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DeSean Jackson focused on Redskins playoff hopes, but 'definitely intrigued' for free agency

DeSean Jackson focused on Redskins playoff hopes, but 'definitely intrigued' for free agency

The demise of DeSean Jackson was greatly exaggerated.

Halfway through the Redskins season, the receiver was in the middle of a down season, on track for statistical lows in multiple categories. 

With Week 17 approaching, that narrative is long over.

Jackson is on pace for his third 1,000 yard receiving season in four years, his yards-per-catch will likely finish in the top half of his career, and in his last three games the wideout has gone for 15 catches for 327 yards and a touchdown. 

The recent run of dominant play has again raised Jackson's league-wide profile, and it's come at the perfect time. Free agency beckons for Jackson.

"I'm focused on winning the game, trying to make a push into the playoffs," Jackson said Wednesday. "I’m focused on being a Redskin and finishing strong and once free agency comes, we’ll see how it plays out."

Jackson was asked specifically about rumors linking him to the Eagles, the team that drafted him and where he played the first six seasons of his career. 

"Nothing to really say. People say what they want to say or make comments and just carry on conversations," he said on the possibility of going back to Philadelphia.

The only team Jackson did mention was Washington — and he made it clear he's enjoyed playing for the Redskins and wants to stay, but at the same time, picking his landing spot will be important. 

"First time in my career I’m going to be able to hit the free agent market, so I’m definitely intrigued about seeing what’s going to happen, test the market and see what’s going on. Who knows what happens. Hopefully I’m still here, but you never know how it plays out."

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Should the Redskins lose this weekend, the season ends. That means it could be Jackson's last game in a Washington uniform.

"You really try not to get caught up in that. It’s been a great three years. I’ve had a great time here in Washington. I love the city. A lot of great times, a lot of great memories. So as far as me thinking about my time being here, if it can be my last (game), I don’t really look at it like that. We’ll see how it plays out."

Options remain to keep Jackson dressed in Burgundy and Gold. The first, and perhaps easiest, is for the 'Skins to win on Sunday and make the playoffs. The second, costlier option will be to re-sign Jackson once free agency hits. 

The question remains if the Giants will play their starters this Sunday at FedEx Field, or rest their players as New York has already clinched a playoff spot. 

"I want their best shot," Jackson said. "Hopefully we’ll be able to get into one of those great battles. Hopefully it doesn’t come down to the end, but even if it does, hopefully we’re able to do everything we can to win the game."

Beat the Giants, and fans get at least one more chance to watch Jackson wearing the Redskins jersey this season, and perhaps more. 

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Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Two examples of why Dan Orlovsky believes Dwayne Haskins will excite Redskins fans

Scott Turner was asked about quarterback Dwayne Haskins' growth this offseason during a Zoom call with local media earlier this week, and the new Redskins offensive coordinator explained he was pleased with both Haskins' physical and mental progress.

Besides raving about the second-year quarterbacks imposing size and natural arm strength, Turner also dove into specific detail about one other thing that really stood out to him about Haskins: his ability to stand tall in the pocket and deliver a throw without much space.

Former NFL quarterback and ESPN analyst Dan Orlovsky took to Twitter on Friday, tweeting out two video examples from Haskins' rookie season where the quarterback demonstrated the qualities Turner raved about.

The first example was a clip from the Redskins Week 11 contest against the Jets. The play went down in the scorebook as a 24-yard completion to Kelvin Harmon, but what the quarterback had to do in order to make this play successful was quite impressive.

For this play, Orlovsky explained how Haskins identified where the pressure was coming from pre-snap, causing him to shift the entire protection to the left. After the running back missed his block, Haskins didn't panic. The then-rookie QB stepped up in the pocket and fired a dart to Harmon on the in-route as the receiver broke open in the middle of the field.

"This is one of my favorite plays by him last year," Orlovsky explained. "It really is an example of the intellectual aspect of quarterback play with the feel aspect of quarterback play."

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The second clip was from Washington's clash in Green Bay last season. On this particular snap, Haskins showed his mastery of the Packers' defense.

Haskins' initial read was to the right side, where Harmon was running an inside post route. But once the quarterback saw his first read was covered, he continued to look right, forcing Packers' safety Darnell Savage to slide in that direction. The passer then immediately turned to his backside, which created an open throwing lane to find Terry McLaurin in the middle of the field.

"It really shows a complete understanding of what the defense is, what the coverage is, and then a complete understanding of who on the defense he needs to move with his eyes to open up a window," Orlovsky said.

It's fair to mention that the Redskins would not win either of these games and that the rookie passer had his struggles in each of these contests. It's no secret that Haskins had his growing pains as a rookie, and there were examples of such in each of these matchups, too.

But Haskins did finish the season playing the best football of his young career, giving some hope for the future. Count Orlovsky in on those who are optimistic about the quarterback as he enters his second season with the team and his first as the team's true starter.

"There are so many examples on his tape that show how smart he actually is," Orlovsky said. 

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Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Kirk Cousins ranked ninth on Forbes' top 100 highest-paid athletes in 2020

Former Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins is among the top 10 highest-paid athletes in the world in 2020, according to Forbes.

Cousins, who came in as the ninth highest-paid athlete overall, is the top-ranked NFL athlete on the list, coming in one spot above Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.

Forbes estimated the Vikings QB's earnings at $60.5 million, with $58 million coming from his salary and $2.5 million from his endorsements.

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In March, Cousins signed a two-year, $66 million extension with the Vikings, one that included a $30 million signing bonus. The signal-caller originally signed with the Vikings in 2018 on a three-year, fully-guaranteed $84 million deal that at the time made him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

The Vikings signal-caller has earned over $130 million in his career thus far, according to OverTheCap.

Cousins spent the first six seasons of his career with the Redskins, with three of those years as the team's starter. The quarterback set the franchise's single-season passing yards record in 2016 when he threw for 4,917 yards for Washington. His 29 touchdown passes in 2017 were the second-most by any Redskins quarterback in a single-season.

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