When the Redskins signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson in 2014 following his surprising release from Philadelphia, one common desire the two sides shared above all else helped get the deal done: wanting to beat the Eagles.
For Washington, Jackson's market availability meant a chance to no longer be tortured by the speedy receiver that had constantly burned them twice a year for six seasons. The pass catcher was coming off his best NFL season at the time, 82 receptions for 1332 yards and nine touchdowns, and the Redskins were not going to miss the chance to give the Eagles a taste of their own medicine.
That was evident in their recruitment of Jackson, which the once again Eagles wide receiver shared on his teammate Lane Johnson's "Outside the Lane" Instagram Live Show. From planes to special appearances, Washington pulled out all stops.
"I remember the Redskins were one of the teams that hopped in and was really trying to sign me because of all the damage I did to them earlier in my career. Dan Snyder personally sent me his private jet. I was in L.A. and he sent me his private jet, he was like, ‘Get on the plane and we’ll figure out the contract,'" Jackson told Johnson, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. "RG3 actually came to my house in Calabasas and he was like, ‘Man, please bro, just come play with me.’"
The Redskins clearly made an effort to make Jackson feel wanted, something Philadelphia didn't show toward the end of his first stint there. That was great, and helped with the decision, but one of Washington's main selling point was that their schedule would allow him to seek revenge on the team that had just slighted him.
"I just wanted to go play against y’all twice a year," Jackson said, referring to the Eagles. "I’m staying in the division because I want them to see me twice a year. … I was going to let them see what they were missing out on."
His spite toward the franchise he entered the league with was largely due to how things came to a close in 2014. Despite his phenomenal play on the field, head coach Chip Kelly, who held final say over the roster, was not keen on keeping Jackson. Reports swirled that Philadelphia was concerned with Jackson's friends in California, something that filled him with anger and resentment.
He could understand being released due to financial or physical reasons but felt that the Eagles were cowardly in their decision to let him go.
"Honestly, bro, the past is the past, but I will say when I was released by the Eagles it was definitely a shove in my face, you know?” Jackson said. “The story that was made up and the reason behind it was hard for me to respect. I would have respected it a lot more, man, if they would have just came to me and just told me basically it’s a money issue or we’re going a different route. But no, you want to come up and say I’m a hoodlum and I’m doing all this crazy (stuff)? That (stuff) was personal to me."
Both Jackson and the Redskins got their wish, as the two did join forces in 2014 giving Washington another weapon and the wide receiver a chance at his former team. Jackson tallied two 1,000-yard seasons during his three years in the Burgundy and Gold, and Washington made the playoffs once in that span. However, the match was never as fruitful as it could have been.
The veteran is now back with the Eagles and looking to rebound in 2020 after only appearing in three games last season due to injuries. His ability to hurt the Redskins is still as potent as ever, as he went for 154 yards and two touchdowns against them in Week 1 of 2019.
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