge factor. But nobody was particularly shocked when Jackson pulled up lame in the season opener. He was only an occasional participant in the voluntary offseason program. He suffered a mild shoulder injury in training camp, one that should have sidelined him for a week or two. But he chose to sit out the entire preseason and he eased into the regular season. Jackson admitted to the media that perhaps his lack of work prior to the opener may have contributed to the hamstring injury.

But Jackson is one of the best at what he does, catching deep passes. He is a weapon like few other teams have. Should the Redskins bring back Jackson in 2016?

They have three realistic options:

Bring him back under his current deal: On the books his contract has two years left on it but 2017 will void so in reality the contract ends after next season. He would cost $9.25 million against the salary cap (salary cap info from

Release him: They could decide that they would rather move on and try to find a free agent or draft pick who would come with a lower price tag and a more desirable work ethic. There is no guaranteed money left on the contract so they would simply eat $2.5 million from his signing bonus and move on.

Renegotiate his contract: Jackson turned 29 yesterday and he is getting to the point in his career where if he wants to continue to perform in the fall, he has to put in extra work in the spring and summer. Some players, like Santana Moss, get that, put in the work, and extend their careers. Others do not and fade from the scene. Perhaps the Redskins could work out a deal with Jackson that will give him some guaranteed money (players approaching age 30 hate have deals with no guarantees) and give him financial incentives to work out.

They could throw out the last year of his deal and work out something that would guarantee him, say, $12 million over three years. Included in the deal could be a big workout bonus, which would pay out if he attends at least 90 percent of the offseason program. The contract could also be set up so it pays him a relatively low salary and per-game roster bonuses that are paid if Jackson is on the 46-man active roster for a game. That would give him a strong financial incentive to stay in shape so he can stay on the field.

It’s hard to see Scot McCloughan letting the current deal ride. If Jackson is going to stay, the GM will want something that will ensure that he puts in the offseason work. So putting the three options in order, I would figure that having him back on his current contract is the least likely (but still quite possible) with a flat release in the middle and a redone deal as the most likely.

We will have a better handle on all of this after the season is over. A couple of big games in key situations would make his return more likely; another injury could have him looking for work elsewhere next year. 

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

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Eagles' Michael Bennett allegedly injured elderly worker; arrest warrant issued

Philadelphia Eagles lineman Michael Bennett has been indicted on felony abuse for allegedly pushing an elderly NRG Stadium worker during Super Bowl LI.

Bennett was indicted by the Harris County, Texas district attorney's office for injury to the elderly — which is intentionally and knowingly causing injury to a person 65 years or older, according to a press release from the Harris County Sheriffs' Office.

A warrant has been issued for Bennett's arrest.

The 66-year-old paraplegic stadium worker was attempting to control field access when Bennett allegedly pushed her. 

The maximum penalty Bennett faces is ten years in prison in addition to a $10,000 fine.


Bennett — whose brother Martellus played in that Super Bowl for New England — was a member of the Seattle Seahawks during the incident and was in attendance as a noncompetitive player.

The NFL has been made aware of the situation and is looking into the matter, according to Pro Football Talk.

The 32-year-old 10-year NFL veteran could potentially face NFL discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. 


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Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown: WR James Washington's numbers don't impress but he could be a solution for the Redskins

Redskins Draft Countdown

James Washington

Wide receiver
Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State wide receiver James Washington measured at 5 feet 11 inches at the combine and his 40 time was a pedestrian 4.54.

But forget about the numbers. His catch radius is larger than his height would indicate, and he plays much faster than the stopwatch says he does.

His route tree needs to be cleaned up but his ability to get open deep, make receptions on back shoulder throws and, yes, Redskins fans, fade patterns will make him a productive receiver while he learns.

Height: 5-11
Weight: 213
40-yard dash: 4.54

Projected draft round: 1-2

What they’re saying

He doesn't look like a receiver and he doesn't run routes like a receiver, but then you see him get open deep and make all those explosive plays, and you know exactly what he does for an offense.

—A Big 12 assistant coach via

How he fits the Redskins: The Redskins needed a wide receiver to line up opposite Josh Doctson after Terrelle Pryor fizzled out last year. They went out and signed Paul Richardson to a free agent contract, solving the immediate need.

But in the NFL, you should always be looking for your next receiver. It takes most of them at least a season to develop so if you wait until you really need a pass catcher it’s too late to draft one. Washington has the capability to contribute early and develop from there.  

Film review: vs. Pitt, vs. TCU, vs. Oklahoma

—Like most coaches, Jay Gruden wants his wide receivers to block and Washington certainly gives it the effort. He helped backs gain extra yards on stretch plays with hustling blocks downfield. His technique may need some work—a long touchdown run against Oklahoma was called back when he was hit for holding—but the effort is there.

—Against the Sooners, Washington got by a cornerback who was in off coverage and beat him for a long gain. Later in the game, the corner was in press coverage and Washington made one move and beat the defender on a post for a touchdown. We can insert the usual cautions about Big 12 defenses here, but it still was impressive to watch.

—Speed is important but so is how fast a receiver can stop to catch a pass. On one underthrown fade pattern, Washington was able to slam on the brakes while the cornerback kept on running, making the catch for a nice gain out of the end zone an easy one.

—Against TCU he split two defenders on a deep pass. He caught the ball in stride and then he found a second gear and easily outraced the defensive backs to the end zone to complete the 86-yard play. This is a good example of Washington playing faster than his 40 time.

Potential issues: Washington is not a good enough prospect to warrant the No. 13 pick, but he could easily be gone by the time the time their second-round pick is on the clock. As noted above, the quality of the defenses he faced in compiling 74 receptions for 1,549 yards (20.9 per catch) and 13 touchdowns has to be considered.

Bottom line: If I’m the Redskins, I have a talk with Jamison Crowder’s agent before the draft to gauge what his client would want in order to sign an extension prior to the 2018 season. If it’s something the Redskins consider reasonable, they should look elsewhere in the second round. But if a 2019 Crowder departure seems likely,  they should look at Washington if he’s there in the second round. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.